Buying Art for Your Home That You Love is An Act of Self Care


As a 9 year old child, my parents took me to the National Gallery on a vacation and I was able to chose a print to take home. I chose Renoir’s, “The Dancer”.  It hung in my childhood bathroom for many years.  When I left for college, I had a huge collection of art postcards that I had collected (mostly in the Impressionistic style)from museums that I plastered my college dorm room walls with for 4 years.  The beauty and the colors uplifted me but I never thought much about it. I thought it was just, “decoration”.  

It wasn’t until last summer, that I really began to reflect on the power of art to change my experience.  I was going through a very heartbreaking time and the art on my walls seemed as if it was supporting me.  I had a painting in one room that had the words “Protect What You Love” with a fierce leopard in it and I began to realize that the art, itself, was admonishing ME to protect what I loved in my own world. The artwork emboldened me to remember myself. And that work I had painted myself without thinking much about it.

Thinking back 6 years earlier, I had purchased a large piece from a local artist for my new office .   I was already stressed about money (we had decided to purchase a building for me to work in) when I first fell in love with it. Spending the money made zero sense. But, that painting illustrated perfectly the work I wanted to do with people in that space.  I leaped and purchased it. My practice in that office began to grow by leaps and bounds  The painting feels like an anchor for the spiritual work I do with others.  The money to pay for it came easily as I worked. Even when I pass by it today, years later, I get a wonder filled sense of AWE.

A few years before that I had purchased 2 very large paintings ( a goat and a horse) for our new, right sized home from another local artist.  The move was challenging because the kids weren’t so sure about it. The paintings literally seemed to breathe life into our new home.  A friend told me a story about goats and how most farmers like to keep one around because they keep the rest of the animals healthy.  I felt like the painting was our family’s GOAT OF PROTECTION.  The large horse greets you in the entry way and reminds me every day that there is always ENOUGH…money…kindness…creativity.

I began to wonder if others had these weird experiences with art too?  So, I asked you all!

Here were just a few of the wonderful insights I got:

“Growing up, we had no money, but our walls were decorated with tapestries, paintings and drawings. Our house was so alive and fun. Made me want to sit down and draw and sew and knit. Creativity and being surrounded by art, l think it’s a life-line to energy and inspiration, to something bigger than ourselves and our everyday life.” – Inger

“I’m sure no one understands my art but me. My Allies surround me! “- Gail
“Art is the heart of the house for me. It defines and informs the rooms and feels almost like an extension of my own body. I always start with the art and build the space around it. I joke that I live with the artists because in a way I do! It feels like some kind of collective understanding and I feel supported as I do my own creative work. “- Missy
“The art I’ve bought – while not all that expensive these last couple years makes me very proud of my strength.” – Caroline
“I rise from bed and walk to my bathroom alongside a huge gorgeous Sun that takes up one whole side of the hallway which was painted by my best friend. that painting wakes me up and tucks me in with hope for me to see another Sunshine.” – Jennifer
“I look at the paintings, think of the artists and and feel deep joy to have of piece of their gifts infusing me with their light and uplifting me and my home.” -Laurie
 “I’m in a new phase of life and the art I buy has a more ME in it. I no longer care about what goes in the house or what will be “offensive.” If I like it, I’m buying it. And those pieces remind me of who I am every single day. Best self care practice ever!”
– Jody

“The art in my home are like old friends. Each has a story of how it come into my life…they each have their own “spot” and I always interact in them in some way when I pass them…most of the time the art puts a smile on my face, stirs up wonderful memories, and just warms my heart.’ – Sara

“It really uplifts me to buy art that resonates with me. It’s all currently in the closet waiting to be framed, but I get excited that people will be able to walk through my home someday soon and see my heart and soul reflected on the walls. ” – Kerstin

“…my teacher commissioned a Tibetan scroll painting for me. It casts a sacred spell over not only the room it’s in, but my entire life.” – Inger

Also I discovered this: 

In a report for The Telegraph newspaper, an article about an experiment conducted by a professor, in neuroaesthetics at University College London. In this experiment the researcher explains, “We wanted to see what happens in the brain when you look at beautiful paintings.” The experiment concluded when you look at art “whether it is a landscape, a still life, an abstract or a portrait – there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure.”

Based on research conducted by Dr. Craig Knight at The University of Exeter, Kirstie Brewer at The Guardian reported that people that worked in an “enriched” space decorated with art and plants worked nearly 15% faster than those who worked in more Spartan spaces, and had better health overall. If workers were “empowered,” by allowing them to have a say where the art was displayed in their workspace, their productivity boost was doubled to nearly 30%

So, Art really seems like self-care and it could even boost your productivity.  One of the most powerful stories I head, and what made me want to write this piece  in the first place was this:

“[A] painting by amazing artist has been installed in my home and it’s inspiring me to write write write! Buying the painting is a huge win because I was scared to spend the money, but it was so right that I HAD TO buy it—and the whole process was a win. Having it here is a win. Supporting the artist is a win. I gave some of my poems to the artist as a gift and she sent me a note saying how much my poems express what she tries to express in her paintings—which is exactly what I felt!—and encouraged me to get my book out. She’s AMAZING and that meant a lot to me.”

This poet also shared that the content of the new painting was actually inspiring new writing subjects and tracks for her. It was inspiring her endlessly.  So, I guess what I wanted you to know (if you didn’t already) is that purchasing art from an artist you love could change everything….so don’t hold back!  I leave you with this wonderful quote from Rick Rubin’s book:

It feels to me like the Great Mystery can work on us through these pieces of art, endlessly calling us present and reminding us of whatever it is we need to be present to.  That idea thrills me.  This is why I feel so compelled to paint.  Just the other day I received this wonderful compliment from somebody viewing my work, “I don’t know what you put in that painting of yours but looking at it sent happy shivers up my spine!” How wonderful!










Work With Me

Serve your soul. Feel good. Learn why this is the most powerful thing you can do.


Books & iPhone App

Do Beasties have a message for you? Are you irrepressible and born to FREAK?


Programs & Events

Live, love and learn how to Feel Good with Sarah - in person or online!


The Stoked Life

A 5-part pre-recorded course on how to approach life the way traditional Shamanic peoples would

Leave a Comment