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Colour Creates the Mood

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This post written by Resident Artist - Dorothy Berry-Lound

Dorothy is 1stAngel Arts Magazine’s Resident Artist – April 2015
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Have a look around the room you are sitting in.  What is the predominant colour in this room?  Take account of not just the colour in the walls but also the soft furnishings and the artwork.  What is the dominant colour or colours?  Why did you choose those colours?  Are they your favourite colours or do you have them because they make you feel good, happy or relaxed?  Do you like the colour? If not what colour would you like?

Nuts and Bolts copyright
Nuts and Bolts

We make colour choices all the time, often subconsciously.   Using colour wisely and creating harmony is about having colours put together in a way that is pleasing to look at, engages the viewer and creates within them a sense of order and balance.  There are two extremes to this of course.  At one end of the scale a colour combination or presentation can be so bland that people can’t be bothered to look at it because it is so boring.  Think grey walls with nothing on them and the vast nothingness of many hospital wards.  At the other end the combination could be so ‘out there’ and chaotic that people can’t stand to look at it.  The human brain will reject under-stimulation as well as anything it can’t understand or organise.

My immediate thought when I was writing this was remembering an old friend of mine who always wore clashing colours – stood out in a crowd but for all the wrong reasons.   I also once watched a ‘home makeover’ programme where neighbours were given the task of redecorating one room in another neighbour’s house.  I watched with growing horror as one couple set about redecorating a dining room.  They had lots of good ideas and some of the individual things they did were lovely but when it was all put together it was too busy with colour clashes and black walls and I couldn’t imagine sitting in that room very long, let alone having a meal.  It was telling that at the ‘grand reveal’ at the end the original owner opened her eyes and burst into tears of horror.  Apparently the room was redecorated two days later!

The art we produce contributes in no small measure to the mood and feel of a room and therefore affects the people and animals that use it.  So does the soft furnishings, the throw blankets, throw pillows/cushions, duvet covers, etc – they all play a part in creating the mood for the room.

From the Flower Border
From the Flower Border

Let’s take a bedroom for example.  If we are creating art for the bedroom how can we apply the colours to create harmony and enhance the mood of that room?  The first thing is the choice of colours and if we want the people to sleep at night we should avoid using to excess red, orange and yellow because they are stimulating.  Red raises your energy levels, orange stimulates your creativity and yellow stimulates your mental activity, not good recipes for going to sleep.  Good bedroom colours include indigo which creates a sedative affect and slows us down and green which is calming. Pale violet is a great colour as it is calming and relaxing, pink dissolves anger and encourages unconditional love so is also good for a bedroom.  Imagine a bedroom colour scheme based on blues, greens and violets with splashes of pink and perhaps peach to provide some warmth and you will be close to a recipe to contribute towards a good night’s sleep.

The stimulating colours of red, orange and yellow can be used to good effect at home, school and in the office.

Red is best used in a room with a lot of activity and is good in an office or communal stairway, for example, as it stops people gathering to chat.  Red behaves in different ways according to the colours it is placed with; it is very dominant against a black background compared to an orange background for example.  This is because black enhances the energy of the red (and any other colour you put it with).   Red shapes can look larger on certain colour backgrounds so overuse of red in a room can make it feel claustrophobic.  However, used well red can make a space feel cosy and warm.

Orange stimulates creativity and is bright and cheerful so is great for family kitchens and play rooms.  Red and orange are good in a café as they stop people sitting and lingering over their coffee (have a look around next time you are in one of the coffee bar chains – what colour is on the wall?).

Yellow helps you stay alert and stimulates mental activity so it is good for activity rooms such as classrooms and social areas. If you have a dark room that gets little sunlight, having yellow in the décor will help compensate for the lack of light and make the room more cheerful. Yellow is used in colour therapy to treat depression but as with most colours, too much yellow can be overwhelming (it can cause hyperactivity) so it can be balanced with touches of blue.

Poppies
Variations on a Poppy Field

Variations of the three warm colours can be used in north facing rooms, usually the colder rooms in the house, as the combination will create a calming atmosphere.  You would not decorate these rooms primarily with the colder colours like blue.

Whilst all of this might not matter when we are creating art in general, these are all important points to note when involved in interior design where a holistic healing approach is very much in vogue and in the creation of healing art, the subject of the next article.

New Artwork by Dorothy Berry-Lound

New Artwork by Dorothy Berry-Lound

A wonderful Christmas Greeting Card with the written greeting 'Love is the best gift for Christmas'. The design includes hearts,a heart being the symbol for love, a bird and a little home, symbol of contentment. The design has a background of shades ... 
This is a view of people taking a stroll along the upper promenade at the seaside in Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK. Showing some of the Victorian features, including metal railings, looking down the promenade we see people walking and edge of market st... 
Here we look down the promenade that runs along the edge of the beach at the coastal resort of Eastbourne in Sussex, UK. Few people are sitting on the beach as it is a sunny, but very windy, day. There is an upper promenade (esplanade) that follows t... 
A sunny day and a promenade market at Eastbourne in Sussex, UK is drawing the crowds. The market affords people the opportunity to walk in the sunshine along the scenic promenade with wonderful views of the beach, sea and pier (not shown in this shot... 
A view towards the elegant buildings on the seafront at Eastbourne in Sussex, UK. We look across the shingle and sand beach, past the few people sitting enjoying the sunshine towards the main promenade and road which runs along in front of these buil... 
A view from the seaside at Eastbourne in Sussex, UK, looking across the shingle and sand beach and the people enjoying their time at the sea towards Eastbourne Pier. A seagull flies overhead. The pier is a Victorian Grade II listed building, a pleasu... 
This image of Eastbourne Pier shows a group of people having fun playing with seagulls on Eastbourne Pier. They are feeding the seagulls in an attempt to photograph them. Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex, UK, is a Victorian, Grade II listed building th... 
Walking on the boardwalk at Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex, UK on a bright sunny day several things strike you. The contrast with the light and shadow, enhanced by the use of white paint on all of the buildings. This contrasts with the gorgeous blue ... 
A sunny day on Eastbourne Pier, a Victorian Grade II listed pleasure pier in Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK. Here is a scene of people sitting enjoying the sunshine, eating and drinking, sitting on either side of this wonderful piece of blue Victorian m... 
The overwhelming impression of Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex, UK, is of the distinctive blue colour of all the metal work contrasting with the white of the main structure. Here we see a seating area at the side of the pier with picnic tables and the... 
A view towards the main structure at the end of Eastbourne Pier, showing the blue metallic structure with gold highlights. A door is open, encouraging us to enter the Victorian Tea Room for a traditional English afternoon tea. Above the sign, you can... 
The original Victorian structure of Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex, UK, has seen a lot of damage, particularly from fires. The pier was opened in the late 1870s and is a Grade II listed building. Here we see the top of the main structure at the end o... 
A view of the end section of Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex, UK on a dreamy, sunny day. Eastbourne Pier is a pleasure pier that is a Grade II* listed building opened in the late 1870s. It has had its fair share of excitement - other than the fun fair... 
Imagine a world with no colour and no sun. Do sunflowers grow there' Let's imagine for a moment they do. Their beautiful heads will still raise towards an unknown light but there would be no yellow, sunny, brightness to the flower. But is it still be... 
A close up of parts of sunflowers, slightly abstracted. Sunflowers lift your spirits with their bright yellow/orange faces, always turned towards the sunrise. This is a bright cheery piece that would work well in a kitchen or communal area. 

Dorothy Berry-Lound

I promote life, work and energy balance through my art, poetry and writing. I specialise in photo painting –using my own photographs and using digital software techniques to develop the story of the images further with colours and textures. I was awarded Best Photopainter 2015 by CQ Magazine.Promoting the use of art for healing is an important focus for my artwork and I have developed a range of healing art and colour harmony images. The pieces I create always have a story, a message I am trying to get across or imagery to make you stop and think.

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