National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day 2022

January 31st is National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day! This day is to ponder how art affects our hearts, our souls. I encourage you to think of a time, past or present, when a form of art really, genuinely moved you.

This photo is from a moment I still recall, while visiting Monet’s Waterlilies at the MoMA in NYC. It was the middle of summer, I had been running all over the city’s art museums, trying to take in as much as I could on a single day trip. I was sweaty and exhausted, probably a little dehydrated.

When I walked into the room containing Water Lilies, I wasn’t ready for it. I believe I had just walked out of the very visually exciting Abstract Expressionism exhibit, and thru some glass doors, which I held for the person after me without really paying attention to where I was walking.

When I looked up to see the Water Lillies, everything else literally just seemed to fade away. Immediately a tingly sensation of calm totally relaxed me, and I was just overwhelmed with the stunning beauty of it all. Tears formed and dripped down my cheek, not sadness, but just moved, overwhelmed and in awe. It was beautiful, and unexpected, and a visceral sensory relief after the day I’d had.

I’ve taught art lessons using a Monet and his Water Lilies as examples from books and digital images, but I had never experienced it in person before that moment. I finally got to see his brushstrokes and textures up close; and to see how luminous the colors all are. Standing in the middle, I was somewhat immersed in them, because the panels are displayed in a circular manner. It was truly art that inspired my heart. I went back again later, just before the museum closed, and got to sit alone with just the Water Lillies and me, and it was the most tranquil and beautiful moments of that trip.

What is an artful experience that you’ve had that moved your heart? A painting, performance, book, film, music, poem, song, photo, sculpture, drawing, culinary creation? I’d love if you’d share it it in the comments!

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