#9: The first step to appreciating paintings: know more about the artist

The first step to appreciating paintings_The shop houses of malacca II is an oil painting by Singapore artist Low Hai Hong

The first step to appreciating paintings is to know more about the artist.

The more we know about the artist whose paintings we are viewing, the more we can appreciate her paintings. A painting is after all an expression of the artist’s thoughts and feelings, which derives from his life experiences.

When we know the artist’s views on art or his background and life story, we start to understand the motivation behind his paintings and what he sought to achieve from his art. Knowing what the artist wants to say with his paintings helps us to appreciate the paintings.

What we know about the artist’s art journey enables us to see and appreciate the changes and developments in her paintings over the years. For example, the artist’s style change due to mellowness of age or the medium used change due to maturity in technique.

Knowing more about the artist is like finding out more about person who is about to be your friend. It is something we can do and understand easily, without requiring a technical art vocabulary. It is an easy first step to appreciating paintings.

Read: #1: The No 1 rule in art appreciation

How to appreciate paintings? The first step to appreciating paintings is to know more about the artist.

Painting Image: The Shop Houses of Malacca II by Singapore artist Low Hai Hong / ARTualize.com.sg