The artwork we look at every day has a profound effect on our self-image and overall sense of well being. While this is a key consideration of feng shui, it’s also something with which most modern day psychologists would agree. So with both ancient and modern sensibilities in mind, let’s look at some of the dos and don’ts of choosing artwork to display in your home.
Do ask yourself what story the artwork is telling.
If you’ve never thought about the story that the artwork is telling (or even if you have), ask yourself right now to tell a story about it. Even if it’s abstract! What feeling is it giving you? If you had to make up a story about it, what would it be? There is no right or wrong, there is just what you personally feel when you look at the image. Humans speak the language of imagery, and all your artwork’s stories – positive or negative – will be powerfully transmitted to and imprinted upon your psyche. Which brings us to…
Don’t choose artwork that tells a story that you wouldn’t want to be constantly present (in some capacity, symbolic or literal) in your life experience.
We are a very empathetic species. We even empathize with images! If they appear to be sad, scared, or in pain, we will subtly begin to take that on. Because our feelings help manifest our reality, this in turn creates conditions in our lives that match the feeling that we have adopted from the image. So, definitely appreciate masterpieces like the one above in museums — just don’t hang them on your wall! (Unless you like drama.) On the other hand…
Do choose artwork that depicts conditions that you’d like to experience.
Simply hanging an image of something that gives you the potent and unmistakable feeling of that which you’d like to experience is an extremely powerful and magical act. Over time, that image will become a part of your everyday beliefs and expectations about what your life looks like, which can’t help but manifest its depicted condition into form. Because this is such a powerful dynamic…
Don’t overlook the subtle details.
For example, with this image, you might initially think it’s a pleasant and somewhat idyllic scene. After all, there are trees, water, and historical outfits. Well, let’s look a bit deeper. While there are a number of people in the scene, few of them have visible faces, which portrays a bit of an unwelcoming and cold feeling. Second, none of the people are actually looking at each other, and even the two girls who are walking together appear to have their attention in different places entirely. And the man on the right certainly seems a bit down. What’s more, the cluttered water scene feels industrial and toxic. So generally, this image – viewed day in and day out – might give one the message that life is lonely, even when surrounded by people.
Do choose human imagery the depicts whole people (or at least that gives you the feeling of wholeness).
Again: we identify with our imagery, and our life conditions shape themselves to match. As such, if your image includes one or more humans, make sure that they appear complete and healthy. In other words…
Don’t choose human imagery that depicts disembodied body parts such as heads, limbs, or torsos without arms.
While some (like the piece above) may be beautiful to look at in a museum, decorating your home with fragments of bodies may contribute to an incomplete or unhealthy self-image, and may be detrimental to your holistic health and well being.
Do make sure you love it!
Whether it’s a landscape, a still life, an abstract, or anything else, take the time to surround yourself in imagery that makes your heart sing and your spirit soar. It’s such a simple thing, but such a powerful one. Give yourself (and your home) that gift! The benefits will far outweigh the effort.