Painting and Our Inner World

The Psychology of Image Making

  • Pavel Machotka
  • Lori Felton

Part of the The Plenum Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 1-5
  3. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 7-16
  4. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 17-28
  5. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 29-47
  6. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 49-74
  7. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 75-98
  8. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 99-116
  9. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 117-139
  10. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 141-157
  11. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 159-177
  12. Pavel Machotka, Lori Felton
    Pages 179-191
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 193-217

About this book


That painting is at least in part an expression of the painter's personality is obvious from the differences between very impulsive and very controlled painters - between the paintings of a Picasso, for example, and a Piet Mondriaan. But these differences have not been looked at in a controlled setting. In this book, Machotka sets out to understand the images produced by a broad sample of students and to connect them to the students' inner lives - to their interpersonal relations, their wishes and fears, their impulses and inhibitions. Their image making was followed in detail and their personality was studied in a long clinical interview, producing a rich, individual picture of the style and substance of the inner life of each. Then the images were grouped into seven types by cluster analysis. The personal data were found to fit the image clusters closely: for example, images with little form and much narration were produced by people with strong compensatory longings, while dense, collaged images were made by participants who exercised relentless control over one major issue in their life. Other individuals had a strong need to integrate their lives and produced well-formed, well-composed images. As expected, no single motive explained all artistic activity - but the style of the images, such as their inhibited formality, abstractness, or fluid boldness, reflected what could be called the map of each participant's interpersonal world.


Biographie Emotion Psyche assessment paintings psychodynamics psychology

Authors and affiliations

  • Pavel Machotka
    • 1
  • Lori Felton
  1. 1.University of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 2003
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-4936-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-0127-5
  • Series Print ISSN 1566-709X
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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