January 31st is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day.

A day to think about, and appreciate, how art, in whatever form it may take, inspires you and brings you joy and satisfaction.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

And while we all derive enjoyment from various artistic mediums, it’s always a good idea to dig a bit deeper.  What about that song, that movie, that book makes it resonate with me on a deeper level? What about a painting, hanging on museum wall, causes a room full of people to talk in hushed tones?There’s a reverence there.  It touches something, something unexplainable, that we label as “heart”

At no time was this stronger for me than the first time I turned a corner and found myself in front of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.  I found myself choking up a bit, as I stood in front of it, and could have stood there, looking at it, all day. Or the chills and hair-standing-on-end moments I experience during a really good concert.   The crowds, the ruckus, the logistical hassle of just getting there, the thoughts of the return trip home after… gone.

I’m transcended.  At least in that moment. And that feeling is like none other.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton

As a guy who likes to write, that appreciates the story in everything, the story OF everything, I also find myself inspired by a lot of folks who have embraced their own inspiration to create art. Not just that they create art, but how they came to do so, and their confidence in sharing what they’ve created with…everyone else.

Like this talented artist and wonderful human being who turned years of feeling like society was telling her she needed “fixing”, into a coloring book that celebrates body positivity and loving oneself.   That inspires on so many levels… This artist not only does cool stuff with glass and metal, but has encouraged her daughter to follow her own artistic paths. She makes fantastic rag dolls, and is just a bit older than my own daughter. Which is a great reminder for all of us parents.

(My daughter’s been drawing comics since before we could figure out what they were. I try to encourage her by turning her on to graphic novels; making large squares for her to use; and offering storytelling suggestions, in hopes that it will inspire her to continue down her own path.)

Or this guy, just barely seventeen, who decided a few years ago that he wanted to learn to play the guitar, and with the aid of youtube and strong commitment… Did just that.  He recorded and released his first song a couple of months ago, and has just released another one.    Obviously, he was inspired musically by others, and will likely in turn be inspiration for others.

That’s the cool thing about art and inspiration.  It begats more art and inspiration.  And that, my friends, is beautiful.

Check out the folks I mentioned above, or seek out artists whose work touches your heart today.

Find Inspiration in Art

I was at a Calder Mobile exhibit a few years ago, and was inspired to blow on a couple of the larger mobiles.   Mobiles, my friends, are made to move in wind, to be graceful.   The museum’s security guards were subsequently inspired to move toward me with haste. Calder’s art inspired us all that day…

Let art inspire you today, everyone. Make a point of it.  Your heart will thank you.

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut



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Patrick Murray is a dad to a wonderful daughter, a big fan of his wife, a lover of the outdoors, and a bit of a goof. He has a degree from Michigan State University, and recently re-located to a small town, after living in a metropolis for 15 years. If you had told him a year ago that he’d be spending his spare time bonding with chickens, he would have laughed at you. As he does tend to go on about things, you can read more at www.patrickosplayshouse.blogspot.com

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