Most of us understand tasting food far better than how to experience art. You only know if you like a food by putting it on your tongue. Nobody puts all their trust in the flowery description printed in the menu. Imagine a tour at art museum where a well informed docent takes a eager group into a gallery and proceeds to tell them at length about the art work that will soon be hung on the gallery's bare walls. No matter how entertaining, it wouldn't be much of a tour.
What is a landscape painting? That two word phrase doesn't tell you much at all. You have to look before you decide whether a particular piece speaks to you or not. You simply have to "taste" it.
Let me show you two new oil paintings of mine- both with lots of water, islands, and sky. They're both horizontal compositions. And both are lit from the sky. Beyond that they depart radically from each other.
Above is Northern Sky, oil on panel, 7 x 10 1/2". It's intimate and it creamy and buttery as its violet clouds blur into the soft yellows of the sky. It's about casting one's gaze upwards. It's a reverie to the end of the day.
And here is Memorial, oil on panel, 18 x 36" and it's altogether different in feeling. It is cool in color. It is expansive both in spreading your eye's glance to the left and right hopping among all the islands and in pulling you up to see the soft glare of an unseen cool moon. It's a painting that is full of information about the solid forms of things. It has a mystery to it, but it's like a dream where everything remains in sharp focus.
Imagine if I had only told you about these two paintings instead of showing them to you. How little you would have to go on. One can learn a lot from an engaging and informed speaker or writer on art. But you can learn a hundred times more just quietly looking at a painting. Go ahead and go at art the same way you dig into a meal- taste the art with your eyes.