read an introspective painting.

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How to read an introspective painting

(Estimated reading time: 3 min, 37 sec)

Q: What emotional experience can I have when looking at an introspective painting? What is more important than the brush stroke, the originality, the play of colors?

The world appears as a picture, but two people looking through the same porthole do not see the same thing.

While one admires the colors of the sunset, the other marvels at the immensity of space; a third trembles, thinking of the depth of the sea over which their ship is sailing.


Each looks at what surrounds them through the filter of their emotions — whether it is the emotion of the moment or a habitual state of mind.

Looking out of that porthole, the person who is sad at that moment will think about the passing of time — like a ship on the waves — and the non-return of lost things; the curious person will look at dolphins with excitement; the pessimistic person will scan the horizon looking for the hurricane that is sure to come.

Chains - acrylic painting by Aurora Mazzoldi - Hpw to read an introspective painting.
Chains; acrylic painting by Aurora Mazzoldi.

Even when looking at a painting of Introspective Art, everyone sees or feels different things.

But the message of the painting is universal: it is common to all people and is very specific.

The variety of impressions we receive, and the difference in emotional experience, depend on our inner filters, those that veil our eyes and deceive our perceptions.

Calming the mind

The “smart” way to look at an Introspective Art painting is to calm the mind. In this way, as we observe, we can listen to each impression it creates in us.

In most cases, our inner filters block or deflect them. If the message concerns us too much, we may avert our eyes or convince ourselves that we are superior to these things.

Why do we act in this way?

Images, like as sounds, evoke openness or closure in us. If we remain open, sensations, impressions, stimuli, everything can enter through this door. This scares us because we are not used to dealing with emotions.

Closing off emotions does not protect us.

It limits understanding and important emotional experiences.

A painting of introspective art can make us curious and willing to discover more. We can find joy and have some well-being, or feel disturbed by it. Both situations attract us.

What we reject is what we don’t want to see in ourselves. When we follow this path, we get in touch with our most intimate part.

We can say that everything in the painting that attracts us and makes us curious — whether it is an expression, a posture, a color etc. — can refer to emotional experiences that we would like to have. What we reject are dark recesses within ourselves that we are not yet ready to explore. But, of course, what the Introspective Art painting tells and shows us is much more than that.

The message of the introspective painting “Chains”

An ordinary painting lover just looks at the color, the subject, the technique. He listens to see if the painting gives him pleasure, and if it corresponds to what he feels. But the attentive observer wonders about the message of the painting. Then they notice the special connection between the two figures.

Some see two little girls playing, others a girl with her doll, and others a mother with her child.

The painting suggests a strong bond between the two subjects.

It could just as easily be a codependent relationship between two adult partners.

But what emotions arise when you see such a bond? The mother is holding her little girl close and looking at her: she’s mine, and she’s here!

In the picture, the little girl looks very much like a doll. In fact, the possessiveness of the mother (or the older child) reduces the person to an object. Doesn’t this lead us to look at our possessive attachments to the people we fear losing?

Love and Power

The image shows us where the fine line is between what we call love and what is power. We may feel led to ask questions about why there tension in our relationship.

And how does the baby/doll react to being taken?

She accepts it. In her laughing gaze we can see the cunning of someone who thinks she can turn the situation to her apparent advantage, of someone who thinks she can “tease everyone”.

“You want to keep me close? Take me around, and you do the work!”

Detail from the acrylic painting "Chains". The Child. By Aurora Mazzoldi.
Aurora Mazzoldi. Detail from the acrylic painting “Chains”. The Child.

Both seem content. Each gains power from it. They both get the illusory security of keeping someone tied to them forever.

But the title of the painting brings us to the reality of the situation: a bond that limits the freedom of both and undermines their potential.

A chain, indeed.

Each has their interest.

Each pursues their aspiration, feels their emotions, and uses everything around to achieve their goals.

In addition, everyone takes from an introspective image the tone they need to color their life, to have a particular emotional experience, to move on to the next adventure.

In everyone’s mind, this seems logical. But we forget that, at the base of every preference is a choice of color, emotion, reaction, and life.

Aurora Mazzoldi