Harnessing emotion to create great art

I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say any other way – things I had no words for.  

 

Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. She is renowned for her contribution to modern art and was no stranger to the strong emotions which often fuelled her best pieces.

Dali, Munch, Van Gogh and Picasso all produced strong imagery from dark periods in their lives. A subject which has been researched by many who have documented that sadness links emotion with cognition and initiates more detail-oriented work. Or that abstract art is often the product of sombre moods such as anxiety, self-doubt, or even depressive states, which stimulate the areas of the brain that control analytical thinking. And how frustration and anger often produce bold fluid work.

Art therapy is not a new method of dealing with emotion. It is a term used by British artist Adrian Hill, in 1942 when he recognised the healing benefits of painting and drawing while recovering from tuberculosis. Scientifically, the act of creating uses the side of the brain that focuses on fulfilment and enjoyment. It raises levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which in return, increase positivity which inevitably changes moods.

This link between art and well being holds a particular fascination with Corinne Detain, our latest exhibitor. Currently studying counselling, she recognises the power of art and channels her own emotions into her work. Her mixed media approach to creating often includes stitching, printing, collaging, drawing and painting, which she uses layer upon layer to recreate a feeling of history and evoke a sense of calm within her work. Fed by her emotional response to her surroundings, she uses art to capture moments and moods aiming to abandon any anticipation of the end product, accepting what she creates won't always be what she initially wanted to produce. Then it's a delicate dance as she adds and removes elements into a piece until it feels right.

Corinne's work is on show in the Terrace Gallery, Cornwall until the 18th October 2020.

Related Adrian Hill art therapy Corinne Detain creative Dali dopamine emotion in art enjoyment fulfilment Georgia O’Keeffe Munch Picasso serotonin Sky Above Clouds IV 1965 Van Gough


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