October 8, 2012

Ever have one of those days when you just need to step back, and get away from your computer? I'm getting them more and more frequently these days, and I'm taking that as a sign that I'm not doing enough to keep my mind stimulated, outside of the digital world.

I used to be a frequent museum and gallery visitor, and when I was in the design industry, I had gorgeous paintings all around me where I worked. Last week I took my lack of focus and creativity to heart, and ventured over to SFMOMA for its monthly free day. The fact that it was hot outside - for once, in San Francisco - and they had air conditioning (we don't) was just a pleasant bonus.

I sat for a good 30 minutes in front of this Rothko. I know he's debated. You like him or you don't. It's frequently the "it's just rectangles painted on a canvas in different colors" argument that people use. But when you sit in front of it, and if you really take a moment to look into it, you see the swirls of the brushstroke, and you can actually feel the emotion of the painting.

But you have to put down your camera and phone for that.

I challenged myself to just look at these pieces first. Only after I observed them and enjoyed them did I take a quick photo for my inspiration files.

Where do you go for offline inspiration?

One of my favorite exhibits was a series of photographs of limestone blasts taken by Naoya Hatakeyama. The blasts, while destructive, had an ethereal quality that made them seem peaceful and serene.



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