Posted on April 12, 2014
The idea behind this idea is that we should try looking at art sl-l-l-o-o-ow-l-l-y-y, at least this one day. Really sit with the art for a while, looking. Get up close to AND far away from paintings; walk all the way around sculptures. Let your mind wander as you look, or do some intentional focusing as you let your eyes travel over a large piece.
Some art museums are having special celebrations for Slow Art Day. Check out the official website for some of the museums hosting events. I read that some museums welcome slow-art guests to view five pieces of art for ten minutes each. Then the guests get together over lunch to talk about how it felt to look at each piece of art for that long. (Face it; most of us hurry and hustle about our lives so much that we haven't experienced such long, lingering looks before!)
I have experienced slow looking when doing a jigsaw puzzle of a painting or other fine art. I realized that I had not fully noticed all colors and brush strokes—such as all the little green flecks in Van Gogh's red hair—until I started staring at context-less jigsaw puzzle pieces, wondering where they go. Consider buying a fine-art jigsaw – or check out Thinks-dot-com for twelve free online art puzzles.
If you can't get to an art museum today, try taking a close look at art online. This website offers close-ups of paintings by Van Gogh.
Here are some suggestions about how to look at art. An entire other set of suggestions on looking at art can be found here.
I really like these suggestions; Fred Sanders is talking about how to look slowly—just perfect for the day! He goes into his eight suggestions at more depth in the linked article, but here they are in brief:
1. Squint at the painting.
2. Mentally flip it over.
3. Find the negative space.
4. Define the moment.
5. Re-Construct it.
6. Let the artist guide your eyes.
7. Say what you see.
8. Use background knowledge.
Also on this date:
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