CT&D #1. Color

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As color is one of seven main visual elements of art, its roles in helping one to interpret it are of significance. With that being said, color definitely contributes in creating emotion and spirituality. Emotion-wise, the effects of what color one encounters vary; a feeling of closeness is achieved with warmer colors and farness with more cooler ones. This can be further interpreted as an emotion of excitement and gloominess with warm and cold colors respectively, although not always the case. Matisse has said that color should be used by association from experience.

What this basically means is that if one encounters an environment or object (i.e. a forest) and such a forest was seen as blue given an artist’s geography, then it’s not incorrect to visually interpret it as blue instead of the traditional green. Therefore, there shouldn’t be one predetermined color for almost any object. Despite this, Kandinsky has argued that color should be used in tandem with one’s experience or feelings with an object (i.e. hot metal = pain = red/orange), tying in to how color can be identified with emotion. Spiritually, artists have used colors to recreate and/or recapture the beauty of nature, a practice called local color. Color usage here is factual; what was seen as one color stays that color in a work of art.

An example of this was posted in the lecture from an artist named Kalf; the picture conveyed was that of food and tableware. The colors depicted are realistic and capture the spirit of one physically relating to the subject. On the flipside, the practice of subjective color has the artist choose any kind of color for any given object. One could argue that doing this may entice viewers to look past an established color for an object in order to look at that object in a different way. A work of art by Matisse called “Woman with Hat” demonstrates a free use of color; for example, the sky is a mixture of green, blue, yellow and red (and their various shades). Even though we see the sky as either all blue or all grey or even a mix between orange and yellow, spiritually, one can envision it as an environment reflecting a particular mood or aura. In this case, the mood of the woman in the painting is content; both the figure and the sky exhibit this which speaks a lot for how one’s feelings can be both spiritually and emotionally represented.

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