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How To Appreciate Art?

Helping you learn to understand and enjoy art

You finally bought a handmade oil painting to decorate your living room as recommended by your interior designer. But what now? While it looks beautiful and brightens up the room, you really couldn’t really understand it. So when one of your house guests asked you about the painting, you didn’t know what to say.

We understand that understanding art comes with the practice for some. Not everyone has a flair for appreciating and interpreting art, which is completely fine. To help you learn to understand and enjoy art, here are 4 easy steps that you can follow.

Unlocking the story behind an art

Art appreciation is for everyone. For a long time, many people thought that one must be “in the know” to truly appreciate an artwork. But this is not true. 

Art can mean different things to different people. It could be an expression of emotions or making a political statement. It could be about the recreation of memory or simply be a thing of beauty. To understand and interpret it on your own, all you have to do is follow these quick tips-

Look at the Art

Viewing art is the obvious first step towards understanding it. But rather than just glancing at it quickly and moving on, take some time to observe it. Take a minute to note down the basic qualities of the art. Is it an oil painting or a graphic work? Is it on canvas or any other medium? Is it smooth to touch or textured? Does it depict something as it is or is it abstract? Take all these elements into consideration when you are trying to interpret art. 

Learn about Art/Artist

When you are trying to understand a work of art, it helps if you have an idea as to what kind of art it is, its year of conception and who the artist is. Often, artists use a particular artform or specific painting technique to represent a particular situation, scenery and idea that may have something to do with its time of creation. Some artists may also refer to a particular style of art- like renowned Post-Impressionist Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, who created 860 oil paintings characterised by bold colours and dramatic, impulsive and expressive brushwork as a reaction against Impressionists concern for the naturalistic depiction of light and colour.

A little research into the art and artist will help you go a long way when trying to understand art.

Make interpretations

Now that you have made some discoveries about the artwork, you can try to draw your conclusions about it. Think about possible meanings and narratives that the artwork could have. What do the artist and the art technique tell you about the time when it was created? Does it represent forgotten landscapes or an era that has gone by? 

Sometimes, the art may not be a literal depiction, but rather an abstract thought that leaves the audience to interpret it at their own will.

Find what YOU like

Every one of us has preferences when it comes to art, whether we realise it or not. Some may prefer abstract paintings to photorealism as it gives them a space to think. Some may like bright colours and bold strokes while others may like artworks in subtle and muted tones. So when you are learning to understand and appreciate, it is natural to enjoy a particular type of art over others.

Even if you find something that you like and enjoy, there are many other options for you to explore. So keep an open mind and continue observing art that’s outside your tastes.



Understanding, interpreting and appreciating art is not as complicated as many people believe. To admire an artwork, all you need is an interest to learn and an open mind. Follow these techniques when you see an interesting sculpture or an abstract painting and you may be able to uncover its meaning and appreciate its beauty never before.

If you are interested in buying artworks for your home check out our website for modern and minimalistic handmade oil paintings.

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