Express Yo Self

Expressionism /ikˈspreSHəˌnizəm/

A style where the artist seeks to express emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world. Art in which the image of reality is distorted in order to make it expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas.

‘Death Struggle’ by Edvard Munch

“Expressionism emerged across Germany in 1905 as a response to a widespread anxiety about humanity’s increasingly discordant relationship with the world and accompanying lost feelings of authenticity and spirituality.”


Color can be highly intense and non-naturalistic.

Brushwork is typically free.

Paint application tends to be generous and highly textured.

Expressionist art tends to be emotional and sometimes mystical.

Vincent Van Gogh

Art was now meant to come from within the artist, rather than from a depiction of the external visual world.

 Artists often employ swirling, swaying & exaggeratedly executed brushstrokes.

Abstract Expressionism

After WWII, surrealists arrived in New York from Europe due to political turmoil, causing Abstract Expressionism to be developed in the 1940’s and 50’s.

‘Convergence’ by Jackson Pollock

Encompasses painters who used fields of color and abstract forms, AND ALSO those who attacked their canvases with a vigorous gestural expressionism.

Mary Abbot’s ‘All Green’

This was a new style fitted to the post-war mood of anxiety and trauma

This style of painting is consumed by a heroic, male narrative, but plenty of women emerged as influential cannons in this era.

Helen Frankenthaler’s, ‘Western Dream’


It even sounds intense. In the late 70’s, there was “an international return to the sensuousness of painting, shying away from Expressionism before it.

Neo-expressionists dismissed the intellectualized and refined approach to art, turning back to expressing raw emotion.

Ali Banisadr’s ‘The Lesser Lights’

Artists depicted their subjects in an almost raw and brutish manner.

this is for sure “brutish”

Subjects included

  • Narrative
  • Mythology
  • Memory
  • Psychology

The style is characterized by

  • Tactile, Raw Handling of Materials
  • Vibrant Expression of Emotions
  • Heavy Paint
  • Recognizable Brush Work

Julian Schnabel, straddled the boundaries between painting and sculpture by incorporating found objects onto his canvases as diverse as rugs, wood and broken plates.

Anselm Kiefer’s ‘Margarete’

Bold, Intense and Audacious, therefore quite controversial

Eric Fischl’s ‘Bad Boy’

Abstract Painting🖌

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes… The artist perceives beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind and an exploration into unknown areas.”

Arshile Gorky

This was supposed to be Jupiter and it turned into a whole breast…. ART

“The main purpose of abstraction is not to tell a story, but to encourage involvement and imagination.”

To appreciate abstraction, focus on how successful a piece is in evoking emotion.

Abstract paintings can also be appreciated in terms of the individual elements of art:

color, shape, line, texture, space, value, etc.

An abstract artist’s skills lie in their ability to use colors and textures to their best visual strength and to create a sound composition from these elements.

  • Pour the paint directly onto the canvas
  • Splatter it onto the canvas, flick with a finger
  • Use a mixture of palette knives, tools & brushes
  • Mix the paint directly on the canvas
  • Work with negative space
  • Stop before it’s too late… you’ll know

Don’t give your painting away with the title. Something vague always works, make people ponder.

Free your mind of any other thoughts, give it a little time and simply let the painting convey its intended emotion to you. Observe the colors and textures. What do they make you feel? Jackson Pollock said, “Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you.” Let the painting ask the questions instead of the other way around.”

Who are some of your favorite abstract artists?

The importance of PREPARING


Last night I turned on my music, got all comfy, had a drink so I didn’t need to go anywhere for a while- and I started painting with a vision in my head— I’m really excited about it and all of the sudden, there are little brush hairs all over the place just coming out of this new brush I bought at Michael’s earlier yesterday👺

I sat there and thought, maybe I should’ve washed it better before I started & tried to keep using it 🙄 but the little hairs kept coming. I had enough for a Barbie wig at this point smh. I realized the brushes I got were trash and I got played. That was my first mistake with this painting.

Then of course I didn’t prime the canvas because I don’t have any gesso. The paint at this point is just not going on like it should. It was terrible-dry-the paint was not going on like it should have. I should have just stopped there.

Fuck this lame canvas and trash brushes I bought yesterday 😤 I should have known the sales were too good to be true!!! 0/10 do not recommend their level 2 brushes or level one canvass…. obviously, but I’m poor rn and thought with good paint and the brushes I already have, I’ll be fine without priming a canvas, I never do that anyways 🤬😖😫🥺


I should have just stopped.

BUT NO, IM STUBBORN AND WANTED TO PERSEVERE in my quest to recreate the painting I did that made me realize I could paint😭🙄

  • My brushes are shit
  • Didn’t have gesso to prime
  • Water was not cutting it to help the paint go on this dry, unpreped, level one artists loft trash canvas I got from Michaels yesterday🥺
What have I done

I created a monster

no pencil prep, no nothing! just balls to the walls with paint and shitty brushes. I thought I could do this without planning 🥴

I cannot outsmart unprepared, unplanned with bad products. I lose.

The canvas, brushes and lack of prep crippled me. I sat there for 2 hours, stepped back and just laughed and started cleaning up last night.


I was beating a dead horse.

I walked away and am going to return with proper perportions in mind with some planning and a pencil to try to salvage this and then I will try again once I have proper tools.

Time to get new brushes 😈

This stuff will arrive this week

I’m also really excited to order brushes from this local family in England who hand make all their brushes, have great quality brushes & prices 🖤

Link below to Rosemary and Co 🎨


I look forward to later this week when I can paint with everything arriving and can fix the Frankenstein Feather I resurrected upstairs 😖

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