Art is good for you: discuss (part 1)

Art High founder, Suzanna Gregg, considers the value of art to the individual.

N.B. No pictures here: I have resisted including images of my favourite paintings, not wishing to force my own taste in art onto you.

Art is good for you. That is a bold statement. What do you think, or perhaps I should ask, how do you feel, because for me art is all about feeling. Whether I am viewing or creating art, it is the feeling rather than the thought that is powerful. How does this work? Read on.

I do not claim to be an expert in the field of fine art, but I do know what I like and why I like it. I enjoy art that calls to me when I walk into a room – the colours, the form, the story. At closer inspection I find pleasure in both the paint and its narrative. A combination of colours can lift my mood, energise, bring a sense of security or peace, excitement or fun. The story I read in a painting may not be that intended by the artist, or understood by the expert, but it is meaningful and relevant to me.

As an individual I look at art through my own life-experiences, and sometimes art responds, engaging my emotions and drawing me in. When this happens I know it is time to stop and gaze, to lose myself in the painting for a while; everyday life is laid aside as I focus. In a nutshell I guess you could say this is a ‘gut’ response, intuitive rather than intellectual, but whatever we call it, this does me good. I always come away from such an encounter, at the very least, refreshed and uplifted.  That is the benefit of art for me.

We may all enjoy art this way. Each of us has a unique background story and taste, making different artworks attractive for different reasons. If we only take the time to look, every one of us might engage with, and take pleasure in, the art that speaks to us, whatever that might be.

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