Painting – Expressionism

Joy Comes in the Morning
Joy Comes in the Morning

Sheri Garvin


oil on canvas

Expressionism showed up in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was an avant-garde movement that was reacting against the academic standards that were current at that time (naturalism and impressionism among others) and was more about the emotion than about the literal replication of the physical world.

For our first exercise in Painting class, the entire group was given the same layout of abstract lines on the canvas and told to simply paint what we see or feel in those lines for the next several hours. We were to get a feel for the water soluable oils and how they react to each other, the brushes, the water, and the canvas. It was amazing what showed up in our diverse group! Everything from beautiful abstract geometry to soft illusions to bunnies crying black tears to a duck with antlers. That being so, mine was the only one that came out choppy and looking like this!

This is a definite and radical departure from my own personal style, but that is what college is all about, right? I felt like exploring an expressive style, even though I did not get as bold as the Expressionists tended to get with their colors and lines. (Hey… baby steps!) I would like to learn to paint in different styles and this seemed like a good time to try it.

As this painting developed under my brush, the title and feeling presented itself. I was not searching for it, it just came, and that was a beautiful experience. It was fun. I still have not figured out my personal reaction to it… but I don’t have to. It just is. And right now it is hanging on our wall.

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