October 25th is International Artists Day (also Picasso's birthday) I'm joining other artists today to share appreciation of artists past and present. I'd like to focus on emotion in art. The emotion they felt in creating it and the emotion the art can generate in the observer. A famous example of emotion in art would be "The Scream".
The Scream is the creation of Norwegian artist Edward Munch. It is his most famous work and one of the most recognizable paintings in all art, painted in 1893. It has been widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Is is described as being "painted with broad bands of garish color and highly simplified forms, and employing a high viewpoint, the agonized figure is reduced to a garbed skull in the throes of an emotional crisis. With this painting, Munch met his stated goal of “the study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self”
Munch wrote of how the painting came to be:
I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature.
He later described the personal anguish behind the painting, “for several years I was almost mad…You know my picture, ‘’The Scream?’’ I was stretched to the limit—nature was screaming in my blood… After that I gave up hope ever of being able to love again. "
When a friend of mine recently asked me to paint a portrait of her screaming bird reminiscent of "The Scream" I had the chance to really study the painting and had some fun with it.
The style of art that evokes emotion for me as an observer would have to be realism. I recently viewed fellow artist Jeanne Illenye's painting titled "Overturned Apple Basket". I can honestly say I had a lump in my throat. Why would such a simple subject evoke such emotion in me? I can't say for sure, but I know such works of art have that effect on me time after time. I'm sure it's different for each individual. Youqing Wang and Jelaine Faunce are two other realistic painters whose works make my heart turn a flip. I admire so many artists working in different styles I couldn't list them all.
We can view, study, appreciate artists works like no other time in history. The Internet is brimming with blogs and websites teeming with every style and subject of art. Daily Painters International Art Gallery and Artists International Gallery as examples. A day surfing the web or taking a stroll through a local gallery is a day of refreshment and uplift for the soul.