When I work on a painting, I try to account for different possible settings the piece might end up in. I recently blogged about how lighting affects the way a painting is viewed (see December 2007). For this entry, I'd like to talk about something very simple that you can do on your own to make your next art viewing a more complete experience.
It's really about how you position yourself in reference to the painting. Many of us walk right up to a work, examining certain nuances that attracted our eye in the first place (as illustrated in the image to the right, top), but rarely, do we take the time to step back from that same painting to see how all of those things work together (image below). By doing so, you just might gain a different perspective, where the art can be more easily observed as a whole. Notice how certain elements can be lost or enhanced, depending how far away you are from the work; sometimes, the composition itself seems to change.
Personally, I am not satisfied with my work if it doesn't look as good standing one foot away from it as it does twenty feet from it. My goal is to always give my audience something new to look at. In other words, I hope to attract your eye from twenty feet away, and still give you more to look at as you approach the piece, moving from the initial impression of the composition to an intimate perspective where you can observe the colors mix and mingle right in front of your eyes. I want you to see something new every time you look at one of my paintings. Next time you go to view artwork, particularly mine, I would encourage you to try different perspectives and see if it enhances your appreciation for the work- I think you just might be pleasantly surprised.