Sunday, April 01, 2018
When I was about fifteen or sixteen my dad bought a picture at a charity auction. I remember him telling me at the time that it didn't really matter if a picture was "good" or not. The only important thing is whether or not you like it. If you like it, it's a good picture.
In terms of appreciating art, I've always kept that as my guiding thought. Sometimes though, I really would like to just know more about art. I feel sometimes like I live at a very superficial level, never really doing more than barely scratching the surface. And not must in relation to art but in relation to literature, music and so many other things.
A few years ago I decided to at least try and expand my knowledge of some of the most famous painters' work so now every year, I buy a calendar with a particular artist's work in it. The ones I like are a particular sqaure format (with an equally-sized page underneath with the dates on it in squares that actually have space to write in) and they're not terribly expensive.It has been a good way to expand my knowledge a bit beyond just the most famous paintings of some artists. For example, after a friend was talking about Munch and I had said I didn't like The Scream at all it got me thinking that maybe I should check out what else he had ever painted. Coincidentally, at the end of that year, I happened to see a calendar for Munch in the format I like and I got it. Turns out, he did a lot of stuff that I really do like. But any of his iterations of The Scream or similar? Well, I can easily leave them
This year, I decided to push the boundaries a little bit more and instead of a traditional European master, I chose a calendar of work by Hiroshige. I have to admit I do quite like some of it and it is interesting to look at it and see how different it is to Van Gogh, Monet, or Rothko (some of the others I've had).
Now all I need to do is to find more time to be able to just sit and quietly contemplate what's hanging on the wall!