Monday, September 12, 2011

Tortured artists

A lot has happened since my last post - I've finally sold my house in Rangiora - after a year - and now bought a little house down here in Invercargill.  Life gets in the way of blogging again!

Today I'm starting 2 weeks' holiday so have more time up my sleeve.  I thought I'd talk about emotions and art.  In Art History, we have studied, albeit briefly, many great artists over the centuries.  Some spring to mind when you talk about "tortured artists" - Vincent van Gogh is one.  While I'm not attempting to compare what I do with what he did, my interest is in the link between emotions and art.  Not simply being gripped by the beauty of a scene or similar- I mean what drives an artist to create.  We don't usually hear about artists with blissfully happy lives - in fact, many I've read about had complicated love lives, career setbacks, ill health and so on - just like the rest of us.  But while there is no doubt wonderful art produced by happy people, it seems to me that more is produced by what we would consider negative emotions - broken hearts, lost dreams, and so on.  Of course, much of the religious art of earlier centuries was about emotional scenes, but these were portraying scenes already established in the Bible so were not a reflection of what was inside the artist.

Perhaps I am just seeing this as I find it easier to relate to unhappiness - I have had my share of grief and misery, perhaps more than some others.  What do you think, readers?  Are you inspired to create when you're happy? Or when you're sad?

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