Yesterday I watched a great Ted talk by Tracey Chevalier called Finding the Story Behind the Painting – the link to watch it is above :-
I have always visited art galleries and felt slightly like I’m not sure what I should be looking for. Is it the composition, colours, the story or meaning behind the artwork? And with so many images to study I find myself skipping some paintings after 20 minutes or so and then feeling like a failure and that I mustn’t appreciate art or understand it like most of the people I see deep in thought and discussion.
When doing my own artwork I am often find a block or I’m not sure what I am trying to say through my work.
Then I watched this Ted Talk by Tracy Chevalier. Tracy’s approach to viewing pieces of art and in particular how to read art when in galleries and museums is a break through for me. Firstly Tracy advises to walk quite quickly around the gallery and pick out the pieces that call out to you. Then go back through the gallery back to those artworks and study them, why do they call out to you? what are they saying? what is the story?
Tracy goes onto share her favourite pieces of artwork, one in particular is the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, 1665. She doesn’t exactly know why she likes the image, but that there is something in the girls eyes that calls out to her. So much so that Tracy creates a whole story around the girl, why is she looking like that, why she looking wistfully or is it sadness? The end result is a novel based on Tracy’s fictional story of the Girl with A Pearl Earring which was then made into a movie featuring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth 2003.
Immediately after watching the Ted Talk I watched this film. I am now filled with a whole new perspective to viewing art and creating work.
I hope you find this post inspirational and if you haven’t watched Girl with a Pearl Earring I definitely suggest a watch.