|Soak in some pure color for “Instant Therapy”|
With all the news about uncertain economic conditions flooding our consciousness it might be useful to think about something beyond our day to day material existence. What is it about a work of art that distinguishes it from a pure commodity? When we are touched by a work of art, it has nothing to do with the price. Good art sets the viewer off on an experience, an unknown journey. When your vision is sparked and your intelligence is engaged, time is suspended and you are in the moment!
One powerful way to access the force of art is through color. Most people have strong affinities for a particular group of colors. Perhaps you are drawn toward the earth tones of warm brown umber, yellow ochre or a reddish burnt sienna, somehow you are always pulled toward those hues. Or maybe ultramarine blue, soft cerulean sky blue and pale turquoise give you the sensations you crave. Maybe today you need lavender, deep purple or rose pink to lift your spirits.
Why do some colors hold the emotional, spiritual and psychological tonics that we desire like cravings for sweets or salt? Wassily Kandinsky, the great pioneering Russian abstract artist believed that pure color could free man from his obsession with material things and provide spiritual awakening. Perhaps we need certain colors in our lives at particular times to satisfy intangible needs; something akin to having a yen for a steak, some chocolate, or a salad.
In a painting color plays a complex role. So many factors determine the effect on the viewer, and who knows if we experience exactly the same visual impressions as our neighbors. Certain aspects can be looked for to enhance your intuitive response to a painting.
Consider just how the paint is applied on to the canvas; is it opaque (thick and dense) or translucent (thin and transparent with the canvas underneath reflecting back). A color’s vibrancy will be affected by just how the brushstrokes are applied. Colors that are mixtures (combinations of more than one pigment) are generally less vibrant but have important roles to play to create mood.
Keep in mind that viewing images on a flat screen or in a book changes the sensation that you would receive if you were there experiencing the actual painting. Try to get out and have a look at the real thing if at all possible. Not only will you experience the force of the genuine pigments but the impact of the size of the artwork in relation to your body can have an enormous influence on your reaction!
Until next time,