Next Challenge: Look at a Painting Every Day

We're onto another week in the "creative" category! Instead of creating something myself, I'm going to look at paintings every day. I got this idea from my friend Brian, who included it in his massive list of challenges for 2015

When I say "painting," I'm really thinking any two-dimensional artwork, so it could be a drawing, a pastel - anything flat. It doesn't have to actually be a painting. 

I love art, always have, but don't necessarily take the time to enjoy it unless I'm at a museum or gallery (and that's not all that often). We have a little bit of art at the house, both prints and originals, and I do enjoy having those around. How much time do I spend contemplating them, though? Not enough. If someone would do the laundry, I'm sure I'd spend more time with art.  

But for this week, every day I'll focus on a different artist. Since I'll be writing about it, I'll throw in a little information. I might as well try to learn something while I'm at it. 

Why should we take the time to look at art? It appears that looking at art stimulates the reward areas of our brains. Also, looking at art might make you smarter. However, there is the fact that it's always better to see art in person whenever possible. I wish I had the time to go to a museum or gallery every day, but for me, that's vacation, not regular life. 

Art we own: a bad photo of a great pastel portrait Katie O'Malley did of our cats. 

Art we own: a bad photo of a great pastel portrait Katie O'Malley did of our cats. 

Thanks to the internet, you can find all sorts of art online. Google Art Project makes a lot of artwork accessible, allowing you to zoom in for a closer look (closer than you're allowed to get in most museums, that's for sure). They have over a hundred partner museums displaying works through the site, including the White House and interesting museums such as the Street Art Museum Amsterdam

Even if your favorite artist isn't on Google Art Project (my favorite, Rene Magritte, has one painting there), there are plenty of other resources, just a quick search away. 

I believe there's something to gain from looking at art, whether you're standing in front of the original, looking at a print, or viewing images on your computer screen. For me, art expands my world by showing me things I haven't seen before (or haven't seen before in that way), and it makes me think about art, life and how the two intersect, and those are things I like. 

Do you have a favorite painting or painter? Please share if you do!

Week 29: Something Creative - Look at a Painting Every Day

  1. Van Gogh's The Potato Eaters
  2. Contrasts by Ekrem Yalcindag
  3. The Cardsharps by Caravaggio
  4. Imatra in Wintertime by Akseli Gallen-Kallela
  5. A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
  6. Still Life of Fish and Cat by Clara Peeters
  7. Flying and Crawling Mind by Vladimir Manzhos