Experiment: Successful

My bench.

Or at least I was happy with the result of my slow art “experiment”– 30 minutes staring at one painting. I poked around the museum a bit, and eventually chose one of Monet’s Water Lillies. This was mainly because it had the cushiest bench in front of it. So I sat in the middle, put on some music to drown out distracting conversations, and looked.

And looked.

And looked.

It was actually quite interesting. I pondered over how Monet layered the paint and what his method of working was like. I tried to imagine what time of day he painted at. I’ve been to Giverny, and I tried to imagine him on that dark green Japanese bridge staring right down at the water. He really jams the water right up in your face, and without any kind of focal point. I grew to love the yellow at the edges, and to dislike the central purple area toward the right (it doesn’t recede as I felt it should).

What I really loved about the whole experience was how peaceful it felt, as if I had all the time in the world. It was like meditating, except a hundred times easier because I had something to look at. The time went surprisingly quickly. I realized I should do this more often, and not just with art.


5 thoughts on “Experiment: Successful

  1. I really like hearing how this went. Do you think you would have bothered with the yellow if you hadn’t spent more time looking it. I have sat and looked at paintings but not for 30 mins. I really like the idea of putting on earphones to drown out the surrounding chatter and devoting 30mins to one painting.

  2. I wouldn’t have thought about the yellow, or the layers of paint that went into it. I really enjoyed doing this. Especially with large popular museums like MoMA, it can be all too easy to rush around rather than really consider something deeply.

  3. What a great idea. I loved reading the results of your experiment. I’ve never done this (although I seem to linger longer than most people I’ve ever been to a gallery with) but you’ve inspired me to give it a go when I’m next in one – thank you!

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