Color in art is extremely important-but why?
Because whatever you are using in your interior scheme, your art is going to complement or add to that. Color has been used by interior designers, advertisers, and artists to influence enhance our environments. Color in art can evoke a mood or create a response in the viewer.
Cool colors are blues and greens. Blue invokes a calming effect. It reduces blood pressure and appetite. Most spas, hotels, and medical offices use blues and greens. This is highly popular here, as we are a coastal community and it is a great way to bring the outside in, and create a tranquil atmosphere, as some of the homes here are second homes.
Warm colors have a yellow undertone, and can be associated with emotions ranging from happiness to violence. Red, orange, and yellow fall in this category. They stimulate appetite, excite the mind, and are activating.
So let’s take each color, and look at the emotions and connotations they can manifest.
Red is the color of power, romance, excitement, and ambition. It also stimulates the appetite (remember when everyone was painting their dining rooms or kitchens red?) and the lighter colors like pink make everyone look lovely and pair well with green.
Orange is audacious: it is the color of creativity, boldness, liveliness. It signifies youth and fearlessness. It is used in many logos and company advertisements-even New Elements Gallery’s logo. I painted my door orange.
Yellow is the next warm color and it is a little tricky. Yellow is associated with sunshine, happiness, and wisdom-it evokes a positive mood if it is a sunny and deep yellow. Pale yellows tend to lend themselves to less positive connotations. In Southeastern North Carolina, we tend to associate it with summer and easy living. Here are a few great paintings with yellow:
Moving onto green-really popular here on the coast as well. Green is the color of harmony, security, and conveys feelings of tranquility and peace. Here are a few great examples of original art that soothes the soul-
Blue is the most popular here by far-it is really having a moment, and why not? It is the color of the sea and the sky, evoking a feeling of expansiveness and space. It is calming, cooling, and quiet. Let’s take a look at some great blue compositions:
Purple is regal and dignified. The paler shades like lavender are incredibly restful. The darker shades are usually used in smaller doses as they can get a bit overbearing.
The neutrals-white, black, brown, and gray all have their own emotional connections, but in most of the cases with my artists these colors are used as foils for brighter colors. White is associated with innocence, purity, cleanliness. Most designs I see have white walls and a white sofa, so it is rare I get white paintings as there would be little contrast. However, here are a couple of examples.
Black is a little controversial here in our community as many artists brag that their color story doesn’t contain black at all-here we show you how black can bring down a big color palette or create a big emotion.
Brown is steady, dependable, restful. Brown is really difficult for us to sell here and I just think with a coastal community it is rough. That said a mountain gallery will have much to choose from. Here are a couple of my favorite compositions.
Gray can be melancholy, but mostly I think of gray as restful and relaxing. It is again a great foil for other colors.
So the most important point about color in are is what is means to you the viewer-I am always surprised at the strong reactions people have to color when they are shopping for art. What sorts of activities will be pursued in the room that you plan to place the art? Will there be games played and lively conversation? Is your entire home your haven from the world, or is that how you see your bedroom? Tight color stories create cohesiveness, and more color creates an atmosphere of stimulation. Are you a vintage lover? Certain color stories really convey that vintage vibe. In the end, it is all about what you love, and you should only have colors you love in your home that create the vibe you are working towards.
So until next time, buy some art for art’s sake.