When you look at a work of art you may quickly decide whether you like it or not. But have you wondered why some pictures appeal to you more than others? There is no definitive answer to this question, but if you can understand how & why the artist created the piece,you will appreciate & enjoy it more. Art is rarely created in a moment of inspiration. To understand the artist’s aims & intentions there are a myriad of factors to consider-the size of the painting or sculpture,its subject matter or story & how the different elements of the piece relate to each other. What is the artist’s viewpoint & how he/she used colour,perspective,light & shade-& why??? What materials & surfaces have been used & how they contribute to the finished work.
Looking at art explains how or rather tells you how one could read a work of art more properly & understand what the artist was trying to achieve. On looking closer,it could introduce you to the language of art. As you begin to develop an informed sense of why you like some works of art more than others,the experience of looking at art will become more meaningful.
Looking at any painting is a personal experience,but one that benefits from broader knowledge-the more you know about works of art,the closer you look at them,the more you see & enjoy. Like any great book,great paintings often have hidden levels of meaning,but once you start to unravel the clues,everything begins to make sense. Finding your way into a great painting is like setting off on a holiday of discovery-endlessly fascinating & deeply rewarding!