Anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can look at the wonderful paintings from over 150 institutions based in 40 different countries of the World.

Without getting on a plane or paying a small fortune, you can  watch slideshows of pictures or wander through different art galleries completely free, by simply visiting the Google Art Project.

Now six of Australia’s Art Galleries have added 1400 artworks from Australia. So people can look at Australian paintings online as well as the european and american masters.

These are the six institutions who have joined the Art Project, and below is a video that shows you how to use Google’s Art Project.

How To Use Google Art Project

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English: photo of the New South Wales Art Gallery

New South Wales Art Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pick A Gallery First

I enjoyed using the slideshow function (which is on the left side at the bottom. If you hover the mouse curser over those icons they will tell you what each one does.)

To start with I chose to look at the Art Gallery of New South Wales which I have visited many times and have strong affection for.  There is a Monet there of the ocean, thats a favourite. But I most remember a huge painting of cows in a field in the early morning, with the pale sunlight and long shadows through the trees. Each time I see it, my fingertips turn cold in the dawn light and my feet are wet with the dew on the grass, and I swear I can hear the cows moo! I just love it.

I especially like the Heidelberg movement artists, like Arthur Streeton and my favourite is hard to choose. The rainy days are good but so are the summer ones. More modern artists, such as Brett Whitely are old favourites as well. That ultramarine harbour will always stay with me.  I no longer live in Sydney so its wonderful to take a stroll down memory lane on the art project website and say hi to these old friends.

Golden Summer, Eaglemont by Arthur Streeton (1...Australian Paintings Online

How wonderful to know that now people in other countries can discover our artists and see Australia through their eyes. Paintings are so much softer on the mind than a photograph and their atmosphere so palpable, its uncanny.

I love photographs, especially of people, but I know how many hours go into painting a painting, and I will always marvel at how an artist can make velvet look so velvety, or make the drought sunburned stubble look so hard and prickly. Or make the depth and colours that we see but cannot describe.

I think I love Australian art so much because I discovered art in my first years in Australia when my family and I emigrated here from England. To new eyes this country was very strange, and these art works were probably painted by people who were also new in the country and trying to capture the “different light” as they called it.

Anyway, if you can visit one of the art galleries there are always new displays to see. I miss this part of living in the city. But if you live too far away or you find it hard to get around, then the Google art project is a feast of colour and images that is as close to the real thing as you’ll get while sitting in front of your computer.

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