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Emotion in Paintings - What Does That Mean?

view some examples of paintings with emotion and journey with the artist to discover and create art with emotion

A post from artist Alan Brain whose goal is to create...

paintings with that certain feeling.

Alan's artistic journey has taken him into minimalism, surrealism and geometric abstraction.  All of his work is guaranteed original abstract art

View this short video by way of introduction...

How can you determine if a painting holds an emotion?

In my view it is certainly not by analysing how the painting was made (the colours, form, shapes etc) It is whether or not it connects with viewer -  it is holding the viewer's attention for non-technical reasons. The viewer is not concerned with say the transparency of the watercolour or the accuracy of perspective, they are looking beyond that. The painting is holding their attention because it has made a personal connection and stirred an emotion which is entirely the business of the viewer.

The full range from realistic to abstract paintings can trigger an emotional reaction...

We are all familiar with paintings of things such as boats, buildings, trees, sun and sea, animals and of course people -individuals, groups, children and adults. These representitive paintings can hold an emotion that the viewer connects with - or not. Realistic paintings can be examples of art with emotion rather than purely descriptive, it depends on the viewer (not everybody connects) and the artist. For many artists (not all) emotion in paintings is not their goal. They are interested in technical matters and they want the painting to look right rather than feel right, consequently there is no emotion in their art for anyone to connect with.

Abstract paintings are much the same - if the artist was only interested in form rather than feeling then any emotion in the painting is accidental. True emotion in art is achieved only when that is the overiding goal of the artist. They have to create that emotion with every other consideration being subordinated. Abstract paintings give the artist more opportunity to create an emotion as they leave more to the imagination of the viewer and so stimulate a deeper personal reaction - and this can be different from the emotion the artist was striving for! This apparent paradox is real, there are no correct interpretations just personal ones that can be long lasting and difficult to articulate.

These are my views that I developed over my artistic life. My summary of my approach to art is that...

I endeavor to create visible feelings to express what cannot be expressed in words. Here are some examples of my attempts...

This original abstract painting called Old Orange was inspired by imagining flying over the Arizona Desert. I have never done that but I love flying and that desert - imagination made it happen.  I wanted to create an emotional painting with a feeling of calm separation.

calming abstract painting old orange

Each of these three attempts at emotion in art are abstract figure paintings. Each one makes a different statement to the other two. One might have a sense of aloofness, arrogance even, another has movement and intimacy (or is it something spiritual?), and the other one is unmistakeable - the shapes and greys  close to despair surely? All are paintings with feeling

Spanish figure painting , abstract Senor!
Modern figure paintings - dance
War Art - Aftermath
feelings paintings = next to K

This example of a painting with emotion is entirely for you to make  up your own minds about. Do you connect? Everyone is different. For me the artist, I used surrealism to create that certain feeling.

How does this painting make you  feel? Do you sense dread and a feeling of inevitability?  Or something entirely different. And maybe nothing - no emotion in this art for me. Exhibited at the American Watercolor Society

Haunting paintig abstract-war-paintings-Facing-Death
paintings with feeling -unique minimal art - thin red line

Colour we know creates different emotions in different people and most of us seem to love gazing into our space from time to time. That is what I want to enable the viewer to do in this original abstract painting. I wonder if the blue on the bottom right is a distraction. it is a beautiful blue perhaps too beautiful?

Again we are gazing into space and letting our thoughts emerge. I may be wrong but I think you have to find something in a painting. One has something on the edges the other within the painting... is the emotional reaction different for each one?

minimal art called ma
quiet geometric art a restful landscape painting - nebulus

 Paintings can make us think new thoughts, calm or excite us and take us to places we have never been before. I try to help make that happen.

 You can see more posts on my website alanbrainart.

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I would love to hear your comments

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all of the original abstract paintings above are unique pieces, no copies exist anywhere. To see more click the link below