Why Have Art, The Simple Truth is Art Can Make You Happier

why have art article blog post

Why have art?

The simple truth... art can make you happier.

Few things in life are more important to a person than their home. Most folks will agree that a ‘home’ is much more than just four walls and a floor. Decorating your home is a form of self-expression as well as a way to make your house a comfortable home. What you have as home art is an integral part of your decor, a way to let people who visit your home know that this is what you find beautiful or important.

For a while, I’ve been thinking that I should write a series of posts for my blog about art at home, and how art decor can have a profound and tangible impact on your life. After all, I should know! As an artist, artwork and creating art has always been one of the guiding lights in my life. While others may not be as totally absorbed by art as I am, judging from the many messages I’ve received from people who have purchased my art, turns out you don’t have to be an artist to be in love with art.

Since I am an artist it’s probably not surprising that I have tons of art hanging on all my walls. Not only that I’m always poking around at my pictures. I change frames, change the different groupings, change rooms, change seasons. Each time I mix it up I’m amazed at how different my rooms look depending on what pictures are on the wall. My husband’s surprised face when he walks in the room is always fun too.

 What is Art?

Before we talk about hanging art in our homes we should talk about 'what is art'. The meaning of art is hard to nail down as art is made for many different reasons. Art can be decorative, but it can also be a form of rebellion or an expression of an opinion as in protest. Art can be a purely aesthetic such as an abstract painting, or an interpretation of the real world as seen through the eyes of the artist. It can be a way to commemorate an event or the visage of a person that is famous, royal, rich, or simply a person the artist loves.

georgia okeeffe quote

The dictionary definition of what is art, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

I think I’d like to edit this dictionary quote to exclude the word “human” as there’s evidence in nature of animals creating artworks. Birds seem to be the most prolific artists of all the animal world. Male bowerbirds are a prime example, this bird creates small environmental artworks using carefully arranged grasses, unique rocks, branches, shells, colorful berries and whatever other found objects strikes the bird artist’s fancy. If fact artistry as a skill is held in such high regard to this species that the female bird chooses her mate based on the beauty of the display he’s created (I so love that!).

bower bird


The take-aways here are, first, animals are amazing, and second, if a bird can make a beautiful, artistic and thoughtful environment, you can too.

Benefits of art

Art has a definite power to change your everyday life not only visually but emotionally too. 

The benefits of home art might not be readily apparent to those who’ve not spent time in the presence of art. I should be clear that in order to be effective, art doesn’t have to be famous or even understood to evoke an emotional response.

beauty is art

I remember spending time as a kid staring at the pictures on the wall of my parent’s house. These were mostly mass-produced versions of semi-well-known works, sort of kitschy, but the eyes of children look at everything with a sense of newness, curiosity, and wonder. I think my child's eyes looked at these works the way the artist had intended, open-minded and without judgment. I believed the angels in the painting were versions of real angels with real angelic power. My younger self was honestly filled with the same sense of awe that the artist had tried to so hard to infuse the picture with.

The art in your home should be art that you connect with and fills you with a sense of whatever you’d like to be filled with every day…. awe, peace, irony, passion.


Importance of Art

When you look at why art is important, the value is not only in the creative expression of the person who created the art but also on the interpretation and influence on the person who owns the artwork and sees it every day. That’s because the objects that you choose to surround yourself with essentially create your world. The world you create forms your mood and your mood, in turn, forms your outlook on life.

As a result, a happy person sees the world much differently than a mad or sad person. The type of person you are in the world whether happy or sad directly effects those you interact with on a daily basis. For this reason, it’s wise to carefully consider what you look at every day, it makes a difference to you and those around you.

When cultivating a mood, it’s not hard to imagine that looking out your window at a lovely coastal scene would be much more uplifting and fill you with a more positive worldview than looking at a solid brick wall. The unfortunate thing is, we can’t all have a beautiful ocean scene or country fields scene to look at. That’s why art decor can play such a huge role in the average person’s life.

window view

I think it’s wise to carefully consider what you look at every day. While we can’t all have a coastal view where we live, fortunately, art gives us the opportunity to look at something wonderful instead of a blank wall. The brick wall below is much more inviting when cleverly disguised as a backdrop for an art collection.

Art Decor

Six ways home art or pictures on the wall livens up your home

  1. Art creates a specific mood 

    When decorating your space, you probably have a specific mood in mind that you’d like to evoke. This mood could be relaxing, invigorating, classy, boho chic, creative or a combination of several emotions. This emotion is how you’d like to feel when you come home from a long day of work and are lounging in your home or entertaining company.

    If you’d like to feel relaxed then maybe a soothing seascape with calm waters, or if invigorating is your taste a colorful abstract with expressive brushstrokes. Classy and sophisticated might be a realist painting or tasteful floral, while creative might be a quirky mashup collage that expresses many ideas at once. Whatever mood you want, it’s the art decor you choose that will enhance the emotion you’re trying to create.

  2. Art creates a room’s focal point  

    Looking at your room you’ll find that various objects and furniture pieces will hold your attention more than others. The objects that hold the most attention will be the focal point (good or bad). On the good side, a wall of art is the perfect center of focus. While a beautiful sofa or table is interesting, it’s only interesting for a second. Visually, artwork invites a much more involved investigation in order to digest all the intricacies of the design. A work of art can carry you away unlike many other static objects in a room, which makes it the perfect focal point (much better than say a large black box of a T.V. or stereo)

    Note that scale is important in order to be a focus. The art decor you choose will need to be large enough to command the attention of the viewer. If you don’t have a large piece then an equally effective alternative is many small pieces put together to form a gallery wall of art.

  3. Art gives you an instant color palette 

    Once you have a mood in mind, the artwork you’re drawn towards will likely have a color palette that emphasizes that feeling. The relaxing seascape will have soft blues and beige, the vibrant abstract will have lots of bold colors etc. These colors can be the jumping off spot for the rest of your room’s decor. You can pick out particular colors from the artwork to choose pillows, rugs and other decorative objects  color palette for home decor

  4. Display art that you’re proud to share 

    Your home decor actually serves more than one purpose. The highest purpose is to create a space that fulfills your own and your family’s needs by providing a beautiful place to live. The second purpose is to create a space that you’re proud and excited to have company come and spend time with you in.

    I know at our house when company comes there’s a mass flurry of cleaning and organizing so that things look their ship shape best. When folks come to my home I want them to think it’s a comfortable and inviting place to be. My home’s decor is an extension of mine and my husband’s personalities and taste just as yours should be an extension of yours.  

    Welcoming your guests into your space filled with artworks you’ve carefully chosen can be a conversation starter.  If you’ve picked interesting art you can bet your visitors will comment on it. This is where you get to explain what you have on your walls and why in the process the person asking about your art will get to know much more about you and your interests and vice versa.

  5. Collecting art is just plain fun  

    The thrill of the hunt comes into play when choosing art for your home. There are just so many ways that people find art. Did you find a small artwork from a street artist on your travels, it barely fit into your suitcase so you had to leave some t-shirts behind? Have you been following an artist on social media and know all about their journey as an artist, and when they posted a particularly stunning piece that spoke to your heart you just had to have it? Have you been to the local art fair and chatted with the artist about how and where they created the art then felt such a connection that you purchased the piece on the spot? This is the excitement of collecting art. The story that you share with folks who visit your home is not only about the art but how you came to have that piece of art. It’s all very exciting!

  6. Art finishes your room 

    One of the most popular reasons to have something special on your walls is that art decor finishes your room. Art is like jewelry for your home’s wardrobe. Sort of like that little black dress that would be nothing without the sparkly earrings and necklace. Your living room would seem lackluster without something special to look at and give life to the rest of the decor. 

 Before and after art...

To get my point across visually, I put together some photo examples of rooms with or without art. I can’t help but notice that naked walls make it feel like the room isn’t finished. The room is missing personality and spark.
before and after art 1
before after art 2

Here's the test....would you rather spend time in the rooms with the art or the one without? I think we can all agree that the rooms with art appears more homey, with a cozy, friendly, vibe.

Art Decor at Work

Art isn't only for your home, your workspace needs art too!

Once you accept that the artwork in your home can be an important factor in your everyday wellbeing, you can extend that to include other areas of your life.

Your workplace and the mental health of your co-workers/employees can be much enhanced by the addition of artwork. A study involving more than 800 employees from 32 companies found that art in the workplace addressed some key challenges such as reducing stress by 78%, increasing worker creativity by 64% and encouraging the expressions of opinions by 77%.

The reason this happens is that art humanizes an institutional or utilitarian workspace. Having bright colorful artwork on a bare beige office wall or in a waiting room is a real mood lifter. These are spaces that given the choice most people probably wouldn't choose to spend a lot of time in. But a lovely work of art is like a mini vacation for your brain.

I've had many doctors buy artwork from me for that very reason. A calming, colorful, and happy work of art can make something as stressful as a doctor's or hospital's waiting room seem less sterile. Art can give a client/patient something more to focus on then the possibly stressful reason for the visit.

office art cathy horvath buchanan

 art in waiting room cathy horvath buchanan

OK, so now I know I want art, what's next?….

Maybe you’ve already been wanting something uplifting for your living room, foyer, bedroom, bathroom or office walls, but what?

Most people don’t have the luxury of spending all day thinking about art. As a result, art, and how to acquire art, can sometimes seem confusing.

questions about art

  • What type of imagery would work in my space?
  • What do I like?
  • What don’t I like?
  • Where should I get it from?
  • How much should I spend?
  • How should I frame it?
  • How should I hang it?
  • Will people think the art I picked is weird or uncultured?

So many questions....not to worry, while I've indicated all the reasons art is important in a person's life it's not something to stress over. 

In this post, I've been talking about the "WHY?" of art. Why should you surround yourself with artwork? How can art add value to your life? How can simply looking at something every day make you a happier person?

In this series

In this blog series, I hope to address some of the questions and misconceptions that may be holding you back from fully enjoying the beauty you can create in your own living space. This series will outline how to find art and what to do once you have some art pieces that you'd like to display in your home

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you found some of my thoughts on the value of art in your home t be useful. In the next few blog posts, I'll go into more detail about the framing and placement of art in your home. There is a whole world of inspiring art available! Together we can explore how to bring it home and enjoy it to the fullest!

Special note: The artwork shown in this post

You’ll notice that the artwork shown in these examples are images I’ve created. The reasons are twofold. First, I don’t want any copyright issues by using art by another artist. Second, I created this art and love it, and I hope you will too. I focus on making art that is full of bright colors with lots of different landscape views, perfect when you want something cheerful and happy to look at every day.

I know from the fantastic feedback I’ve been receiving from people who own my images, that the artwork they chose to hang in their homes IS making them happy.


Here are just some of the many wonderful comments people have been kind enough to send me expressing how they feel about their new art.

  • ****Happiness captured! Wonderful piece... Incredible colors and sense of warm. Thank you so much! 
  • *****Love this too - a day brightener and a source of peace in my life... 
  • *****So lovely - hanging in my office sending me peaceful vibes all day. So happy!

To see more reviews take a peek at my Etsy shop (link below)


To see more artwork....

Head on over and check out  the full collection of artwork

Simply click the link https://CathyHorvathBuchanan.com/collections

or click the 'Shop' navigation link at the top of the page

Check out the next article in the series "Where to Find Art for your Home & Office"

Back to blog
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