Way before things got weird, April 4 was declared Slow Art Day. I had not heard of this until I read a British magazine (The Simple Things) that said Slow Art Day is more than a decade old and celebrated worldwide. It’s the one day a year when museums and galleries invite visitors to linger … even stop … in front of works of art to observe them.
The article’s author, Susie Hodge, quoted Georgia O’Keefe on the need for slow art. She said she created her huge flower paintings because “Nobody sees a flower — really. It’s so small it takes time — we haven’t time — and to see takes time.”
We can’t go to a museum today, but we can look at pictures online. I have a Pinterest board called My Own Art Museum, filled with works of art that I enjoy. You might want to create your own version.
For Slow Art Day, the experts suggest we look at an artwork, noting its colors and the impact that it is having on us. After 30 seconds, look away and try to remember what you saw. Then, look even closer, thinking about shapes, lines, colors, textiles, composition (layout), materials and subject matter.
Here are some questions to help:
- Can you tell what story the artwork is telling?
- What setting, time and place are being depicted?
- What’s the mood? How do you know that?
- What do you think the artist is trying to communicate?
- What does it remind you of?