Sunday, February 19, 2012

A new game

When I'm alone it's my habit to sit in front of the television with my laptop wasting hours of time on crap television and twitter (I would love to say I was doing something more constructive, I always mean to be doing something more constructive, but somehow that's where the time goes). Anyway that's all going to change - I've found something much better to do on-line than stare obsessively at Le Creuset and update my amazon recommends.

The Your Paintings project has crossed my personal radar a couple of times but I hadn't paid it much attention until the other day when I saw something on twitter (it's not all a waste of time...) and had another look. The idea is to digitally catalogue the estimated 200 000 oil (acrylic or tempera) paintings held in public collections, the project is just over half way complete at the moment but the catalogue is already impressive - put in your artists name and find what paintings are out there, where they are, and contact details for the gallery so you can check if something is on display.

It's all adding up to be a brilliant public resource (the result of a partnership between the BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation) but even better you can get involved by tagging pictures. I'm hooked (I've done 8 so far) my degree was in History of Art but that was a longish time ago now and it's a while since I've really engaged with art in this way. It's not that I stopped looking at pictures, or even that I stopped thinking about what I was looking at, but skills that I took for granted as a student have rather lapsed - it's harder to describe what I'm looking at than I assumed it would be. It's also quite rewarding - a reconnection with a part of my life that I have very happy memories of, as well as dusting off old skills. I've already discovered a painting I'd love to go and see (In Aberdeen which is inconvenient to get to but overdue a visit) and feel quietly inspired. 

It's a great project and if you feel like spending a bit of time doing something mildly constructive give it a go - details here

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