What is it about?
The paintings discussed in this article are expressive portraits, melding traditional qualitative methods with a subjective, interior artistic process. I find creating visual imagery through painting as part of my research process provides new insights into participants’ feelings and perspectives. The portraits facilitate my reflections on their experiences, allowing me to express my own complex feelings and ideas as they develop and identify emergent themes. As the research process unfolds, painting becomes an avenue for me to explore and deepen my relationships with participants.
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
Why is it important?
I was an artist and a teacher, not yet a researcher, and artmaking is how I made sense of the world. I read many studies about artmaking. They were about art, children’s drawings, or artmaking with different populations, but that was where the visual language ended. I had always considered art a second language, a way to deepen or say what words couldn’t express. I wondered, where did the visual fit in this text-heavy academic world? As a painter, portraiture fit the language I naturally spoke and shaped the way I looked at and understood the world around me.
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This page is a summary of: Expressive portraiture as research: Exploration, ideation and discovery, International Journal of Education through Art, September 2022, Intellect, DOI: 10.1386/eta_00108_1.
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