I spent a lot of time outdoors as a kid, soaking up the sun, enjoying the moods of the landscape, sitting on the shore of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico with its rhythmic tides and lapping waters. Watching the water ebb and flow put me in a rather transcendental and warm and fuzzy state of mind. Now, the sights of mountain seasons call to mind natures rhythms and wash over me like warm gulf waters. It is no surprise that my adult painting themes have always gravitated to expressive water scenes and abstracted mountain landscapes as I try to communicate that indescribable state of mind that beauty evokes.
Recently I read about a neurobiologist who has done quantifiable studies on how the brain reacts to beauty. Semir Zeki, of the University of London, specializes in neuroesthetics. He measured the correlation of brain activity when humans experienced love, desire and beauty, and has found that the parts of the brain that respond to visual art and music that the subjects identified as beautiful are the same areas that “light up” when experiencing love and desire. If you want a much more in-depth explanation, just look him up, he has some very interesting videos and articles that explain much more fully than I can.
My takeaway is that it is a scientifically proven fact that my experiences with the beauty of nature, and my desires to recreate these scenes are explained by science and how our brains work. I have always felt the urge to experience that sensation that beauty evokes. And it is so exciting when others tap into that feeling when they look at art work. They might sense something familiar, or just enjoy something they cannot explain.
Looking at beautiful paintings can be “Almost like Being in Love” as the song goes. It makes sense that if we really want to enhance our lives and live our most self-actualized life, we will make sure we surround ourselves with beautiful creations both in visual art and music. (Most of the painters I know listen to music while they create, by the way). When you give someone one of a kind handmade art, you are giving a bit of love that will resonate with them every day and stimulate a happy and fulfilled mood. Waking up to art can set the stage for happiness. As the great lyricist, Fredrick Loewe wrote, “There's a smile on my face, For the whole human race, Why, it's almost like being in love.”
Visit 310 ART to see original art created with love. 191 Lyman St, #310, Asheville, NC 28801. See 310art.com for more information can our class schedule.