I love this post. Well, let me rephrase that. I love the information in this post, because it is so awe-inspiring and well, lovely.
There’s new scientific research that reveals viewing art and being in love may have a lot in common. Here are the details from an artdaily article about a leading neuroscientist, Semir Zeki at the University College London:
“Zeki concluded that viewing art triggers a surge of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain, resulting in feelings of intense pleasure.”
Zeki goes on to explain:
“There have been very significant new advances in our understanding of what happens in our brains when we look at works of art,” said Zeki. ‘We have recently found that when we look at things we consider to be beautiful, there is increased activity in the pleasure reward centres of the brain. Essentially, the feel-good centres are stimulated, similar to the states of love and desire.”
I knew that! You see, I’ve been in many situations in my life where the color, style, texture or combination of those or other artistic aspects of a painting, building or dress has sent me reeling. I couldn’t quite put my feelings into words, but I knew they went far beyond everyday viewing pleasure – I was falling in love!
There is a tiny road in Dihovo, Macedonia, that slopes gently downward as it winds between the tan, golden and faded orange stone walls of homes that look centuries old. There is a certain spot on the road and each time I come upon it, I have all the giddy feelings of a school girl in love.
I can still see the odd looks on folks’ faces when I tried to explain why I was transported by that teeny rural village, or the colors in the Albricht Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York or just about any room in the Louvre; they thought I was nuts, not for liking those things, but for loving them. But, now we have proof that beauty and love are in the eye of the beholder. I love that!
So, as always, surround yourself with things and people you love. If you can’t travel to the places or visit the galleries you love, keep photos visible, coffee table books and magazines nearby. Step outside, soak up blue skies, deep waters or forest paths. Bring the things you love to you.
PS. I am beginning to wonder if this new research might explain the female fascination with shoes . . .