The best way to engage with paintings in an art exhibtion is to enjoy the paintings alone, by yourself.

When we watch a movie in a cinema, we may be sitting next to our companions, but we are really watching the movie alone by ourselves. We are experiencing our thoughts and feelings as the story unfolds, without talking to others until the end of the movie.

Watching movies is a highly enjoyable personal experience because of the time spent alone with the show.
The same enjoyable personal experience can happen in an art exhibition: walk around the exhibtion by yourself and look at the paintings alone. Talk to your companions after you are done with looking at the paintings.

Read: #6: How to look at paintings in an art exhibition – every painting deserves 3 looks

Looking at the paintings alone in an art exhibition allows us to engage with paintings at a deeper personal level. There are no interferences, judgements and opinions from our companions.

We can really focus on looking at the paintings instead of thinking of what to say. We have the chance to connect with the painting ourselves and not be influenced by others. We can react to the painting without worrying what others think.
When we look at a painting alone, we initiate a quiet conversation between us and the painting; a conversation that stimulates our mind and touches our heart.  A highly enjoyable personal experience. 
So the next time you visit an art exhibition in the art museum or art gallery, politely tell your companions you prefer to walk around by yourself first, before catching up with them later.  Just like watching a movie in the cinema.

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

How to appreciate paintings? The best way to engage with paintings in an art exhibition is to enjoy the paintings alone, by yourself. If you are with someone, talk to them after you have looked at the paintings.

Painting Image: Promontory @ Marina Bay by Singapore artist Low Hai Hong /

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