Tracing back to the 4th century BCE, emotion in art was highly valued and praised by illustrious people such as Aristotle, the Greek philosopher. During romanticism and expressionism, free expression of own emotions became a rule among most artists. Turning to the modern art, individual emotions, as point of the existence of human beings, are generally considered the breath of art creation. Among most, if not all, students of art, it is popular to follow their true and real feelings to work. However, by doing this, they are apt to produce some strange creative works with a prejudice, which can be confusing for many artists. According to new theories and research, emotion activities and their role in art are more complex than what we understood before. In psychology, the relationship between art and emotions has newly been the subject of extensive study . Nonetheless, emotions are poorly understood and remain mysteries in art. As for the research proposed here, the main objective is to explore the potential relationships between artist feelings and art creation, which will make valuable contributions to the existing academic knowledge and understanding in this matter.
As we understand well, the constituents of art are wild and disputed, especially in the contemporary era. Considering the practicality and the precision of the program during study period, I plan to research in detail the particular relations of artist emotions to visual arts including drawing, painting, sculpture, acting, dancing, filmmaking, and photography, mainly on size, form, style, colour, figure, and atmosphere, which are essential for further exploration of the emotional influences on art.
Emotions are highly praised and widely applied by most artists. For example, Caspar David Friedrich, a German painter, sees the artist’s feelings as his law . For William Butler Yeats, the moods seem the labourers and messengers of the Ruler of All, the gods of ancient days still dwelling on their secret Olympus, the angels of more modern days ascending and descending upon their shining ladder . Recently, the subjective emotion is defined as what the artist seeks to depict in artistic style . In addition, it has been commonly accepted that the purpose of artistic expression is the creation of an emotional experience . However, pitifully, the specific relations of emotions to art creation are still unraveled.
As a senior in Oil Painting Department, I am quite sensitive to images and have rich experiences to create visual works. I have focused on the relationship between emotions and art for a long time and personally tested the emotional effects on colour choice in picture creation, from which I learned that choosing colours without any feelings is not the norm in art. Emotions are ideal assistants leading artists to make decisions among various colours effectively. In creating without feelings, the colours of visual art works become disordered and meaningless. This test indicates the essential position of emotions in art creation with colour balance.
The proposed research will include literature research, interview research, experimental research methods, material collection, material analysis, results interpretation, making conclusions, discussion, and writing research papers.
The extensive literature knowledge on history, psychology, biology, and aesthetics involving emotions and visual arts is one of the main objectives of my research. Therefore, it is necessary to access a wide range of learning resources including renowned libraries, museums, galleries, cultural institutions, and laboratories.
There will be select interviews with experienced artists. From these interviews and discussions, I plan to gather practical views and opinions to supplement the material collections in my research.
The experimental research contains a series of tests involving volunteer artists. In separate sessions, the artists will create visual arts with free emotions and with very limited emotions. In this experimental study, artists will focus on certain effects of feelings mainly on size, form, style, colour, figure, and atmosphere. In addition, there will be a time to observe participants’ works and discuss their works with them. For this part, research requires studio space and various facilities such as professional camera, video, and projector.
Artist emotions have been closely associated with the art creation since time immemorial. However, the particular relationships between the two sides are still not clear and it has been a challenging topic . My proposed research, which carefully analyses the relations of artist feelings to their visual art creation, will be meaningful to find or gain a better understanding of the truth behind these mysteries. Why emotions are so intimate with art? Why artists think highly of their feelings? What is the specific role of emotions in art? How can artists apply emotions effectively?
The excellent facilities and resources provided in our school is one of the reasons for me to apply the Fine Arts MA Department of UCL. These facilities and resources are important and key players for this research.
Three months: Studying and researching on theories related to the research project and confirming the direction, scope, and planning of the research project.
Two months: Interviewing artists including discussions with them.
Two months: Conducting a series of tests.
Three months: collecting and analysing material, and writing some reports for publication.
One month: Completing the program and writing the thesis.