Why art makes me happy . . . and inspired.

There’s that word again . . . inspired.

All this talk of inspiration has made me think about those things that inspire me and send me off with an excitement to start “making” something, anything. It’s like a little fire-in-the-belly moment I’m after.

Nature, certainly, in its various forms and circumstances is a major source of inspiration. It’s nearly impossible to not be inspired by the majesty of somewhere like Yosemite, or by the magic and mystery of a Norwegian fjord.

But in all honesty, what really gets me going and eager to create something of my own is art. And not only does it inspire, but it makes me happy, satisfied, curious, stimulated.

Art is pretty magical. Did you know, in fact, that there have been studies done that show that looking at art stimulates, among other things, the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls the body’s movement?

What that means is that every fiber of your being – your senses, your intellect, your emotions, even your physical body – responds to works of art.

I’m mostly talking about art in the form of paintings, photography, sculpture, woodworking, and other handcrafts. But, of course, performance art – theatre, music, dance – are equally inspiring. And let’s not forget writers. Where would we be without their stories and perspectives?

One of the greatest things about art is that it’s not for anything. It’s not there to make you feel better. In fact, it may unsettle or upset you. But it will almost always make you feel (even if what you feel is that a particular piece of art is not for you.)

To me, art helps us see our world through a different lens. Artists tell us stories with their art, giving us a different viewfinder, so to speak. Sometimes, studying the art of times past helps me put a framework around current times, reminding me that we are pretty resilient as humans and societies.

Viewing something from a living artist is the most thrilling to me, though, because it’s representing the world I currently live in. I love to witness their take on it all. Whether I agree with it or not is of no consequence. It’s just there to be a tool for expanding my own perception.

On top of all that, I’m in awe of the makers. The artists. Actually, I’m a bit of an artist groupie. No one artist in particular (except for my husband. See photo below.). I’m just amazed at the raw talent and drive and courage of people who create paintings or photographs that mesmerize me, or who put words together in such a way that stops me in my tracks and makes my heart skip a beat.

Their courage at putting their heart and soul out there for us to look at – and judge – is breathtaking. And their courage at exposing truth from their view in hopes of reaching and touching others is heart-stopping.

Art offers us a portal through which we might suspend our own judgment in order to learn, to expand, to break out of the left-brain thinking that can keep us stuck – in time, in a rut, in our own opinion – if only we step through it.

I would be forlorn to live a life, or in a world, without art and artists.

OK, so enough said. Art, in its many forms, inspires me. This simple statement reminds me that rather than waiting for the opportunity to visit a gallery or museum or whatever, I can sit my fanny down and peruse a number of beautiful books filled with art, and most likely get a similar benefit as an in-person experience.

So, I hope you explore, or continue to explore, some kind of art. Even if you’re not typically interested in it or you feel unsure about it, give it a shot. Even 20 minutes may open something up in you. At the very least, it’s that breaking-out-of-the-norm thing that can inspire you to keep trying new things in life. And that is always inspiring.

What do you think? Are you an art lover, or not so much but ready to give it a try?

Till next time,



  1. Beverly
    January 19, 2018 / 8:00 am

    Besutifully said! I love the hubby’s picture too. WOW! 🖌

  2. January 19, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Many people are uncomfortable with art, paintings and sculptures, because they think they have to figure it out or understand it. Perhaps you could say that about political art, however, really good political art visually stands on it’s own with out having to understand the message.

    Nope, the beauty of art is that you simply have to feel something about it. I either love, hate, or don’t care about a painting. For me, going to an art museum or gallery and seeing the original work of art is a far more rewarding experience. It can be breath taking and exhilarating. The first time I saw the original Mona Lisa in real life, I became an art lover. That moment changed my life. Thanks Mom and Dad.

    The exception may be photography. Photography is fantastic because it’s meant to be printed and can be reproduced as originally photographed. High quality books of photography are a treasure.

    Returning to left-brain-land to doing my taxes. I hate going to that land.

  3. Terry Devine
    January 19, 2018 / 10:24 am

    Aaahhhh, yes! So well said and inspiring in itself!
    Thank you!

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