Aesthetics or emotions?
Deep down I think I’ve always had a quiet understanding how art can unknowingly affect our mood, however, more recently it’s become a mindful shift towards intentionally including art in my everyday life. Allow me to share why.
When we first think about what art really is, we immediately make an association with what we see and how it stimulates our visual senses. Indeed, art can be aesthetically pleasing but have you ever considered that it can be emotionally satisfying also?
Take a brief interlude to recall a visit to a gallery, your favorite restaurant, or perhaps a familiar setting such as a loved one’s living room. Close your eyes and begin to imagine yourself there. Picture the scene that surrounds you, including the images that adorn the walls, and contemplate not only the subject of the visual art in this location but how it makes you feel.
Does it transport you to another time or place where the memories are sweet and filled with nostalgia? Do the shapes and colors lift your mood or make you feel at peace? Pause to really ruminate the feelings or emotions that arise to the surface in this moment.
The psychological impact of art
Conscious creation for subconscious satisfaction. Whether we realize it or not, art has long been associated with our internal wellbeing. Described as,
“the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the senses and emotions,”
it has a profound ability to influence us not only sensorially, but psychologically also. Artists themselves will openly share how the ritual of creativity can have a positive impact on their mood, yet the same is thought to be true when it comes to consuming the arts also.
Standing in the presence of a painting, photograph, illustration, or even a sculpture can be a heartening experience, however, it’s often difficult to put our finger on exactly why we love a piece of art. Deep down it’s so much more than simply appreciating how something looks, it’s
"a subconscious uplifting of both our physical body and cognitive state."
As an art enthusiast I love seeking out memorable places because of their visual beauty, knowing that beyond delighting my eyes, time spent surrounded by breathtaking expressions of human skill and imagination also feeds my soul.
Beyond the beauty
One such occasion was my very first visit to the French capital’s stunning Neoclassical mausoleum. Now the final resting place for many of the country’s beloved luminaries, I was just 27 when I fell in love with the Panthéon in Paris and although 15 years have to come to pass since, I can still recall the splendor of its light-filled interior, ornately embellished ceiling, and historic works of art at every turn. It was without hesitation one of the most spectacular places I’d ever seen.
Thinking back, I distinctly remember being mesmerized by the whole experience, inspiring me to dream about someday having a place of my own to fill with art that instilled the same sentiment. Early last year I found myself in that very place (perhaps more often that I would have liked), however, with it I began to reminisce about my visit to Paris. Recalling the overwhelming joy and happiness I felt being inside the Panthéon, I decided to dress up the walls of my living space so that I could begin each day looking at something that would bring me peace and contentment. So I set to work taking photographs of flowers.
Floral art joy
In the same way that creating some of my floral art prints have brought me immeasurable happiness, experiencing them in a home setting brings a sense of great wellbeing beyond their initial visual beauty.
Late Morning Spring Dew for example, was captured with the intention of evoking thoughts of sunrise and inspired new beginnings. Viewers are often first drawn to the warm, ombre hues of this piece and the delicate accentuated dewdrops. The colors enhance the feeling of hope and the open form of the ranunculus blossoms is irresistibly cheerful.
Similarly, Familie uses radiant warmth to elicit felicity, yet beyond its visual vibrancy there is a feeling of togetherness and belonging that in turn stimulates happiness. Both of these art prints foster pleasure and repose and invite moments of mirth when appreciated in the home.
Two other art prints that conjure up joy for me personally are Born in Blue and Dahlia VII. A spring staple from my youth, hyacinths will forever transport me to another time and place. Beyond the memories they hold for me personally, however, these striking blue blooms encourage the viewer to experience feelings of serenity and spirituality. Often associated with feeling safe and relaxed the color blue is a calmative hue, which sequentially makes us feel at ease. Equally, although Dahlia VII represents change, it’s her color and form that invites mellow thoughts of love and kindness that ultimately enhance one’s mood.
Art speaks directly to our soul
Ever since recollecting my trip to Paris and filling my home with things I love, I’ve come to appreciate how being surrounded by artwork I enjoy introduces an internal contentment and continual feeling of tranquility. Beyond making our personal spaces beautiful, art has the ability to change the way we feel or to carry us off to someplace we’d rather be. A walk down your hallway might be a stroll through a secluded garden in Florence with the addition of my Sunrise and Sunset art prints for example, or perhaps the bright, golden tones of sunflowers in my summer series will transport you to the open fields of Southern France. Art beckons our attention, stirs our imagination, and captures our hearts - whether we’re visiting someplace new or reliving a favorite memory, it somehow manages to speak directly to our soul.
Proven to enhance our emotional wellbeing, raise serotonin levels, lower stress, and reduce anxiety, creating and or viewing art is a practice any one of us can include in our daily lives. The realization that you don’t have to be an artist to experience the psychological benefits of art is a recent one for many people (myself included) and while I love creating floral art prints for my collectors to enjoy in their own homes, it’s been an eye-opening exercise to introduce them into my own space too.
Curious to discover which flowers bring about feelings of joy and happiness for you? Spend some time browsing my art print collections and consider adding some positive floral energy to your own surroundings!