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Art and Emotion

by Pauly Tamez on 2/13/2015 7:00:39 AM

This post is by guest author, Pauly Tamez.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 27,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.


I don't cry much. I used to, but since my dad died in 2004, it's a really rare thing. That being said, there is one big exception to that rule. 




I believe artists see things a little differently than most people. When I look at a tree, for example, I don't see leaves and branches. I see shapes, color, and different values of those colors. A leaf on the front part of a tree is the same color as a leaf on the back of the tree, but when you look at them in relation to each other, they have different shades, or values, of that color. One may be dark, and the other one light, but they are nevertheless the same color if you were to put them side by side. If you look at the branches, those branches against a dark background appear lighter, and those against a light background (like the sky) appear as dark. The branches would be pretty much the same color if side-by-side.


I say all that because sometimes when I look at a landscape, I can be overwhelmed with emotion. I imagine what I would do to make my impression of the scene, how it would be composed, how I would want it to look. I think about the colors I would use - how they would be mixed, and how they would work with each other. Many times, I've been moved to tears just looking at a scene. And there have  been times I have  finished a painting, and it has brought me to tears realizing I have just created my own impression, and that work like that is inside of me. 


I remember one of my first experiences looking at an original painting by Salvador Dali at the museum in St.Petersburg, FL. I remember looking at "The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus," which is about 13 feet high, and standing there, frozen, moved with emotion. It went deep and I felt a little embarrassed standing there in the middle of a museum crying. I remember feeling like I was part of the painting, part of the time, and as if I was experiencing the moment Dali captured on canvas. I was experiencing Dali at that moment. I experienced his emotion, his essence, his hands at work. It was a powerful experience.


My friend, Johny Rosa always says art is emotional. And it is. I've felt it and experienced it in many ways. When I paint, it is a spiritual experience, and it evokes emotion that makes its way onto a canvas through my hands. Emotion. Love. Peace. Frustration. Joy. It's all there in the artist's hands. People experience that when they see a scene that is familiar, and reminds them of a place, a time, or an experience. 


Art. It can evoke strong emotion. I am glad to share that with you.




Editor's Note:  You can view Pauly's original post here.


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Topics: art and psychology | art appreciation | FineArtViews | Guest Posts | inspiration 

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Sandy Askey-Adams
Hello Pauly..

Very nice post. I have said the same thing many times about being moved to tears when seeing the landscape, I am figuring many artists have...and one does not have to be an artist to appreciate and be brought to tears.
It can take your breath away with the beauty.

I remember when I went to an exhibit of the "Hudson River Valley Artists"....Landscape Painting in the United Staes between 1820-1880 at the Philadelphia Art Museum and I stood there with tears streaming down my face.

To actually be able to witness those paintings.... "Mountain Sunrise, Catskill," by Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand's painting of "Kindred Spirits" painted in 1849, Albert Bierstadt's painting of "Niagara," and Frederic Edwin Church's "Niagara Falls From the American Side" painted in 1867, and his forever amazing painting of "Horseshoe Falls, Niagara" painted between 1856 and 1857.
Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Robins Gifford and other Hudson River valley painters, the grandeur of each and every painting was almost like witnessing miracles in front of my eyes.

Yes, it was an emotionally-stirring exhibit and the tears did flow.

John P. Weiss
Pauly- I like your friend's comment that "Art is emotional." Art is personal expression. It is released from deep within our core and spirit. So it's no wonder art touches us. One need only stand in front of Michelangelo's David. Observe the veins in his hands- all carved out of marble. Utter beauty. Hints of the devine. So thanks for your insightful post!

Donald Fox
Emotion is a human experience that can be totally uplifting or completely devastating. Often we don't know the why behind the experience, but we certainly feel it. We do respond emotionally to some art and perhaps not so much to others. We may also respond emotionally to a magnificent sunrise or light falling on the side of an otherwise nondescript wall. How fortunate that as artists we get to share those experiences through the work that we do as well as receive experiences from other artists.

Brian Sherwin
Donald -- You took the words out of my mouth. I agree with you 100 percent. :)

Betty Pieper
The paragraph that speaks to the spirit, joy, and energy...the emotion...being given directly to a canvas is exactly what I felt in finishing The Innocents in August 2025. I began it as a young woman in a life class. It is to me a colorful, gestural, beautiful work and was recently juried into ARKELL's annual. But it is banned in Schenectady! It cannot be hung being judged "too graphic".....Somehow that slap feels as if it is calculated to steal the joy in the spontaneity of creating it. WHY would that happen? This was an all member show, not a juried a public community college. Anyone wanted to flesh this out in a blog is free to contact me: Please assure me that we just entered the year 2015 not 1800.

Betty Pieper
oops...I meant I finished the painting in August of 2014...NOT 2025....I guess the fact that the people who said the painting could not be hung are not the only ones in a time warp....Sorry.


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