Unlocking The Mind With Art


Robert Ferguson, a scholar turned artist, identifies more with Freud than with Van Gogh. He is a self taught painter who worked as a clinical psychologist for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from The Pratt Institute.

He graduated from Adelphi University in 1990, where he studied art therapy.

“It uses art to unlock the unconscious process,” says Ferguson. “That was very useful for me. I stayed in that for many years. Art was always in the background for me and as clinical psychology started to change, I became dissatisfied.”

Through his paintings, Ferguson tries to combine psychology and art therapy with watercolor.

Westbury artist Robert Ferguson
Westbury artist Robert Ferguson. (Photo by Alyssa Jayson)

“Art therapy was extremely exciting for me. Art isn’t fascinating, it’s emotionally charged. But for me, psychology is fascinating. I tried to bring them together,” says Ferguson. “Finally, something shifted and I began to pick up my paint brush more. I kept going back to art. As I began to paint in a more disciplined way it started to come together for me. I retired at 66 years old. That was the moment that changed my life and I started painting full time.”

Ferguson paints landscapes that create breathy illusions of space utilizing light as a peephole into the unknown. His piece simply titled “Beach” evokes feelings of remote seclusion nestled between a smattering of gentle Pointillism, a technique of painting in which distinct dots of pure color are applied in patterns to form an image. Ferguson blends both true Impressionism and Pointillism, creating a new tonality within his paintings and offering a fresh look on the classic landscape.


In September, Ferguson showed his work at the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts’ Pop-Up Gallery. “Just as I was starting to turn into [a] crazy art guy who was just sitting in his basement painting, I contacted the Westbury Arts Council and the next day I was showing my work,” says Ferguson. “In the future, I hope to continue my work with them and give back to the community. I love doing workshops and teaching.”

Ferguson explained that he paints from memory, which is not an easy thing to do. A true artist, Ferguson never stops looking and examining his prospective works of art. “I’m a perfectionist,” Ferguson says. “I like to paint numerous looks of the same landscape to see which works best.”

See more of Ferguson’s work at www.facebook.com/robert.ferguson.395454

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