For one to have a connection with art, they must be able to see between the lines – or to be precise – between the brush strokes.
They must be able to interpret the abstract expressionism of a Jackson Pollock painting, the stark symbolism of depression and dread in Edvard Munch’s The Scream and the creative converge of romanticism and distinct madness in the works of Vincent Van Gogh.
In other words; one must be able to each emotion, not something all are able to achieve.
Emotional Expressionism through Design
With art by Chagall, Lichtenstein, Picasso and Matisse as prime examples of masterful brushwork, their creations have been able to do a lot more than just inspire generations of dreamers to become artists.
They have become an integral component for helping people discover their emotional depth, whether through observation or practice. In this sense, the focus of art isn’t the composition of colors and strokes; it is an analysis of the artist’s feelings through that work of art.
Let’s take the example of Edvard Munch’s The Scream and explain its connection to emotion. According to a diary entry headed, “Nice 22 January 1892”, Munch himself wrote about the inspiration behind his painting:
One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.
Many scholars have suggested that this scene was of great importance to Munch, as noted by the colors used in his painting. The deep red-tinted sunset sky depicts a darker background; something which many believe is inspiration Munch took from a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum nearby.
It should be noted though that at the time of painting, Munch’s sister was a patient at an asylum for manic depression. Clearly, Munch’s The Scream is open to interpretation, but it all points to a primary emotion; one which many have identified with’; anxiety, frustration, fear and dread. For many with a deeper connection with art, this painting serves as an abstract embodiment of what they feel inside themselves.
Modern Use of Art to Express Emotion
The modern age is more open about emotional expressionism than the previous years. The world is aware of the importance of emotional stability and articulation and is allowing artists to be more daring with their work.
Artists like Dove Grace Quinlan who uses angel paintings and abstract art to define her connection with the spirits and thus, to art is one of the many who are making good use of this opportunity. Her abstract angel paintings are garnering a loyal fan base, particularly because people are able to gain inspirational and meditative focus from it.
There are no limits to creativity when it comes to art, perhaps that’s why this mode is the most effective for expressing one’s emotions.
One can take a burnt matchstick and use its ashes to express their remorse over losing a loved one. They can also take buckets of paint or dive into mixed-media like Dove Grace Quinlan and use that mode to present their ideas.
And by using art to an advantage, artists are now introducing life and awareness to the harsher and more realistic subject matter and emotions. And allowing people to open up and become more aware of secrets within the canvas and by that, within themselves.