The Importance of Seeing the Whole Picture

The Importance of Seeing the Whole Picture

Taking a Step Back to Find Value

October 02, 2019

Recently, I took my daughters (4 and 5 years old) to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. While there I found time to teach them a valuable life lesson. 


As we walked around, we came up to one of my favorite paintings, Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Before they saw it, I had them close their eyes, and I brought them over to stand right in front of it.


When you look at a small section of some paintings up close, particularly abstract art, you might not think you see anything particularly skillful, nor even artful. I’ve often had the thought when looking at paintings up close, “Well, I could do that.”


I asked my daughters to open their eyes and tell me what they saw. “Dots. Different colors.” I asked, “Anything else?” They said “No, just colorful dots.”