However, once done, you can integrate the experience more fully by inviting the logical side of your brain making sense of what happened in its own, left-brain terms. When you sense that there is more meaning in a painting, here are some questions you can use to help your verbal, logical part of the brain figure out what happened.
Questions to Uncover Meaning in Your Painting
- For each of the objects in the painting (for example, the web is one object, the background colors are another)
- What is the mood or feeling associated with object?
- What is the relationship between that object and the others?
- If it could talk, what would it say?
- What are the common cultural associations for that object?
- What are your associations with that object?
- What aspects of the object seemed important when you painted it?
- What aspects stand out for you now that you look at it? Color? Size? Symmetry? Placement on the paper?
- Do you see an connection between this object and someone or something in your own life
- If the painting were put into motion, what would happen next?
- The painting was is a expression of painter in that moment. What do you think it says?
Sometimes, as you explore these questions, the meaning becomes very clear. Other times, even if you have a strong sense that the picture is trying to tell you something, the mystery of your painting stays a mystery. Rene Magritte wrote, “My painting is visible images which conceal nothing…they evoke mystery and indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, ‘What does that mean?’ It does not mean anything, because mystery mean nothing either, it is unknowable.”