Art History 101

Finding a New Hobby through Art

Rachel Witte 25 January 2021 min Read

Learn a new hobby during this time, they say. That is easier said than done, isn’t it? But, if you do find yourself looking for more inspiration with all this time on your hands, look no further than these artworks.

Knitting/Crocheting

There are companies now that will send you the supplies needed to start a new hobby; through subscription boxes, you can get new yarns and patterns each month.

a new hobby crocheting: Michael Peter Ancher, Skagen Girl, 1882, The Hirschprung Collection, Kopenhagen, Denmark.
Michael Peter Ancher, Skagen Girl, 1882, The Hirschprung Collection, Kopenhagen, Denmark. Wikimedia Commons.

Embroidery/Sewing

Have some needle and thread? An old jacket or pair of pants that need some extra love? A cute floral embroidery pattern might spruce them up in a unique way!

a new hobby sewing. Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing,
Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing, 1900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA.

Learn to Play an Instrument

If you’re like my family, you might have random musical instruments laying around the house. While you might not have a lute, perhaps pick up a keyboard or harmonica and learn to play a simple tune! Or maybe Picasso’s favorite- a guitar!

a new hobby music Bernardo Strozzi, Lute Player,
Bernardo Strozzi, Lute Player, ca. 1630-35, Kunsthistorischen Museum, Vienna, Austria.

Read a New Book

How many of us have a TBR (to be read) pile of books a mile high? Regardless of being in quarantine, there is a high probability the list is always long. We add and add and add and never seem to have enough time in the day. Take a note from this young woman’s “book” and enjoy these slower and quieter moments when you are able.

read a book. Ivan Kramskoi, Woman Reading/Portrait of Sofia Kramskaya, ca. 1886, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
Ivan Kramskoi, Woman Reading/Portrait of Sofia Kramskaya, ca. 1886, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Cook!

Have you been interested in trying a new recipe? Now would be the time to jump on that. There are plenty of examples of food and cooking throughout art history; perhaps because much of our lives surround the topic.

find a new recipe, Diego Velázquez, An Old Woman Cooking Eggs, 1618, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh,
Diego Velázquez, An Old Woman Cooking Eggs, 1618, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Go the easy route with some eggs, or the more technical with learning to make various types of bread from scratch.

bread a new hobby, Jean-François Millet, A Woman Baking Bread, 1618, Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Netherlands.
Jean-François Millet, A Woman Baking Bread, 1618, Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Netherlands.

Napping

If we are being honest with ourselves, how many of us would rather be napping all day than having to figure out what else to do? A good nap is capable of solving many problems.

take a nap, Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, ca. 1895, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, ca. 1895, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Writing

Writing can be therapeutic and fun. A small step to getting into writing on a more regular basis is to journal your thoughts and/or day. Start small with a sentence, then a paragraph, then you will be well on your way to filling pages in no time.

write a poem, Henriette Browne, A Girl Writing/The Pet Goldfinch
Henriette Browne, A Girl Writing/The Pet Goldfinch, ca. 1870-74, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, UK.

Drinking

Want to learn how to make your favorite beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic? You can look to art for inspiration on what to make and/or drink.

have a drink, Pieter de Hooch, Woman Drinking with Soldiers,
Pieter de Hooch, Woman Drinking with Soldiers, 1658, Louvre, Paris, France.

Give it a Go

Whatever hobby you decide to pursue, remember that it does not need to be super complicated. It can be as simple as you make it. Did you have any hobbies in your childhood you find yourself reminiscing about? Why not pick that up, again? Dive into your kids’ art supplies and paint a new picture. Write a poem or song. Whatever you choose, do it with all your heart.

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