How to Be Happy?
Being happy can be a challenge. How do you remind yourself that life is good and there is warmth and sunshine just around the corner. As the cold wraps itself around us and the grey colours seem to permeate into our psyche, there is a sense that life is drab, boring and empty. Yes it is the January blues that we are confronted by. So the question becomes how to snap ourselves out of this paralysis? Do you go out to the theatre? Or to the art Galleries? Or perhaps to a great concert? Some place to escape to.
For me, watching old movies provides a perfect story of escape. These films are little stories that wrap up nicely and gives me the inspiration I need for my work. Films like Singing in the Rain, Casablanca, or An American in Paris, transports me into another place and time and gives me the moment of drama and elegance. I look towards these films for the story but also for images and stories to replicate in my work.
How Nostalgia Helps Us to be Happy
What does this appropriation of classic image do for me as a viewer? In the article What Does Nostalgia Do? by Art Markman, the main purpose of of looking back at the past is to make us more optimistic. To be more “optimistic about the future”. This is a remarkable turn of psychology. There is a connection to others that boosts a positive view of ourselves. By increasing our own self esteem, there is an increase to optimism. By focusing upon the past there is a renewed hope for the future.
It has been said that old films, or art about the past does not have a modernist view. It is not contemporary or edgy. Yet the purpose of my work is to capture a moment of joy. One that reminds us of another time and place. By doing this, the psychological impact of my work brings it to another level. It reminds us to be positive. To be happy.
Art and its View
In the piece featured, Birds on a Wire, the painting brings together the words of the song At Last by Etta James with the image of a couple walking in Paris. There are birds hanging around and watching- similar to the couple taking there time and enjoying life. A moment to remember. A moment to think of a happy place.