Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everything was black and white? Think about it. Picking out just the right pieces for that perfect outfit wouldn’t be nearly as fun. Traffic lights would no longer make sense. Not to mention nature would certainly be less interesting and enjoyable.
We’ve become so accustomed to experiencing color, that we forget that it’s an incredible gift. Like all of God’s awesome gifts, this colorful world is meant for our enjoyment and well-being. Viewing color can improve our memory, increase our focus and sharpen our senses.
Color is also considered one of the clearest and most ideal ways to express ourselves! Think about how often we use colors to describe our most basic emotions. We say that we’re blue with sorrow, green with envy, red with anger, white with fear – the list goes on and on.
Any artist will tell you that of all the visual elements, color is one of the best ways to trigger a true emotional response and increase the visual experience of the viewer. Or as twentieth century painter Pablo Picasso once said, “Colors follow the changes of the emotions.” In other words, the right use of color is one of the best ways to express how we’re feeling from day to day. So why not take your own shot at expressing yourself with color? Pick up a paintbrush, a colored pencil, a crayon – anything to help you express yourself artistically and in the most colorful way possible! Consider being bold with your use of colors or use just enough to make a statement; either way choose your colors with purpose.
Any artist will tell you that of all the visual elements, color is one of the best ways to trigger a true emotional response and increase the visual experience of the viewer.
Today, Vincent van Gogh is considered one of the world’s most recognizable and celebrated visual artists, but that wasn’t always the case. Van Gogh lived a very troubled life characterized by depression, several career failures and even mental illness. Yet despite his earthly troubles, this nineteenth century artist found bold and innovative ways to use color in an expressive and meaningful way.
In almost all of his paintings, van Gogh uses a burst of yellow to express a glimmer of hope or a hint of joy against a darker, more serious background. In his most famous painting, Starry Night, a collection of blazing stars and a bold crescent moon stand out against the darkness of the sleepy town below. Similarly, his Wheat Field with Crows presents a clear horizon line in which a gloomy and menacing sky is strongly contrasted with the bright wheat fields below. Both pieces seem to suggest that even in darkness, the vibrancy of life can be seen.
Yet nowhere in van Gogh’s work is yellow used more vividly than in his Sunflower series. As if sunflowers weren’t cheerful enough, van Gogh’s use of golds, yellows and reds show us how beautiful, lively and joyful God’s creation can be! And isn’t God really the greatest artist of all?
So, take a little inspiration from artists like van Gogh. Don’t let the stress and difficulties of everyday life get you down but instead use the incredible gift of color to let yourself be heard.
The Emotions Behind Colors
RED: Red is considered one of the most intense colors in nature. It’s the color of blood and fire. Therefore, red is often associated with strong feelings such as anger, strength, power, rage and courage. But there’s also a sweeter side to red. It also happens to be the color of love, passion and sensitivity.
ORANGE: A bit lighter than red but still warmer than yellow, orange is considered a happy color. Orange is often associated with energy, determination and encouragement. Yet it’s still fun and whimsical. Orange is also filled with enthusiasm, happiness, fascination and creativity!
YELLOW: Yellow is perhaps the happiest color in the spectrum. Although certain shades can refer to sickness or weakness, its primary effect is often positive. As the color of sunshine, yellow often represents feelings of joy, cheerfulness and even intellect.
GREEN: There’s definitely a reason why people refer to recycling as “going green.” Green is the color of nature and often reminds people of the health, growth and freshness of life’s riches. Many even consider it to be a symbol of safety and stability. Because of its connection with money, however, green can also be representative of greed or jealousy.
BLUE: Blue has a calming effect. As the color of the sky and sea, blue reminds us of depth and trust. Though people often refer to blue when they’re feeling sad, blue can also remind us of peace and loyalty. Some even associate it with heaven.
PURPLE: Purple is the color of kings and queens and is almost always associated with royalty. This is because purple is such a difficult color to find in nature. It’s rare and valiant qualities cause people to think of luxury and power. At the same time, a lighter purple is often used when thinking of spirituality, mystery or magic.