How to Appreciate Paintings #58: We are all different

Paintings help us to realize that we are all different. 
No artist painting the same thing at the same place at the same time will produce exactly the same painting as another artist.  Because we are all different. 
No viewer looking at the same painting at the same place at the same time will experience exactly the same feelings and thoughts as another viewer.  Because we are all different.  
Because we are all different, how we see a painting and what we see from a painting is never the same as anyone.   When we look at a painting, we realize we are different from the artist.  When we talk to someone about a painting, we realize we are different from that person.
Realizing that we are all different helps to make us be less judging of another person.  The person is not another faceless nameless human being but an individual who is unique in his DNA, his life experiences and his circle of family and friends.  
How to appreciate paintings?  Paintings help us understand that we are all different. 

How to Appreciate Paintings #56: Art makes you happy

Research has shown that exposure to arts for just two hours a week can make us happier.  Whether it is creating art or looking at art, being with art makes us happy.  
When we are with paintings, we tend to lose our “self”.  When we look at paintings, our mind stops thinking about the many things that are occupying our lives, analyzing what happened yesterday and anticipating what will happen tomorrow.  The busy mind takes a break when we look at paintings. 
Looking at a painting requires our attention and efforts to make sense of what we are seeing.  No matter how artistically “good” or “bad” a painting is, our mind has to cut out the noise of the background thoughts and focus itself to see the painting and interpret it.  We have to utilize our underused imagination to understand what the painting is.  
Even if the painting is as realistic as a photograph, our mind will be wondering how the painting is created and what is happening in this scene in the painting.  Even if the painting is a a young child’s scribbles, our mind will be figuring out what the painting is about and why it is drawn in this manner.  

The mind has “no choice” but to concentrate itself on the painting, which leads us to being immersed in the painting.  This absorbing and engaging experience makes us happy.  
How to appreciate paintings? Look at paintings and be happy!

How to Appreciate Paintings #38: What we can learn from paintings – curiosity

Paintings awaken our sense of curiosity. 

When we look at paintings, we are sometimes introduced to something unusual, something unexpected, something unfamiliar. We are probed into finding out more about what we are seeing and figuring out why it is presented in this manner. We become curious, eager to discover something new.  

As a child, we were curious about anything; everything was fresh and exciting as we were seeing and experiencing things for the first time. This sense of curiosity dimmed as we grew older, as we get accustomed to things happening around us without thinking much about them. 

When we look at paintings, we are gently jolted to think about what we are seeing. It could be something familiar, like apples on a table, yet curiously interesting as we have not seen apples being presented on a table in this manner before. It could be something totally new, odd sizes of red dots against a white background, curiously interesting as we wonder what it is about.

Paintings make us curious about what we are seeing, reigniting the joys we had as a child, where we could explore the unknown without fears.  

How to appreciate paintings? When we are appreciating paintings, we are learning valuable lessons from paintings too.