Painting your feelings

January 8, 2021
By Richard Robinson
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I just love this painting of my daughter Danielle at our beach. We were bouncing on the trampoline together some years ago and I double-bounced her (tramp-lingo) and she came down screaming with a twisted ankle. Just awful. My heart drops when I think about it. Got her fixed up with a moon-boot and a few days later I painted this of her on our beach from an earlier photo of her.
I guess I had to work through the guilt of hurting my own daughter and this helped. Haven't done many double-bounces since then though. 😕
Turns out Dani is an amazing artist now at just 16. This painting of Johnny Depp is one of my favorites of hers. Nice, right!? Waaaay better than me at that age. So great to see. ❤️
Johnny Depp by Danielle Robinson
More recently I got to paint Dani (and Luke) again when exploring the techniques of legendary Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla. Again this is on our beach and just a beautiful subject, but painted from happiness and love rather than from a place of sorrow. Is there a difference in the outcome? I personally don't think so, but I'll leave that to your interpretation.
"Home Time" 23 x 21" Oil on Canvas by Richard Robinson.
Certainly they are both happy subjects and colourings, but I wonder if there's anything telling in the style, or even in the individual brushstrokes.
Some paintings reveal their seedling emotions in a much more obvious fashion:
"The Scream" by Edvard Munch, 1893
Whatever you're painting, it's important to be aware of the emotions that are driving it forward, the feeling within you that moves each stroke of the brush.
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art. (Paul Cezanne)
I usually sign off with 'Happy Painting!', but today,
Expressive Painting!
Richard Robinson
PS. You can get the Sorolla painting lesson here:
or if you're a Premium Member you can get it free here: