In general, understanding art is not something extremely difficult, however in many cases one’s mind might be lost, while looking at a painting, sculpture or any other art piece.
Having an ability to imagine is key, in my opinion. First, we begin from one or few of our senses. Mostly we start from general observation, such as size, allocation of main parts, textures, colors, followed by details. In some cases, context or surrounding might have a huge impact on our perception. For example, painting might be a result of an artwork series, composed from many different objects. Another good example is art accompanied by a specific type of music or light. All this is given in order to get more involved into the atmosphere of the artwork and, at the end, understand it in a better way.
Once we start observing, our imagination gives us signals about hypothetic meaning of the artwork. We begin to see differences in colors and tones which inform us about character and general mood of the piece. If the artwork is an abstract, it’s extremely important not to limit yourself to your life experiences( since in most cases our imagination is based on), but try to broaden your horizon, by diverging from past experiences towards something totally new.
Sometimes it might even be useful to close your eyes for few minutes and try to observe which objects or feeling you have…
And then comes an “aftertaste”, an overall impression from the artwork. Actually, it’s very common that during the course of life , your opinion, your emotion and feelings about art might change. Since many of the artworks can touch a lot of emotions, and by this, can cause uncertainty.
Its necessary to remember, that when evaluating art, there is no right or wrong opinion. Every single person has their own vision, based on personal experience, abilities to get into the mood of the artists, to understand the idea or part of it.