Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Katie Crompton – Basically Just a Shameless Family Promotion

For my Phil’s Day Off assignment, I decided I would explore how we express emotions by visiting my aunt and uncle’s art studio at The Arts Factory for Vancouver’s East Side Culture Crawl. Before I got there, I had no idea what this event was other than the fact that my aunt and uncle were participating. What I found out was that the East Side Culture Crawl is an event where a bunch of artists who have studios on the East Side of Vancouver open their studios to the public and show their pieces for a weekend. When I got to my out and uncle’s studio, I was happy to find that my aunt and uncle share a space with a ton of other artists from the area.

[Left] An example of my uncle’s photography [Middle] My uncle (David Crompton) and my aunt (Tristesse Seeliger) in front of their work [Right] One of my aunt’s collages using maps

As I walked around the space admiring everyone’s work and feeling intimidated by the stereotypically pretentious art people, I began to realize that not only does art show the artists emotions, but it also evokes emotions from the viewer. A lot of the time, it is left up to the viewer to interpret the meaning and emotions behind a piece. One technique that artists use to hint at specific emotions in their work is colour association. They will use certain colours in their work that are commonly associated with certain emotions. Different shades or variations on the same colour have different colour associations as well. For example, pink is associated with romance, love, and friendship while a darker red is associated with leadership, vigour, and anger. This is shown in the picture below. The piece on the left seems much calmer and happier than the piece on the right. We use colour association extensively in our daily lives. Without even noticing it, we automatically judge and react to things based on its colour.

[Left] a painting by Marion Landry [Right] piece using mixed media on board by Catherine Tableau

Another thing I discovered from this trip was that is is easy for people to interpret emotions differently. There were a lot of sculptures and portraits in the studio and I found that different people could easily get different emotions out of the same piece.

Sculpture by Ati Ahkami

Let’s look at the picture to the left. At first glance, you may see a calm and content person, but others may see sadness or longing. Unless we talk to the artist, we won’t know for sure what the intended emotion is for this piece, but that adds to the intrigue. We can connect this to our interactions with people as well. Human’s ability to hide emotions and the fact that everyone expresses their emotions differently makes it difficult at times to pin down how other people are feeling. This is one of the reason’s why art is so great at capturing life and the human experience.


The main thing I got through this experience is that artists are very in tune with their emotions. I believe that when you are in tune with your emotions, you are living authentically. Being authentic and having complete awareness of everything that is you, including your emotions, is what Being is all about. I have reached the conclusion that though emotions may not be the soul of Being, they are a part of you that makes you more than just a collection of cells. Emotions are a vital aspect of your Being.

TIME FOR THE SHAMELESS FAMILY PROMOTION! If you are interested in my aunt and/or uncle’s work, You can check out their websites www.tristesseseeliger.com and www.davidcrompton.net. OR you can follow them on Instagram: @missytrissy and @crompsy.



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