Year One - Contextual and Professional Studies Year One - Painting

Outside of Art

Psychology Influence in Art

For this topic of ‘Outside of Art’, I decided to look into the relation of reflecting Psychology within art.

Jacky Gerritsen Art

I like the way this artist reflects the idea of psychology through their art work. The use of tones and colours vary in relation to the context of the work yet are all relative and complimentary. The work is well executed and makes the audience question their own ideas when viewing the work.

I tried to research further into the ideology behind these pieces in particular, yet there is minimal information on the artist or art work online. I found the artist on Facebook and I am fortunate to have gotten a response!

I took from the artist’s response my initial ideas of the audience forming their own ideas based on their work. Yet it was insightful to hear this from the artist themselves, who made her art for a particular reason yet doesn’t necessarily share the original inspirations or concepts. Reflecting to the audience that art is made for others and the psychology behind the piece is relative to the person viewing it.

The Relationship between Art and Psychology

‘Art causes reduction and even treatment of behavioral and mental disorders. Concepts like art, soul, love, beauty, relation, justice, perfection, and freedom in each realm of life has its own specific meaning’

The Relationship Between Art and Psychology Article

‘Art invites men to social life and before suffering from mental madness leaves significant effects on improvement of human life.’

The Relationship Between Art and Psychology Article

I can relate to this on a personal level as I believe the act of art does relieve mental health struggles allowing me to express my emotions into the art. Like Aristotle said, “No great genius has ever existed without a strain of madness.”, reflecting the idea that great artwork is formed by extreme emotions which lots of artists can resinate with.

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889)

This idea of allowing people suffering from mental illness to create great art, really reminded me of Vincent van Gogh. His artwork within his life really reflects his mental suffering, which can be shown in the image above. Although psychologists do not know what the artist was suffering from, it is widely know he was a troubled man. Yet his work is now extremely valued when it had not been in his lifetime. Though unfortunate he never lived to experience his success, art clearly helped to elevate his emotions as he continued to create work even when he was criticised.

‘Gestalts psychology, a holistic view point in psychology, helped the growth of art psychology. Arnheims’ works especially his significant book «toward a Psychology of Art» played an undeniable role’

The Relationship Between Art and Psychology Article
Toward a Psychology of Art: Collected Essays Book

‘The papers collected in this book are based on the assumption that art, as any other activity of the mind, is subject to psychology, accessible to understanding, and needed for any comprehensive survey of mental functioning’

Amazon’s Summary of the Book

From having viewed summaries of this book I can see how it could have helped build intrigue to the subject of psychology within art, resulting the ‘significant book’ having an ‘undeniable role’. The book covers a wide range of artists and artwork and how these are influenced from physiology and how they continue to influence ideologies.


From my research into ‘Psychology Influence in Art’, I found that most artworks have elements of psychology whether it be vast or minuscule. I found people relate to artwork in an emotive way which then enables art to subjectively be interpreted in the mental headspace of the viewer. This topic is very intriguing when viewing art personally and how viewers when looking at art is of a large scale relative to multiple elements. I think this could influence my personal project by showing subtle themes of Psychology and allow the viewing audience to form their own opinions of the work I produce.


Kamali, N., and Javdan, M. 2012. The Relationship between Art and Psychology. J. Life Sci. Biomed. 2(4): 129-133.

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