Plein air oil painting from Nature's Time Cathedral love paintings by artist Elizabeth Reed

What makes you love paintings? John Ruskin once said, “Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.” Your brain processes images in mysterious ways.

You see it across the room. Not even up close. You have to spend time in front of it — move closer. Soak up the energy and emotion.

What is it that makes you love paintings?

Does it remind you of something, someone, someplace? It might challenge your mind or bring you joy. Could it be the colors, the rhythm, the texture?

You need it in your life. On your wall — inviting your mind to wander — to explore.


What Makes You Love Paintings?

Why do we need/want to have paintings? What psychological lure in our brains draws us to an image? A painting is an embellished surface that makes your brain react.

Your brain wants to organize patterns into recognizable images. Looking at art nourishes your brain. That is why you love paintings.

The University of Arizona Global Campus published an article about how Art stimulates your brain

The theory of embodied cognition suggests your body takes part in cognitive thinking. With the help of mirror neurons, your brain turns the action, movement, and energy that your body experiences into images that shape your emotions. These mirror neurons interpret the way your body reacts to the physical world.

Your mirror neurons allow your brain actually to place you IN the painting. The artist sends you a visual invitation, and they respond. Your mirror neurons interpret color, images, patterns, and textures in the context of remembered experiences.


Artists are Tricksters

Artists are tricksters. We have these fancy tools called the elements and principles of design. The elements are the tools we use to make you look. These are simple lines, values, textures, shapes, size, direction, and color. 

Yup, and the artist directs you to look where they tell you. The principles of design manipulate the elements of design to take you on a journey. Principles are ideas like unity, conflict, dominance, repetition, balance, scale, harmony, and gradation. 

We want you to fall in love with the painting. Most of us crave balance. It gives our minds peace and stability. When a composition is unbalanced it challenges you — makes you uncomfortable. 

An uncomfortable composition demands your attention. You feel the power in an unstable composition. Kind of like a horror movie that keeps you hanging. Why would you want that painting?

To challenge your intellect.

To keep you focused.

Those mirror neurons are on guard.

Direction will also affect your emotions. The horizontal lines of a landscape make you feel tranquil and peaceful. A composition with predominately vertical elements leaves you with a feeling of strength and grandeur — like a forest of trees. When the movement of the elements is oblique you feel the drama and exciting unusual activity.


Ten Reasons to Love Paintings – and Take Them Home

1. Adornment. The painting matches your sofa. The colors and movement will make your home happier. The painting will make a beautiful statement next to the rest of your belongings. It is beautiful and brings you joy. 

2. Memories of a special place or person. The colors and images bring back images of a wonderful experience. The markings and textures are interesting. It is unusual and keeps you looking—mirror neurons at work.

3. This painting is one of a kind. You see something different every time you look at the painting. The unique image makes you think. It intrigues you, so you buy it.

4. Some people love a painting because the artist is famous. They know it has monetary value and worth. The artist does famous work that increases in value. The value will increase — especially when the artist dies. This painting is a good investment.

5. You collect interesting artwork. This painting complements your collection. 

6. Local artists are interesting. Their work reacts to the place you spend your time. You buy a painting to support local artistic enterprises. Your collection reflects your support for artists, especially locals. 

7. You bring back paintings painted in places you travel. You are reminded of a different culture every time you look at that painting. It marks a time and place. 

8. You find a painting that makes a bold statement about the place where it will hang. The subject challenges you to think about what is happening in the space. An unbalanced, challenging composition or something unexpectedly missing will make you a bit uncomfortable. It challenges you to wonder and pay attention.

9. YOU just can’t stop looking at this painting. It belongs in your home. A personal connection is made that no one else experiences. The physical object — the painting — transcends what you feel when you see it. You have a personal attachment and need to buy this painting. 

10. The perfect gift. A commissioned painting is a great way to commemorate a person, place, or thing. Painted fine art portraits are different than a photograph. The color, texture, and handmade feeling of the paint make them shine as the most unusual perfect gift. 

KP Having fun - he loves paintings


So go to galleries and museums. Visit an artist’s studio.

Let art flow over your mind and body. 

Buy art from local artists, Like me!

Take home a special painting that moves you. You will never regret it!

The painting you tuck under your arm is more than an object. Each artwork is the product of skill, thought, and spontaneity. Your selection is truly a personal choice and statement.

Art and Stroll, Ft. Lauderdale, This Thursday

Please join me:

Business for the Arts Broward ART and STROLL

Thursday, May 19, 2022
from 5:30 till 7:30 
In the lobby of 401 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Tickets for Sip and Stroll here

ART AND STROLL love paintings

Look for my painting, Eternity
For sale in the lobby of 401 E. Las Olas Blvd.


Plein air oil painting from Nature's Time Cathedral by artist Elizabeth Reed

Oil on Linen
40 x 9″

Nature is our sanctuary.
Eternity was painted en Plein air, or outside — from life. This is a painting of sunset over the Florida Everglades and sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. These two bodies of water are like a parenthesis — a cradle for our crazy South Florida community.
I meet a lot of people while painting Plein air. Everyone has something to say. Everyone seems to be interested. The painting of sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean was special.
While I started the painting, one of the people sitting watching the sunrise came by to talk. He told me that the couple watching the sunrise had just lost their father the previous night. They are from Columbia and came to watch the sunrise. I consider the beach a sacred place at sunrise.
Plein air painting honors the spirit of people and places.

Practicing for Nyeopi in Bali

"Art hurts,

art urges voyages,

and it is easier to stay home."

Gwendolyn Brooks



Join me on my Fine Art voyage.

Periodic stories of wisdom and inspiration.

Alright! Let's Go! Andiamo!