My studio is filled with an interesting array of materials in a wide array of colors, including ceramic tile, stained glass, millefiori, and filati, to name a few. When I create mosaic jewelry, choosing a color palette can be a daunting task. I tend to gravitate towards a Mediterranean palette though I consciously try to branch out into palettes that might not feel as comfortable to me. Why do we gravitate towards certain colors and shy away from others? While I don’t think anyone can really answer this question with 100% accuracy since we all have our own unique histories that most likely contribute to why we prefer certain colors over others, I do think it is worth noting that studies overwhelmingly demonstrate that color influences our emotions and human behavior.
Years ago, I worked as a counselor at a children's group home. The administration painted the clients’ rooms a light green to help promote relaxation. The change in wall color did seem to have a positive impact on clients' moods, though there were of course other variables.
I have noticed that when I’m creating pieces using light green hues, I feel a sense of serenity. I wonder how many artists stop to think about the colors they are working with and how working with those colors impacts their daily lives.
For instance, when I work in a Mediterranean palette (terra cotta, yellow, turquoise, sea blue, bronze, copper, red-orange), I feel exuberant, energized, and warm! I am often pleased with the pieces I create, I think as a result of how working with those colors makes me feel. When I force myself to work with colors that don’t bring me joy, I tend to not be as pleased with the end result.
Below is an admittedly simplistic,yet fun, diagram of some basic colors and their associations to give you an idea of how color is thought to influence emotions and behaviors.
A simple Google search will reveal numerous theories on the topic of color psychology, ranging from basic assertions as to how color impacts emotions, to scholarly studies that detail the complexity of making simple assertions about the impact of color on human emotions. Clearly, color and human response is complex and multilayered, thus open to a range of factors such as cultural, contextual, and individual differences. For instance, a Westerner might view the color red very differently than an Easterner due to cultural influences.
With that in mind, I invite you to think about how color impacts you. If you are an artist working with color, do you notice whether or not working with certain colors affects your mood? I’d like to share a few results from scientific studies on color psychology, however, keep in mind, scientific method is not free of flaws though these insights have been published in reputable academic journals. If nothing else, enjoy the following insights and compare them with how you feel.
Researchers studied the influence of color in educational environments. Results showed that, while participants assessed the situation as relaxed, calm, and pleasant in pale color conditions (pale reds, blues, and yellows), reading scores were significantly higher in vivid color conditions (vivid reds, blues, yellows). Heart rates increased significantly in the red and yellow conditions whereas blue increased relaxation and calm feelings. (Al-Ayash et al., 2016)
The next time you come across or think about a color, whether you are drawn to that color or not, I invite you to take a moment to explore how that color makes you feel. You may even take it one step further and explore why you feel a certain way about that color. You may not have an answer, but perhaps your own exploration will provide you with insight as to how color impacts your daily life.
Stop by Artistic Portland to see and purchase June's work in person!
This week's blog is brought to you by Marianne Wilson Stein of Gifts from the Earth.
Yes, this is an art blog. My art is natural skincare, the art of luxurious beauty. I bring you something to consider next time you look in the mirror: Really look in the mirror and see who is looking back. What is the mirror telling you? Face Mapping can tell you a lot!
Based in Ayurvedic teachings and ancient Chinese medicine, Face Mapping is the practice of face reading. It is connecting an area of your face to an organ or body part to understand how the body is functioning. By looking at the different areas or zones on your face it might help lead you to make some lifestyle changes. Is the quality of your skin different around your face? Acne in a specific area? Red and puffy?
Here are 5 areas of the face that may tell you something about your health.
1. Forehead – Digestion
Poor digestion could be due to toxins and lack of water. Drink water throughout the day. Carry water bottles with you and avoid fizzy or caffeinated beverages. If you want something different to drink, try an herbal tea blend or green tea. Green tea is packed with anti-oxidants to help reduce the effects from the toxins. The color yellow and the element of earth are associated with this area of the body.
2. Between the brows – Liver/Gallbladder
Acne, flaky skin or other skin issues of this area could be an indication of drinking too much alcohol or eating too much fatty food. Fat in the diet is ok if it is the good fat, like olive oil, not animal fat. Limit the amount you drink as well. Our liver is our clearing house keeping our body healthy, don’t blow it off. The color green and the element of wood are associated with this area of the body.
3. Nose – Heart
Swelling or bulbous changes to the nose could indicate heart disease/high blood pressure. Eat more heart healthy foods, control your blood pressure, reduce salt intake and love yourself. The color red and the element of fire are associated with this area of the body.
4. Chin – Hormones
Your chin is where you will see hormonal imbalances and stress. You are more likely to have break outs during your menstrual cycle. Exercising helps a lot, along with a good night’s sleep. The color orange is associated with this area of the body.
5. Cheeks – Lungs and metabolism
Cheeks are linked to lung function; inhaling pollution can show up as blotchiness or discoloration of the checks. It could also indicate poor metabolism. Pay close attention to how you breath and learn some good breathing exercises. The color white and the element of metal are associated with this area of the body.
Use the mirror to look at your beautiful self. Your face could be trying to say something about your health. Having a pimple or two doesn’t mean you have a serious health issue. But chronic acne or other skin conditions that can’t be squashed no matter how hard you try, might be worth asking a doctor to consider any potential health issues.
Remember we are all a work of art at the very core. This vessel we live in can show its age, life experiences and the unique creation that is each of us. Search your face for understanding who you are and your own possible frailties. For those that enjoy color and elemental healing work I have included some basic information. If your vessel is broken fix it and paint it a glorious color!
“Our faces will become works of art that our grandchildren will treasure.”
― Adriana Trigiani, Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers
Be sure to check out the many great natural skin care products from Gifts from the Earth at Artistic Portland. Gifts From the Earth products are created using only naturally sourced and extracted ingredients. They are free of synthetic and artificial ingredients including synthetic preservatives and artificial colors.
For this week’s blog, Fiber Arts Artist, Karin Kaufman of Nadelwerk, interviewed Rand Russell of Grin Graphics. Rand creates exquisite Handcrafted Books and Paper Arts.
How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the
I joined in October 2015. I liked the idea of selling my things in a store, not just Etsy and liked the idea I could sell more than in a gallery, i.e. my books, photos, artwork, etc.
What’s your background?
I'm an art brat from a family of artists. I have a BFA in printmaking from Penn State, studied at the Slade in London, have prints from my studio in various museums and the Library of Congress, and was master printer at my printmaking workshop, Grin Graphics in NYC before relocating to PDX five years ago.
Why do you do what you do?
It's my calling in this lifetime. I live my life as a work in progress. I'm an artist.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word?
Magician. It helps that artists I've collaborated with have called me that. Creating something out of thin air. Yep.
Where do you create?
I generally dance things into creation in what most folks would call their living/dining area and guest bedroom in their house. I just call the whole place my studio.
What motivates/inspires your work?
Lately I've found that custom order requests have fueled my innovation and creation of new items. I credit the "helper" skills of a fourth born child, and years of professional collaboration in creative environments for the ability to create something for someone in a country around the world, that they will cherish for its uniqueness of being handmade in an artist's studio just for them.
What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have?
I'm a keen observer and find long walks drive my process. I can tell if I'm ready to begin a new project by how well I've cleaned up everything around me, so it is not a distraction to my creative spurt.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created?
Here is a photo of it. It is a carved cuttlefish. A fellow artist spotted it on a beach in Skopelos, Greece. She presented it to me to be carved, as she had heard of me carving stones from the beach the year previous. When I arrived in PDX I enclosed it in the assembled glassware container, and added other beach memorabilia from places I have travelled. I gave her a moonstone for a heart.
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new artistic skill, what would it be?
I would like the skill to do fine wood marquetry, and also to be able to sculpt marble well.
What do you like to do when you're not creating?
Daydream, Walk, Ruminate.... Create.
Stop by Artistic Portland any day of the week 10am-6pm (noon-5 pm on Sundays) to see and purchase Rand's work in person!
Welcome 2017, a new year, and with it, new opportunities, new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals. There’s a sense of wonder, surprise, and expectation that comes with a new year that makes it so exciting too.
Here at Artistic Portland we are all about changing up our displays and bringing in new pieces of art. We have about 50 artists in the co-op and with so many individuals creating art, change is happening on a regular basis.
Every month we change out our window displays and move new items into the store, rearranging and freshening the displays.
Below are a few examples of the one-of-a-kind art pieces you can find at Artistic Portland.
There are these and so many other unique works of art available at Artistic Portland just waiting to be discovered at Artistic Portland in 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!