Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Colour and human emotion

Starry Night on the Rhone - Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh worked before the creation of the colour wheel, and terms like contrast and complimentary colours. He did notice, drawing his information from nature; that there were certain colours that when appearing together seemed to attract the human eye more than other colour combinations. He was one of the first artists to understand the use of complimentary colours and was drawn to nature scenes which showed those.

So too in some cases Jean Claude Monet, as seen in the Poppy Field below.

The Poppy Field - Jean Claude Monet

Things have been a little easier for modern day artists. The colour wheel gives us a range of colour schemes and plans which we can pick and choose to use.

What is not prevalent, at least in the teaching I have encountered, is information on how this use of colour affects the human emotion? Why is it that some are drawn to these colours and those, and why is it that certain "classic" from the masters seem to be favourites still after all this time.

Because of my digging in things of the esoteric nature, I came across something called the Quadrivium, which was a method of teaching used in the 17th and 18th century before the "division of labour" came about. The information about the connections between the planets, the musical keys and human emotion is fascinating. For those multimedia artist friends of mine, here is a link to the effect musical keys have on the emotions:Musical keys and emotions

But from that I was led to the concept of associations in Magick, and how certain colour affect your emotions. And this is what I found:
Red - Danger, boldness, wearing red boosts confidence, war, anger, passion, energy, enthusiasm.

Yellow - Happiness, calms anxiety, family togetherness, improves concentration and alertness

Green - gives feelings of growth and expansion, causes emotions of envy and jealousy, sparks new ideas, new direction

Blue - increases need to communicate, promotes calming feelings, quiets the mind, soothing.

Van Gogh's use of blue and yellow probably assisted his own melencholoy moods as he grappled with feelings of failure, and anxiety at being a burden on his brother, and not being able to be with the woman he loved.
 I have tried my own experiment with this:

Starry Sky (Yellow) - Samantha Rochard

Inspired by  Chaguaramas in the night, the song "Yellow" by Cold Play, and Van Gogh's own Starry Night on the Rhone.

Here is a book that would help. And it is also available at Nigel R. Khan Booksellers:

No comments: