(Bathing Men by Edvard Munch)
Visiting art museums is a holy time for me. The whole experience oils the mechanics of my creativity & fills me w/ fresh enthusiasm towards art and the art life.
But if you’re not in the habit of being mindful, you could accidentally miss it. How tragic to passively peruse dozens of works of art…and then realize you were worrying about some bullshit the whole time!
Ideally, walking through an art exhibit of any kind should and absolutely can produce the following positive results inside you:
- An enhanced admiration for the imagination of your fellow artists in this world.
- A fresh respect for the collective human imagination.
- Loads of inspiration to produce your own art!
Here’s a few easy ways to get the most out of your next art museum experience:
- Schedule your art museum on a day you actually have time to absorb it. (Don’t squeeze it in between dropping off some mail and rushing over to the grocery store for some fresh pasta)
- Practice mindfulness as you view the art. Let the thoughts come and go. Become aware of your breath. Breathe in and out. Notice the paintings. Examine their texture, colors, the choices the artist made. Look deeply at the painting and just breathe and be there with it. Become aware of the church-like quiet of the museum. Disentangle from your thought loops simply by becoming conscious of them. Once you do this, you’ll enter the moment. Your consciousness will increase. You’ll be better able to process the stimuli around you.
- Use marijuana. (Disclaimer: This only applies if you enjoy marijuana. If getting high isn’t your thing, then don’t do it. Your disdain for the drug will cancel out the benefit…) If you’ve never walked through an art museum stoned, its definitely something to try at least once. By supplementing the art-viewing w/ marijuana you can space out while staring at a painting and get lost speculating on the wild moves the painter made to get this or that effect. You might even feel prompted to try something similar on your own canvas…
So, take your time. Breathe. Discover new art. Enjoy it. Keep that feeling w/ you for the rest of the day. Then, go home and do something.