“Great art should make you feel..... something”

Some of life’s greatest moments are when we are experiencing a truly deep emotional connection with a place, a person or an object. To truly feel passion and deep emotions when experiencing art, you need to mentally engage with it on a personal and immersive level.

Here is how you can connect with art on a more emotional level.....

Art, by function and purpose, is created to create joy, and good art does even more. Great art can create feelings that go past feel-good emotions….and can tap deeply into the feelings of amazement and personal transcendence…even Nirvana. Art has the ability to pull you out of the mundane, and to stir emotions and engage total cerebral connection with the art - as a profound human experience. It can be a moment where time seems to pause, an unparalleled journey of joy and wonder, allowing one to immerse themselves fully in the emotions, stories, and sheer creativity that has unfolded before their eyes.

Joy is not in things; it is in us. - Richard Wagner

Great art can be a catalyst to those special ‘moments’ that connect us deeply to our soul, that all senses combine together to create thoughts of awe-filled wonderment. Awe is defined as a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. When we experience awe, we feel a sense of transcendence and connection to something greater than ourselves. This can lead to positive emotions such as happiness, gratitude, and compassion.

I was giddy like a child, when I learned to feel joy. – Peter Ashworth

The overwhelming emotions experienced when encountering an impactful artwork can encompass a symphony of awe, reverence, and profound resonance, echoing the depths of the human experience and stirring the soul with an ineffable sense of wonder and connection. Art has the remarkable ability to evoke a wide range of emotions, from awe and wonder to introspection and joy. When we engage with art in a meaningful way, we open ourselves up to a world of beauty, inspiration, and profound experiences. In this article, I will help you explore how to truly experience joy through art by cultivating meaningful connections with the artwork and the creative process.

Be Present in the Moment.

I believe we should all try to live with a smaller footprint, that consumerism should be moderated, we should not strive for bigger – but for moderation, and that we should try to live with low carbon-high sustainability values wherever we can. The first step in experiencing art is to be present in the moment. This means taking the time to shut out life’s distractions, and observe the artwork without any competing thoughts, to allow yourself to be fully present and immersed in the experience. Take a moment to slow down, breathe, and clear your mind of any thoughts, worries or other tasks,…and just drink in the art….just you and it.. 

Allow Yourself to experience Joy and Wonder.

Just let yourself go, shut out the distractions, and embrace a capacity to experience a moment of profound joy and wonder. Try to find personal meaning and mental connection with the art. Allow yourself to be fully present in that moment, embrace a mindset of pure openness and curiosity, and immerse yourself in a personal sense of awe and appreciation.

Allow Yourself to Experience Joy and Wonder.

Just let yourself go, shut out the distractions, and embrace a capacity to experience a moment of profound joy and wonder. Try to find personal meaning and mental connection with the art. Allow yourself to be fully present in that moment, embrace a mindset of pure openness and curiosity, and immerse yourself in a personal sense of awe and appreciation.

Embrace Openness and Curiosity.

To truly experience joy through art, it's essential to approach it with an open mind and a sense of curiosity. Be willing to explore new artistic styles, mediums, and perspectives without judgment or preconceived notions. Allow yourself to be surprised, moved, and inspired by the art you encounter, even if it challenges your expectations or pushes you out of your comfort zone.

Look Beyond the Surface.

Art is more than just what meets the eye. To truly experience art, it's important to look beyond the surface and delve deeper into the artwork's meaning and message. Consider the artist's intentions, the historical and cultural context in which the artwork was created, and the emotions and ideas it evokes in you. Think about the purpose, and consider the art in the context of your personal worldview, life experiences and cultural perspectives. Try to connect deeply and cerebrally with the art.

An artwork is a living organism that forms a perception in your mind, in conjunction with a relationship between you the viewer, and the artists creative thinking and techniques. And now here it is...hanging on this wall solely for your pleasure.

If you mentally break down a piece of art into its multiple components and elements, you will begin to comprehend how each of its parts functions and how those parts work together in harmony to create art, just as if you were putting together a jigsaw puzzle. This way you can see not just what an artwork looks like, but how it’s created, what its various elements, colors, forms and techniques do, how they interrelate together, and how they contribute to the feelings and connectivity of the artwork as a whole.

Engage with Art Mindfully.

Take the time to engage with art mindfully, giving it your full attention and presence. Rather than rushing through a gallery or scrolling quickly through images online, slow down and immerse yourself in the artwork. Notice the colors, textures, and details. Pay attention to your emotional responses and how the artwork makes you feel. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment, experiencing the joy of connection with the art and its creator.

Find Personal Meaning and Connection.

Seek out art that resonates with you on a personal level andspeaks to your unique experiences, interests, and values. Look for themes,subjects, or artistic styles that evoke memories, spark inspiration, or igniteyour imagination. When you find artwork that resonates with you, take the timeto reflect on why it speaks to you and what it means in the context of your ownlife.

Create Your Own Art.

Don't limit yourself to being a passive observer of art—become an active participant by creating your own artwork. Engaging in the creative process can be a profoundly joyful and fulfilling experience, whether you're painting, drawing, sculpting, or experimenting with mixed media. Allow yourself to express your thoughts, emotions, and innermost feelings through art, embracing the joy of self-expression and creativity.

Share Your Love of Art with Others

Art has the power to bring people together and foster connections between individuals. Share your love of art with others by discussing your favorite artworks, visiting galleries and museums with friends and family, or attending art-related events and workshops. Engaging in meaningful conversations about art can deepen your appreciation for the artwork and enhance your understanding of different perspectives.

Support Emerging Artists.

Seek out opportunities to support emerging artists and invest in their work. By purchasing artwork directly from artists or attending local art shows and exhibitions, you not only acquire beautiful pieces for your collection but also support the creative community and help artists continue to pursue their passion.

Practice Gratitude and Appreciation.

Cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciationfor the beauty and joy that art brings into your life. Take a moment each dayto reflect on the artwork that has inspired you, brought you joy, or touchedyour heart. Whether it's a stunning painting, a thought-provoking sculpture, ora captivating photograph, express gratitude for the artists who create theseworks and the enriching experiences they provide.

Be Open to New Ideas.

Being open to new ideas creates new ways to see things, and will open up new ideas and understandings. Being open to other perspectives begins with cultivating a mindset of curiosity and receptivity, where you actively seek out new perspectives you may have previously rejected....With a new piece of art, try to be remain flexible and open in your thinking. Embrace the unknown with a willingness to challenge your current assumptions and beliefs, recognizing that innovation often emerges from stepping outside of familiar patterns. Cultivate a culture of constructive dialogue and collaboration, valuing input from others while being open to constructive criticism. Embrace failure as a learning opportunity, understanding that experimentation and being open to new ideas is a vital part of growth.....and in fact is how humans have advanced over 30,000 years. Foster an environment where creativity thrives by exploring different disciplines, engaging in interdisciplinary learning, and exposing yourself to a variety of art experiences. Look deeply within the art....look at techniques....and try to be curious about what the artist was thinking. Ultimately, being open to new ideas requires a commitment to "just being open to new ideas," and to continuous learning and a willingness to explore the possibilities that lie beyond your comfort zone.