The Experience of Visiting an Art Gallery

By Canadian Artist, Susan Seitz

Artists Insights - How to View a Collection of Original Paintings at a Gallery

As I prepare my 15 original paintings for the SHADOWS EXHIBIT at Southampton Art Centre, downtown Southampton, Ontario …

  • displays,
  • the order they should be viewed,
  • my written descriptions of each painting,
  • photos of different stages of some paintings,

I did a lot of thinking about the visitors experience visiting the Gallery.

I thought about who should visit the gallery, who I would expect to come and what I wanted everyone to experience when they arrived.

Planning an Art Gallery Visit:

Here are some of my tips … if you are planning to visit any art gallery exhibit.

  1. Will you go alone or invite someone to go with you.  Think about who could join you, without judgement, who might be able to discuss the paintings viewed, the feelings you got from the paintings.
  2. Do a little ‘pre-visit’ research.  Learning a bit about the artists who will be on display will enrich your experience. Google them, visit their websites, read about them.
  3. Go with an open mind, with no expectations, just experience what you see when you get there. Enjoy.
  4. Do a once through the entire exhibition, see what attracts you.
  5. Then go back to your favourite areas … read “invitation how to view this collection“.
  6. Take a few minutes to gather outside of the gallery and reflect on what you just witness (by yourself, or with your friends).  Discuss how different paintings moved you, emitted feelings, disturbed you, or brought you delight.


by Susan Seitz, Canadian Artist “SHADOWS EXHIBIT“, Southampton Art Centre.
  • Take in each painting.
  • Sit with it.
  • Reflect.
  • Be Curious.
  • Then read the writings created after your contemplation. 
  • Let the painting draw you in and make you want to sit a while.
  • Let the painting hold your gaze, leaving you wonder and be curious about so many things.
  • If the artist is on-site, engage with them. Most are honoured to share.

Shadows Gallery Show | Southampton Arts Centre

June 14 - July 4, 2021

“Shadows” is two separate bodies of work showing at once at Southampton Arts ~ “Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey through Grief” by Susan Seitz (Walkerton) and “Come and See | Culture Oppressed” by Brent Henry (Saugeen #29).

For More Information Contact Southampton Arts Centre Website HERE or Call 519 599 5068

Invitation In How To View This Collection

Take in each painting.  Sit with it. Reflect. Be curious.
Then read the writings created after your contemplation.

The Writings ~

There are writings beside each painting. They reflect the raw thoughts that were jotted down in my studio while I was in the process of creating each piece.

Most of the sentence structure and the words I used, have not been altered. 

This is who I was in that moment.

The studio notes, although they are reflecting the painting process / experience for me, they also hold deep reflection into my grief journey as a symbolic – metaphor. 

Each time I had an intuitive thought or a collection of words form in my mind, it inspired a conversation. I would write them down and invite curiosity into the space and asked: how is this thought I am having related to my grief story and/or the grief as a process?

What would grief do?

What would love do?

These answers would guide me into colour choices, movement of the brush and the overall composition. 

Each painting began with a photo reference I took in nature. 

Even the abstract pieces.

Each painting had a journey of its own.

Although this was a heavy subject to embark on, my time spent with this unfolding was comforting, healing and filled with rich awareness of where I am.  I felt a lot of magic and support, hope and kindness and I am so proud to share the end result of this journey with you.

I am often asked, when do you know when a painting is complete? I love this question. The short answer is ~ you know when you know! I felt a sense of completion with each painting.  I felt a sense of resolve.  A feeling of ‘coming full circle”.

Collectors and the public who are following my work have said, “there is something about your paintings that draw me in and make me sit a while – not sure why or what it is about them.”

Through the process of this collection, I really started to understand why this might be. 

There is this dance that takes place between me and the painting. 

I believe this dance leaves foot prints in the creation, that is recognizable …

… to ones soul. 

It is there, where the painting holds your gaze, leaving you to wonder and to be curious about so many things.

If I am in the gallery when you view this collection, please feel free to ask me detailed questions about my process.  I am always honoured to share.


UPDATE (June 25, 2021)

These are Some Fav's Still Available for Sale