How Art Can Change Life
I have mentioned on my About Me page that art and books have always been faithful buddies of mine, especially when life changed too quickly and too much. But even though it’s been with me that long, it can still give me those “ah ha” kind of moments.
When I do visual art, I have always preferred to capture beauty – especially natural beauty. Maybe in landscapes, maybe in still life, maybe in a cartoon-ey subject that came straight out of my imagination. Whatever it is, no matter what it is, I just want it make me feel good. This makes me think of one of the first quotes on my inspirational art quotes page:
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
So, while it may make me feel good, I am also hoping my artwork does the same for others. It seems to me that the world has enough pain and sadness without me adding it my creations. If I’m going to create a reality, why not make it a good one?
One of my bigger “ah ha” moments occurred when I read a chapter out that book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, a few years ago. I was already familiar with thoughts and feelings helping to create reality because I had read Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain a few years before that. I find these kind of books interesting reads because they offer you a way of finding joy in your current reality no matter what that might be. And how you can control how you think and feel regardless.
Anyway, in The Secret, there is a section where it talks about how this art/film director was visiting with a Feng Shui consultant who noticed that in every corner of the room there was a painting of a beautiful woman with her face turned away. The consultant remarked that based on that image, she guessed that the man was having a troubled romantic life. When he told her that while that was true, he loved that painting and had painted it himself, she said that made it worse because he was then putting all of his creativity into it.
The consultant asked him what it was that he wanted. He told her that he’d like to have three dates a week. So, she told him to paint a picture of himself with three women and replace the other images with the new painting. Apparently, over the next six months, he had quite a busy romantic life. When he met with the feng shui consultant again, he mentioned that he was ready for marriage. She told him to paint it. He did and within a year, he met his Ms. Right, and they got married.
I found this story very interesting because it touched on how art, literally, can change your life. And how one should be careful of what they hang on the walls and what rooms they hang them in. Because you never know how it may be affecting your life.
My brother used to be into scary movies. He told me how he once had a poster of some terrifying movie character on his bedroom wall. So, I wasn’t surprised to hear that he also had frequent nightmares of someone sneaking into his room at night and trying to stab him. Needless to say, I am hoping that he doesn’t have that kind of stuff on his walls anymore!
Maybe it’s because I’m so into art, but it’s odd to me that so many people are…well, I think, not aware enough of their surroundings – especially at home. Home decor is so incredibly important because you are looking at those things every day many times a day.
If you absolutely loathe the color orange and your mother-in-law gives you a giant table centerpiece that is 95% the shade of cheetos, then every time you look at that thing, you are going feel something…in your stomach, most likely, that is not going to feel too inspiring.
If you and your partner are having trouble being romantic and you also have a giant dramatic shipwreck painting hanging over your bed, then I’m telling you right now…please yank that thing off the wall! Put up some cuddling swans or something else, anything else, that makes you both feel romantic!
Make a list of what you’re into. Do you love music? Maybe you’re totally into string instruments. Well, either break out the paints or run to the online poster shop. Put a gorgeous painting of a violin over your couch.
Do you like animals? Are you a cat lover like me? Draw your favorite breed and let it honor your wall. (Be careful with something like this. If you have too many on the walls, you might end up with more pets than you bargained for! I want you to have peace remember?)
Go through magazines, look through Pinterest, find pictures that inspire you, make you feel peaceful, contented. Those are what you want to make your artwork.
Just so you know, it’s also okay to use art as something cathartic. There is nothing that is forbidding you to do so. I, personally, find writing to be a better tool for that for me. I have a journal that I use to purge things like that. Then I put it away and don’t usually look at it again. But maybe there are times you’re in the mood to draw or paint a dying flower or a lonely boat rusting in the harbor. My point is to just be aware of what you are looking at each and every day in front of your very eyes. That lonely boat may have suited your mood the day you painted it. But what about a day where you want to feel upbeat and cheerful and sing like a Disney Princess? The last thing you want to see is rust!
Also, get rid of clutter! It causes irritation when you can’t find something and it can give a feeling a chaos anyway. I cannot stand clutter now. It’s funny, because I used to throw everything all over the place without a care in the world. But sometime after I had my first child, I could no longer tolerate it. I guess that nesting instinct kicked in. It hasn’t left yet and I don’t think it ever will. Of course, with children, I am never going to be 100% clutter free.
We just recently moved into a new apartment and have new wall space to decorate. Right now a lot of them are blank but I don’t want to rush to put things up. I want to have things that make me feel at peace and also creative. I also want an atmosphere of family.
Some of these things are harder to do since losing my husband. I am surrounded by things that we bought together and photos we took together. This makes me happy and sad at the same time. But I often feel better with them up than I do with them gone altogether. I have kept it somewhat limited, however, by removing the things that I simply can’t bear to see at this time. I bought some new things – small things, like curtains or an area rug. So, in my case, I’ve got to find a balance in a very delicate situation.
You, most likely, have a happier situation, which will make it a little easier. I hope so anyway!!! No matter where you are, study your home and use art to help make it a true sanctuary for you and your family.