Emotions and Art

Last post was about how my creative processes effect my emotional status.  In this post, let’s discuss the opposite: does emotional status effect my creative process?

Someone asked me recently if feeling strong emotions helped me to create.  Do they spur me to express myself?  You know, creating paintings to say what’s going on inside; to fulfill my need for “creative expression”.

It seems for me to be quite the opposite.  If I’m feeling strong emotions, my mind is likely reeling about whatever is stirring up which means I end up not being able to focus at all on what I’m working on.  I end up not painting.  To be honest, I’m probably more apt to write than paint.

So although strong emotions may not inspire me to paint more, I can see how my mood may effect my painting style.   No, not the whole “feeling sad = paint in blue, feeling happy = yellow/orange”.  What I’ve noticed is that emotions can effect how well I’m able to problem solve in a painting, or making decisions quickly.   If I’m wrestling with something in my head, I’ll probably more apt to nit pick all sorts of meaningless details in a painting that don’t really matter in the long run.  All this with the end result of not making a decision.  Hard to step back and pin this down.

Besides, my work these days is not usually emotionally charged.  As you may know, many artists use their art to say what they need to say.   I look to offer interesting compositions of value shapes by using subjects we see in everyday life, but at this point there’s usually no real deep-rooted emotional message other than to appreciate the small everyday things around us.

Perhaps that is what the search is all about when I’m looking for my visual voice.  What do you think?

Another painting from the spring workshop with just a little direct light from above.

Old Metal Pot
9″ x 12″
oil on panel

sm 09 Metal pot

About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
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2 Responses to Emotions and Art

  1. Yes, I agree with you! The tortured artist scrawling misery on canvas goes right into the same box with all those other obnoxious attitudes toward artists.

    I need to be calm and neutral, if not all the way bouncing around happy to do decent painting.

    If I need negative expression, I go run around the yard, or grab a shovel and dig.

    I like how I have an e-mail account with your blog. I’m trying to figure how to do this on blogspot, but have only come up with feedburner, and no email. Takes fiddling and figuring to run a blog, hey?

    Nice pot. I like how you set it on red.

  2. Tracy says:

    Thanks Melissa Hahahaha, I like the shovel/dig idea. Is that sort of like crashing a beer bottle inside a metal trash can? Just another form of expression.

    About the email feed, yes I use feedburner, but some use the RSS feed. It’s still a little vague for me, and I don’t know how to track those. Can anyone enlighten?

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