“Expressionism is an artistic style that depict subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse within a person.”
– From Brittanica
I was drawn to the huge sculptural background in the introduction of BTS Fake Love music video. Hence, I decided to take an expressionist approach to this painting.
I struggled with expressionist portraits prior to this piece as the instructor pushed me to do more as my work was ‘too safe’. Asides from this, people have told me repeatedly that I do not have to agree with them all the time, and encouraged me to state my arguments.
I suppressed my emotions because I was held back by the words of someone of a higher hierarchy. Whenever he saw me failing, he accused me of being difficult, disagreeable and ‘not doing anything’. Worse still, some people minimise my pain by telling me that I should ignore the person.
I learnt I should never deny my emotions despite how ignorant people are towards emotional and mental health. When I stopped denying the pain that the person inflicted upon me, I healed.
As I am not good at drawing hands, I focused more on painting the waves. The waves swirling furiously around the hands reflect the turbulence of my emotions that crippled me. As these emotions within me were strong, I chose contrasting colours for this piece. I chose Phthalo Turquoise, Magenta, Red and Yellow for this piece.
The challenge of doing this piece was to really put aside my perfectionist self and immerse myself in this artwork. I learnt expressionist portraits in 2018 — my instructor pushed me to add more textures and bold colours, as my work was too safe. I played safe because too many elements can mess up a painting, and I was not sure if I wanted to redo this piece.
Thankfully, this is done in acrylics, so I can repaint on it if I did not like anything.
04. Final Thoughts
Despite people’s ignorance on emotional and mental health, I learnt that I should not deny my emotions. When I stopped denying the pain that the person inflicted on me, I began to heal. That is how this piece came about, and it is very cathartic to paint this.