Gestural Art

Expressive  Art - Emotions  revealed through Painting.

Using expressive art the artist's emotions and  personality are conveyed through gestural or action painting.  In conventional paintings you can identify familiar objects like people, landscapes, sunsets, animals etc. This type of art is described as representational painting. But there are other styles of painting that don’t rely on its subject content.  The general classification for this type of art is abstract painting.  Abstract painting conveys its subject without using identifiable objects, and is more open to the interpretations of the viewer.


Taking this further, there is a sub division of abstract painting described as action painting.  The action painting movement evolved after World War Two and mirrored the turmoil of this turbulent period. It’s also known as ‘gestural painting’ because it involves  the spontaneous application of instinctual vigorous, sweeping brushstrokes of paint onto the canvas  Expressive art is more about revealing the artist’s  emotions and personality, rather than accurately depicting scenes of recognisable elements found in conventional art. It’s similar, in a way, to our everyday gestures  that reflect our own emotions and personality. After all, any gesture is a form of non-vocal or non-verbal communication in which visible body actions communicate particular messages.  A work created in this manner using gesture drawing or painting is described as a gestural art.


In gestural art it’s not a question of what gets painted but how it gets painted. The paint is applied intuitively in a spontaneous  free style way  rather than in a controlled, pre planned manner. The end  result is an expressive art work of earnest honesty by the gestural painting artist which demonstrates their deepest emotions and personality along with primal realities. This is revealed in an evocative manner by the physical act of painting. 

Like all painting, gestural must be genuinely honest and authentic to be effective.  The actual innermost feeling by the artist has to be conveyed to, and produce a reaction by the viewer.

Emotions and personality expressed by a figure study