Art therapy, when paintings evoke emotions

When it comes to talk about Art and its respected benefits, there are tons of scientific or medical articles: each shape, each form, and each color transmits a different message to our brain through light receptors and produces different sensations. The perception of Art and its effects is strictly linked to our emotions, perceptions of colors and memories. However, two philosophies, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong, deeply believe that Art can help us with our most intimate and ordinary dilemmas, allowing us to think outside of the box or just to relieve mental pressures.

If you type “Art benefits” on Google, you will find a lot of articles explaining how self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or, seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities. Drawing and painting are two ways to considerably enhance our motricity, creativity, concentration, capability and reduce stress. However, we usually forget about the contemplative function of Art and its positive virtues.

Again, nobody has the exact same experience when standing in front of Art. Trying to perceive a message or an emotion in a painting can be challenging but it is something that we can all improve on with a bit of introspection. Art should be seen as a way to exercise self-reflection and to better understand ourselves. It might sound crazy but a simple painting can literally change your life and your perceptions!

Let’s try to find out how we can turn artwork into a source of emotions.

Art can inspire peace of mind:


Paintings of landscapes can usually help you to relax. Indeed a landscape like the sea, the mountain, a field of flowers, or a lake, will bring you back to memories like your childhood, family holidays, a house, or even specific place that you adore. Moreover, landscapes are typically painted using colors like blue, green, white, yellow, orange… all colors that represent calmness, serendipity and vitality. This artwork above personally makes me reminisce about holiday I spent close to the sea, and allows me to dive into my best memories and relax.

Tips: imagine hanging a painting that evokes you the peace right in front of your bed, revisit your beautiful memories and forget about your daily stress just before falling asleep…

Art can inspire motivation:

Some paintings can be a real source of motivation or inspiration. For example, this artwork that depicts a jump into outer space, reminds me how important it is in life to take risks and leap forwards into new opportunities. Of course, this is my personal perception. I am also aware that this painting could cause other emotions to surface for someone else such as: vertigo, anxiety, courage, recklessness or even, no feelings at all.

Tips: If you are like me and no a morning person whatsoever, I strongly recommend that you drink your first cup of coffee in front of a painting that makes you feel inspired and motivated whilst repeating “I can do it.”

Art can make you dream or escape from reality:


Sometimes it is essential to escape from reality and the stress of our mundane responsibilities. A painting can represent a door towards your dreams and be the trigger you need to lose yourself inside your own imagination. I don’t know what this artwork will evoke in you but for me, this infinite desert together with the endless field of clouds, causes feelings of escapism. I can imagine that I am the character walking into an open field and who knows what can happen next. I feel a juxtaposition of emotions between excitement and fear the longer I look at this piece of Art but perhaps, this is my individual experience with it that no one else will have…

Tips: Stimulating creativity is not an easy task, especially when our daily routines become repetitive. Find paintings that inspire you to imagine a different and new world where anything is possible!

Art can make you think outside of the box:


 Orange, Red, Yellow, (1961) Mark Rothko

Sometimes we remain silent and confused in front of a painting because we don’t understand the message being illustrated nor can we grasp any real meaning from it. However, instead of moving on or accepting defeat, this moment should be seen as the perfect opportunity to exercise an unconventional way of thinking and perceiving.  Personally, I am not a huge fan of abstract Art as I find it challenging to squeeze meaning out of and lack an emotional-sensitivity towards it. However, I like this painting because it proves how Art is capable of making one think outside the box.

While I was looking for the meaning of this painting and hoping to find a hidden message, I discovered that the artist, Mark Rothko, just wanted to put the focus on colors. Colors are the main subject in this painting; simple, subtle but evocative.

Now it seems obvious right? We are so programmed to uncover a big mystery that we often forget about the essentials, perhaps this is a flaw of basic human nature? However, colors are also made for the eyes and there is beauty and importance in something so simple.

Tips: Place an abstract painting in your dining room and ask your guests what they each see. You’ll never have a boring dinner conversation again!

We can find many examples of Art causing emotional effects. At Artupia, we like to think that there is a special artwork for each one of us and that the combination of design, the story behind the painting and the memories it can surface is a recipe for a real revelation!  

We highly encourage you to introduce Art into your everyday life, starting with your home and then empowering your loved ones!

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