(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:
- Admiration and enthusiasm for the imagination of your fellow artists and 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.
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.
Ever feel the impulse to knock out some fast art when you’re on holiday?
If you’re like me, you probably prefer not to stuff your suitcase full of painting supplies. They’re bulky. They’re messy. Plus paintings often take several days to complete…
Why not bring along a pad of paper & a few markers instead? They’re lighter than paints. They dry instantly and are far more low-maintenance.
Challenge yourself to knock out some fast sketches. If your art life normally involves long-term projects, you’ll be giving yourself the joy of breaking from that pattern. Keep it fast and loose and just see what happens.
Limiting yourself to markers is extremely liberating. You can use them in parks, cafes…anywhere. Draw the people and places around you and your art instantly becomes a cool souvenir from your trip.
So, find room for a slow moment. Focus your mind. Whip out the markers and paper and go for it.
I make you this promise: It will inject a little needed mindfulness into your vacation. You deserve to be present and engaged. Give yourself that gift.
This Matisse painting is called Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya. I like that Lydia’s been painted w/ the same colors as the Swedish flag and that her hair is misshapen on one side.
This one’s called Les toits de Collioure. Doesn’t it feel like the village you have to go through in the Nintendo game Zelda II—The Adventure of Link?
The videogame being played in my upcoming childrens book The Mannequins was inspired by Kid Icarus.
This afternoon, I watched a Swedish-dubbed Disney movie with my girlfriend’s sister’s daughter and it fueled one of my update-a-fairytale whims.
So now I’m knocking out the basic idea in an e-mail to myself, Charles Mingus’s piano album in the background.
I’ve had some practice now glancing at wikipedia summaries of fairytales and extracting the form and then transforming it on the fly.
I want it to be dark dark dark but also have <3.