Everybody should go to art museums. Belong to a local one if you can – it completely changes the feel to be a member and be able to just walk in any time you feel like it. Gone is the pressure to run around and quickly see everything to squeeze out every penny of value from your admission. Go on weeknights near closing and you’ll often have the place almost entirely to yourself.
Artists of all levels, from just-thinking-about-it to professional, should go to museums every chance they get. When you travel to a new city, go to at least one museum. You’ll see a mix of the high-end, big-name artists you love, and usually some local flavor as well from artists from the region. The more art you experience, the wider your mental repertoire becomes. And you have to see paintings in person. Looking at them on your phone, tablet or PC does them no justice at all. It can serve as an incentive to go to the museum, perhaps, but I’ve been absolutely floored by seeing paintings in person that I didn’t glance at twice on small screens.
Since about 2010, I’ve brought a journal to every museum I’ve gone to and taken notes on paintings and works I’ve seen that have grabbed me for one reason or another. It’s all part of my continuing education as an artist – every painting I’ve loved or been inspired by is a painting I want to extract something from and try to bring it into my own work.
This section is a growing travelogue of museum trips I’ve made, and the works I was drawn to on each visit.