What is it about grotesque or "dark" art that makes people uncomfortable? As an artist, I use art to express what's in my soul, I use images to portray what words cannot. There is not only light but dark inside each if us; why then (from personal experience) do people tend to shy away from works that make you feel the darkness? I could sketch or publish works that are constantly cutesy or fuzzy feeling- but I'm not a robot, and have plenty of hurt and scars that also drive me creatively. I use my art as an outlet for that pain. I won't apologise for making someone feel something, because by feeling that emotion, even for a moment, you know what a part of me feels as well- every day of my life. Pictures of sunsets, and beautiful portraits are nice, and nice to look at, but it's important to remember the darkness as well. Through pain and bad experiences we learn strength from the hurt and the scars it leaves us. Why should that not be embraced as well?

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Comment by Jess on July 15, 2015 at 11:07pm

Wren, I believe art comes from the soul - heart and life experiences both good and bad. I feel that you should paint whatever you feel and painting itself brings joy and happiness, and a full range of other emotions, lol. But what I mean is paint whatever drives you and in the end it will bring happiness, if you only paint rainbows because they sell for example you will end up miserable and lose the joy of painting and that would be a tragedy. All the best

Comment by Alan Brain on July 16, 2015 at 5:13pm
What a great question you raise! I like you am compelled to paint what is real to me (from within me) and it can be dark. My friends and family used to say please do nice ones like you used to. Answer NO WAY . result fewer folk get my work . do I mind? I used to and I certainly sell less? Would I have liked to have done it all friendly? NO that would make me a phoney. Be true to yourself is one of my mottos. To help me I think of Hopper, Hurst, Picasso and more. They didn't give a fig about others views and wow their work is forever.
Comment by stephen mason on July 20, 2015 at 1:59pm

Your words ring true,they are touching on things which maybe many people choose to keep out of sight. Like you i paint and create from the heart, from within myself. It is the act of creation that i look for,the product is always secondary. I believe passion is the fuel of life,the spark which lets us burn brightly. For some the bright light and colours are a release from darkness, for others they are the edges of the small world they allow themselves to ive in .

Certainly you should never apologize for your art and i would hope real human beings with true emotions and feelings would never ask you to do so. Embrace the dark side and then the light can shine. Life is all about balance, pro and con,yin and yang etc.

Comment by Tamera Zarr on August 21, 2015 at 1:18pm

I have always been a fan of horror and the macabre, even since childhood, but I also love fuzzy kittens and flowers. I love to write and I write horror and mystery and don't mind making readers uncomfortable - makes me think I did my job well ;) What has surprised me is that since picking up a brush and trying out more art in the form of painting, is that all of those are coming up dark too, or uncomfortable, or someplace in the land of weird. Even when I've started with a different idea all together the finished piece may have taken on a disturbing element.

There are just those that will avoid any amount of discomfort whether they are just viewing or are the actual artist. Even some of the teddy bears and rainbows types of artists may have deep dark pools they could pull from, but for them, the teddy bears and rainbows are a comforting life raft keeping them above the surface. For others, those deep dark pools may overflow if they don't spill onto canvas or into written word. I wouldn't say one type of artist is better than the other, we just work differently.

I think it's also worth noting that "darkness" in painting can come across very differently to different people. Like a painting of a single beautiful flower, with no vase, in a vacuum of a background, different people may see very differently. Some will only focus on the flower, all of it's pretty petals and colors, but others will see the hurt in the painting. A single pretty cut flower, with nothing to feed it and no sun or background to sustain it could become a very haunting picture loneliness and desolation if done right.

Comment by Joan Elizabeth White on February 27, 2016 at 4:52pm

I SO AGREE......I HAVE SOME ART THAT I HAVE DID OVER THE YEARS , EXSPECIALLY DURING A VERY ROUGH SPOT IN MY LIFE, I UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU ARE COMING SO. I LOVE ART AND SOMETIMES THE RAW ART DRAWS ME IN MORE THAN HAPPY ART, DON'T GET ME WRONG I LOVE HAPPY LITTLE RAINBOWS AND SUNSETS, AND SUNRISES AND AM THANKFUL FOR ALL.  I BELIEVE ALL OF US WHO CREATE SOMETIMES DESIRE TO CREATE FROM THE STORM THAT BREWS FROM TIME TO TIME, I THINK IT IS THE STORMS OF LIFE THAT MAKE US STRONGER. THANK YOU I ENJOYED YOUR BLOG

Comment by Pandalana Williams on March 5, 2016 at 6:28pm
People feel uncomfortable about that type of art because it makes them feel a way they don't want to feel. Some people do collect that type of art; though. As in "Raw Art" and "Horror Art". The average person, however does not want to look at that type of art because it scares something inside them. There are Some places for that type of art; as far as resale; as I saw someone mention not to paint something because of whether it will sell or not. However, many artist, I for one, need to pay my bills. Darker art can be marketed for publishing for books and other media and as sketches for story books for animation; maybe you would like to do you own book about your pain and do your own animations? For the non artist person who may look at a dark piece you have done and wonder "why" you did it; they can't get past the notion that all drawings and paintings should have some aesthetic quality to be able to frame and/or hang on a wall. The majority of the mainstream audience likes "pretty pictures" to decorate their home with; and they will spend money on that; but not on a drawing or painting that scares them or makes them feel bad. They just don't want to look at it every day on their wall. People are already battling their own demons and don't want one on the wall staring them in face and reminding them of their own pain. They want their home to be as safe of a haven as possible; emotionally. As far as just to paint the dark for yourself as in helping you with your own therapy; I highly recommend that. I have a LOT of those types of drawings in a special large watercolor black book, just for me :) For now anyway. Who knows, maybe I will make a book? :)

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