German Shepherds by Nancy Cooper. CONTRIBUTED

The new year always brings hope. We talk about how a new year will be better than last year. We can always hope, can’t we? 

How have your New Year’s Resolutions gone so far? Are you trying to get into a healthier routine, or do you want to earn more money? Those are all great goals, but they take a lot of consistent work. Let me tell you about a resolution that will make you feel great, will change your life, at least a little, and is pretty easy to do (sorry if that sounds too much like a snake-oil salesman).

For those itching for something new and refreshing: Go out and get yourself a wonderful piece of art. Some may wonder what I’m talking about. No, really go out and find a cool work of art that you love and enjoy.  It will help you add a little sauce to your walk.   

There is just something special about looking at a special piece of art every day. When you see that piece every time you walk by, it can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Let’s say you love fishing for mahi mahi: How cool would it be to see that mahi on your wall? Let’s say you love that Florida Keys sunset, why not a painting or photograph of a beautiful Keys sunset?  

It doesn’t even really have to relate to the Keys. What if you love the mountains; maybe you have a place in the mountains, or you want to get one someday. An image of your favorite mountain range will only inspire you. Let’s say you love dogs or cats; how would you feel seeing that special image in your home? It cheers you up when you walk by it, it will give you a quick, natural pick-me-up.

When I first started painting, I couldn’t afford much, but I knew I loved art. I saved my money and when I got a chance, I would purchase art from some of my favorite artists. I would walk by the artwork, mauve after having a bad day, and I would stare at it and it would give me that little pick-me-up.  Art is not only about decorating, which I feel it has become in this day and age. It is about getting something that makes you feel alive. 

There are times when we get caught up on something being an original painting. Look, that is all fine and dandy, but don’t just wait until you can afford to get an original. Go ahead and get a print or even a poster. The important thing here is to get a work of art that you love and inspires you. The artwork will pay off with how it transports you and moves you. It is something that you will see almost every day and be a reminder of something you enjoy. 

For 2023, why not make art your resolution? It might be hard at first, as there will be art you aren’t crazy about. Take a morning or an afternoon, go around Key Largo and Islamorada.  There are a lot of places that sell local art. Many of the artists you might not have heard of before, but you might really like their style. Eventually, though, you will find artwork that will stay with you, pieces you can’t get out of your head — artwork that you will see when you walk by in your home, something that will put a smile on your face.  Don’t worry, you won’t be alone. 

You can come back here to the Upper Keys Weekly and I’ll be here to help you along. We will talk about art and explore what art means to different artists. Go ahead and buy that work of art: be it original, print, or poster. The beginning of the year is a great time to look for art in the Upper Keys. You have festivals like Art Under the Oaks starting this weekend and marking the beginning of your art journey.