How to Appreciate Paintings #1: There is no right or wrong
A painting is a conversation between the artist and the viewer. The artist describes what he sees and feels onto the canvas and the viewer describes what she sees and feels from the canvas. The artist and the viewer are strangers bounded by the painting for a moment, each sharing his and her own experiences and emotions from the painting.
There is no right or wrong in this conversation. What the viewer sees from the painting is shaped by her experiences, where she is in her stage of life, her knowledge of art and the artist, her emotional state at that moment. The viewer’s response of the painting is as unique as she is as an individual. While the viewer’s reaction to the painting may be different from what the artist may have planned, no one can judge the viewer’s appreciation of the painting.
Once we know that there is no right or wrong when appreciating a painting, we will no longer be tied by others’ judgments. We can be more true to our hearts when exploring the painting; we can be more brave when we articulate our opinions of the painting; we can be more confident to look at more paintings.
How to appreciate paintings? Realize that there is no right or wrong when appreciating paintings.