Links Between Art and Emotion

Art and Emotion

Its no secret to most people that art and emotion are linked.  In fact, the average non-artist might actually exaggerate this link in their mind, imaging that every single painting holds some hidden meaning of deep feeling.  Often, an artwork does hold some hidden feelings, but sometimes, a painting of a tree is just a painting of a tree, and the only feelings attached are the feelings of appreciation for the beauty around us, or the frustration with trying to get the artwork to look the way the artist wants it to.  In this post though, I am going to focus on artwork that does have a deeper emotional meaning.


Often, an artwork does hold some hidden feelings, Click To Tweet sometimes, a painting of a tree is just a painting of a tree, Click To Tweet

Art and Confusion

Sometimes an artwork comes about because an artist is struggling with emotional or mental confusion.  The artist is struggling with a decision or a temptation, and works that feeling out in the artwork.  One such work of mine is my painting “Cerebral Cessation”.  At the time I painted it, I was struggling with thoughts I didn’t wish to be having, and needing to work things out in my mind.  Basically it was a time when I needed to choose to do the right thing, and I did choose that.  Really, I had already made up my mind, and I wanted to just be done with thoughts I was having.  All decisions in this area were done and there was no need to think on it anymore.  However, my mind continued to return again and again to the issue.  Now, on the one hand, I had made up my mind, and knew what I was going to do, but almost as if by its own will, my brain kept returning to the issue constantly.  I felt like my brain was going in unending circles and just wouldn’t stop.

So I got the largest canvas at my local department store, and started to paint.

I painted for 10 1/2 hours the first day, 8 of those hours I painted straight through, without stopping to eat or drink or even visit the restroom.  I painted and painted, and shut my mind off.  After the first 8 hours, I became conscious of three things, the first was thirst, second was that I needed to go to the restroom, and third was that I was painting with both hands, my dominant hand and non-dominant hand were both painting at the same time, on two different areas of canvas.  I realized I had shut off my conscious thought, but at the same time had been accessing my whole brain so fully that I was achieving a level of connection between right and left brain that normally wouldn’t happen.

I took a short break to visit the restroom, get a drink and a snack, and then returned to work.  Altogether I probably put in 16 hours of work on that painting, and I named it “Cerebral Cessation” because it successfully made my brain stop running in circles. After finishing the painting, my mind was freed from this struggle and didn’t return to it again.

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The tilte of this piece is “Cerebral Cessation”, which literally means, “Brain Stop”.  This painting can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE.


Art and Pain

Perhaps the best known connection between art and emotion is the connection between art and emotional pain.  I haven’t created such work often, but I know that many other artists do.  I have on occasion expressed pain in my artwork, and sometimes anger, but most often my work is influenced by more positive feelings.  Two pieces that were created out of less positive feelings are Debacchatio, which means “Fury”, and Ocular Migraine which was born out of physical pain.

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Debacchatio. This painting can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE.


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Ocular Migraine This print can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE.



Art and Joy


I think what is most often expressed in my own art is joy.  Joy in my Salvation through Christ, joy in the beauty that surrounds me, joy in the love of my family.  This can be seen in my landscapes, my paintings of birds and fish, my seascapes, and in so much of my work that I can’t list it all.

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This print can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE.


10 Responses to Links Between Art and Emotion

  1. I have quite a bit of artwork throughout my house, and I tend to buy based on the feelings that the art evokes in me. Not sure if the feelings I have when I look at my pieces are the same feelings the artist had when he/she created their work, but I go for what strikes my mood at the time. You have some beautiful pieces displayed here!!

    • Thank you Cindy! I’ve often wondered what other people feel when viewing my art, I’m sure its not always what I felt when creating it.

  2. What beautiful artwork! My grandson draws and paints when he is stressed, he says it helps him handle things better.

    • Thank you, I think a lot of people find great release through art, even for those who don’t feel they are talented, they will usually find that something like coloring can be very relaxing and healing.

  3. I create from emotion, too…just a different medium. Ocular Migraine really spoke to me so I just had to have print to hang in my office. 🙂

  4. Avatar Susanna De Santos
    Susanna De Santos says:

    Profound insight Vicki. The story behind a painting always fascinates me. Now as an artist full of racing thoughts, some productive, some redundant episodes of the past, and some in anticipation… It feels almost now a responsibility to paint those out, see what they become. Thank you for this, I shall remember to pause for a sketch break throughout the day. I’ve forgotten in the busyness and needed this reminder.

    • Susanna, it doesn’t surprise me you’ve been too busy, but yes, take a break for some art! You’ve provided so many artists with an outlet for their creativity, don’t neglect you own! <3