“What we know of people is that we have a core, something that captures the essence of who we are. However, in the presence of other people or things, we become fluid, we merge with things external to us, yet it is how this changes us within that makes us unique and individual.”
The synergy between art and psychology has helped clinical psychologist Patricia Santoso, merge the two fields into a captivating and beautiful form of artistic expression.
By mixing her human interactions into her art, Patricia communicates people’s emotions into each stroke of paint. After leaving behind her love of art for fears it would be too difficult to forge a career, Patricia turned to the study of clinical psychology where she is able to help people transform their lives and feel empowered.
With a fierce passion for human interaction, and nature, Santoso is able to create vivid works of art that tell powerful stories.
Her work features heavily in hues of blue, which she notes is, ‘obviously my colour at the moment!” The peaceful nature plays into the gorgeous waves of resin and ink in each painting.
Patricia’s resin and ink masterpieces represent the movement and fluidity of ‘nature, relationships and people,’ and help to symbolize those powerful dynamics into truly beautiful works of art. Patricia prefers the medium of using ink and resin, because it flows well. Patricia might have an idea in mind for each artwork, however she describes that the ‘moment you see the composition truly taking it’s own space is when you know it’s done.’
In one piece, she explores the relationship between the curiosity of others about her chosen profession in relation to the clients she speaks with everyday. Called, “Different Shades of You and Me,” Patricia, uses her artistry to correct the common assumption that those who seek out the help of psychologists are ‘extreme, or ‘very unwell.’ She explains, though this is sometimes the case, more often it is simply a moment in time of their life that doesn’t speak to their whole character. The painting is her ‘response,’ and explains people who see psychologists are merely, ‘different shades of you and me.”
Another featured work of art is her piece titled, “Dark Angel,” which represents the ‘darkness we can feel at times.’ In it, she has incorporated copper as a contrasting point, that speaks to a silver lining, that ‘is sometimes not as clear as a silver lining in the first place.’ The copper is used to express a ‘point of difference that almost always exists within our darkness.’
Not only does Patricia paint her own inspirations of people, place and life, but she also works on commissioned pieces. Doing artwork for someone else can be tricky, but Patricia loves to bring forth the story that, ‘is meaningful to them and bring an acknowledgment of their own emotions or thoughts.’
In the past, Patricia has shown clients her artwork, which has produced an emotional response, as ‘it’s like an acknowledgement of their story in a different way than just words.”
This powerful message of feeling and art, is what made Patricia’s favorite piece of work so special. Turning someone’s poem into an image, Patricia wanted to create an piece that touched on the darkness and confinement one might feel, but in the end shows the warmth that truly flows out of people. The painting exudes a feeling of, ‘nurturing self, protection and security.” Movement of self, is the theme seen in both the talented young girl’s poem and the final depiction in Patricia’s piece.
Painting and psychiatry are parallel mediums in the artistic world of Patricia, and she is dedicated to making a difference in the ‘emotional and psychological well being of human beings.’ In efforts to merge together her two professions and ‘express creativity across different avenues,’ Patricia donates 10% of all her art sales to Beyondblue; a true testament to her dedication to blending her beloved professions. Beyondblue is an organization that, ‘raises awareness, reduces stigma and ensures people have access to the information they need to support recovery, management and resilience.”
For others hoping to tap into their creative outlets and pursue a career in art, Santoso urges you to listen to your ‘heart of hearts,’ and be sure to blend what you know of yourself while learning from others. Be sure to always do things at your own pace, and never compare yourself to others.
Patricia took a risk by turning her love of art into a incredible business success, but she took the time to find out as much as she could so she could be ‘100% certain’ of what she wanted to do.
Information she says, is key, and you should never let fear stop you from living your dream!
Art and psychology together, have taught Patricia, to be ‘conscious of others, joining with them,” and to know herself. This translates into her artwork that have strong components of ‘hope and wellness.”
Patricia’s art has inspired her to embark on new journeys and reconnect with people, which those who love her artwork can see come to fruition in an exhibition sometime in 2017!