The Capture of Emotions

With an empty music stand and a blank canvas, musician Emily Hedrick and I got together to experiment with the power of emotions and creative expression. We spent over an hour creating music and art. Click the play button to listen to a clip of Emily’s creation. 

We entered the creative space with no plan except to create as we felt led. I sat where Emily could see what I was painting and I of course could hear her music from the piano. The idea was that we would both let creativity take over with only each other as an influence for what we were doing – I was attempting to paint what I heard and felt and she was attempting to play what she saw and felt.musicalemotions_500

There were times when I believe we were simply following the creative instincts and emotions inside of us oblivious to the other. There were times when I could feel my brush following her… and then there were times I realized I had gone astray from her and was no longer with her… but beautifully, not long after I realized I had left her did I notice that she had joined me instead. We created a codependent creative relationship through my visual art and her music. Sometimes I led, sometimes she led, sometimes we followed each other and sometimes we followed ourselves, but without saying a word, we seemed to be communicating.

Perhaps one of the things I love about creativity is that words are not always required. Our world has learned how to function through words so much that we often may feel there is something wrong if we can’t name something. Ultimately Emotions are undefined. We can try to capture them, but we will only come up short.

This does not mean that art and music can fully capture emotions either, but perhaps they can capture emotions differently. Perhaps they speak to what we cannot name, and remind us that things don’t always have to be named to be real.

The truth is, emotions are part of the human experience – which means they are worthy of expression. Maybe they are hard to talk about, maybe it feels impossible to grasp the excitement or the fear, the relief or the pain… but maybe instead of wrestling with words that are too often too defined, maybe a paint brush or a piano can help.

When I paint my emotions are captured on canvas… they are both apart of me and visibly, tangibly expressed outside of me. Co-creating with Emily through music and paint showed me how true this is. I could feel emotions in both her melody and in my paint enough to know when we were no longer on the same page. It was a conversation, a source of inspiration, an example of the divine power of creativity.

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