In the earlier posts, “How to appreciate paintings #41 and #42: look at as many paintings as you can,” we discussed the importance of looking at as many paintings as you can. 

However, while we should look at as many paintings as we can so that we can practice appreciating paintings, we don’t have to look at everything.    
 
There are many paintings out there; paintings of different mediums – oil on canvas, watercolour, chinese ink; paintings from different art movements – Renaissance, Impressionism, Pop Art; paintings from different cultures – African art, Chinese art, Mexican art; paintings from different eras and historical periods- ancient Egyptian art, medieval art, contemporary art; paintings from different countries – Singapore, Indonesia, your home country; paintings of different genres – portraiture, landscapes, still life. 
 
Looking at different types of paintings helps us to find something we like, from which we can start our journey of appreciating paintings.  If we learn to appreciate paintings by looking at paintings we dislike, it will be similar to forcing the child to take piano lessons that she dreads.  
 
However, there is no need to look at every type of painting in the world across history to find the paintings that we enjoy looking.  We will overwhelm ourselves in the process and become seized with fear of the seemingly unattainable possibility of appreciating this Mount Everest of paintings.
 
How to appreciate paintings?  Look at as many paintings as you can, but you don’t have to look at everything. 
 

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