Get Art Smart

“I think too much when I paint, and I don’t enjoy that,” complains a retired artist at the Prescott Phippen Museum’s 35th Annual Western Art Show on Memorial Day weekend.

Photo Credit: The Phippen Museum

Photo Credit: The Phippen Museum

She walks with me into a folk art booth and stares for a while at a painting representing nature and animals.

“I wonder what that means,” she says, feeling the frame and staring into the details of the art.

Her friend Linda stands by enjoying an intricate painting of a tree with many branches and advises her to stop thinking, “Just feel the art,” she says.

The retired artist laughs and agrees. She tells of how she quit painting because she was thinking too much about her themes, getting frustrated and not feeling inspired.

I too agree that there is a special magic in feeling rather than thinking.

Feeling the art and beauty in life is so much more enjoyable than thinking and analyzing about it. So, to get art smart or to get the best out of your art experience- Feel; don’t think!

5 Comments on “Get Art Smart

  1. What a beautiful painting.

    I agree that sometimes it better just to sit down and do things without thinking. To get the ideas down is the hardest thing. Once ideas appear, one can always add or subtract and make them better later.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Are you suggesting that people not think and let the ghetto, or office, or family, or church, or whatever program they grew up under guide their feeling? Sounds like a cul-de-sac. Or, does a person stop thinking and magically be swept into a transcendental bliss and mind-meld with a wispy white haired old man on some mountain top who drops his garbage down onto the peasants, who are also not thinking.

    Art appreciation can be a broad experience that may include every type of human self awareness technique. Feeling is 13 of 271 techniques.

  3. Hi Pragya,
    I’ve been following your blogs and quite enjoy them. I certainly the type of art appreciater that “knows what she likes” and react, firstly, emotionally to a piece of art. I have no idea how an artist who has learned techniques and styles and stuff cannot think when they create. It would be very hard I imagine to just feel the art and do it. Perhaps, when technique and art learning become so internalized does an artist feel the work.
    Cecelia

  4. Rephrasing my earlier comments: I mean, I agree that art can be a different experience to different people. Some are awed at the first glance. Some are able connect emotionally. Some enjoy each stroke and can almost see how an artist went about each stroke. All being said, all I am trying to say is somewhere in this modern age some of us have over-complicated and over-critiqued something which is meant for shear joy ! Many artists and others have experienced this connection that comes so spontaneously from within themselves without going through the act of over analyzing things! Hope many more are able to discover this hidden trait in all of us . It may well be just 13 of the 271 or so techniques that you list, but lets not miss out of this very important one!

    p.s. I’m not a fan of art or artistic things that generate thinking activity. There are plenty of things to think about; art should soothe and calm.

  5. Thanks Cecelia. I have some meditation friends who do art. They tell me that get inspiration from within (perhaps its easier for them because they meditate daily). I think its fine to compose and match colors and whatever artists need to do, but to overdo or over-think about the piece can get tiresome. I think that’s what this artist at Prescott was referring to.

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