Against my better judgment, I have acquired an appreciation of art.
I’ve spent the last eighteen years of my life studiously avoiding an interest in art. But now, I find myself actually looking forward to learning about it. I was reading my western civilization textbook and found a painting by a guy named Peter Brueghel the Elder from 16th century Europe and I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s surprisingly advanced for his time period. I could almost mistake him for an American.” I don’t know how this happened to me!
Strike that. On second thought, I do know what happened. I started quiz bowl. In case you don’t know, quiz bowl is like team Jeopardy, but harder. It’s known by some (probably mainly our coaches) as the “varsity sport of the mind.” It’s also a ton of fun, has minimal time commitment, and requires that we travel to get to competitions. Because the questions encompass pretty much every subject known to man, it is extremely useful to specialize, and most people have several specialties. For instance, we have one girl on the varsity team who is our science whiz. We also have a sports guy who is also very good at Greek mythology questions. Personally, my specialties include antebellum and War Between the States period American history, current events, Egyptian and Norse mythologies, and—you guessed it—art.
The art thing started when I downloaded an app to my tablet, called “Quizlet.” It’s basically a database of quizzes you can use for any purpose. It is absolutely invaluable to a quiz bowl player. I knew by that point that art comes up a lot in practice, so I decided to take a quick peak at one art quiz that I found. Before I knew it, I had 42 individual pieces of artwork memorized by image, name, and artist. Suddenly, I started noticing my friends looking to me when it came to questions about art, and you know what, that felt pretty good. I kept looking up more and more artworks just so that I could answer questions in practice.
Eventually, however, I stopped just doing it for practice. A few weeks ago, I noticed that I had something I had never possessed before: preferences for art. For instance, for sculptures, I prefer Michelangelo to Donatello. For paintings, I like Rembrandt and Da Vinci a lot. I also like Americans like Wyeth and Hopper. I even prefer Renaissance period art to medieval art.
I’m honestly not sure where all of the sudden fondness for art came from, but I figure it’s probably the same place that my enjoyment of classic literature comes from. Speaking of literature, my post tomorrow will be on my TBR list. That’s “to be read” for those of you that don’t speak nerd.
See y’all tomorrow!