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  • Writer's pictureGaye Daniels

How Colour affects our Mood

Having spent six weeks travelling around East Asia, I wanted to reflect on the effect of colour in art and how it affects our moods.


Colours have a profound impact on our mood and emotions. The world around us is a vibrant palette of hues, and each colour has its own unique psychological effect. Different colours can evoke contrasting emotions influencing our mental state and behaviour.


We are naturally drawn to colours and images that make us feel better. Nature tends to have a calming effect but have you ever thought why?


Or what about bright, bold colours, for me bold colours represent positivity. However, red and orange have also been associated with anger, frustration or temper.


Yellow has been connected with energising and but I like the colour yellow for being peaceful.

Maybe it’s because I associate yellow with daffodils and they also make me happy.


What about dark, sombre colours? Would that make you feel sad or depressed? Have you ever looked at a painting and it’s made you feel happy or sad?


How do you feel about blue? Rich blues, purples, lilacs and their family are some of my favourite colours but do I see them the same way on different days?


Each and every one of us is an individual and as such, colour affects us in numerous ways – some colours will have a beneficial/positive effect whilst that same colour can have a negative effect on another person. No one is right.


Before I left the UK, I thought I might get some inspiration for some new paintings but the views, colours and nature were breath-taking and so much more than I could have imagined


Walking through each rain forest, I looked at all the different leaves and trees. So many shades of green and all those different shapes. The numerous varieties of trees, not to mention insects and animals. Meandering along and then suddenly having a giant centipede running across my path. I never tire of painting trees and one of my painting collections is specifically trees as I see them throughout the seasons.


The colour green is often associated with growth and harmony that is logical conclusion for trees and nature. It has a soothing effect on our emotions, promoting feelings of calmness and rejuvenation. In art therapy, green is used to create a sense of balance and stability. However, too much green can lead to feelings of boredom or stagnation.


It wasn’t just the plethora of different greens that I was fascinated by but amongst this army of green there’d be the most vividly coloured, beautiful flowers and orchids. Every single one held my attention. One day, I picked up off the floor the most fabulous leaf, bigger than my face as the colours were stunning yellows/oranges/reds/pale green. I wanted to bring it home with me but sadly wasn’t able to.


One of the things that I noticed was that blue skies and sea in East Asia had the most stunning blues. Blue has a calming effect on our mind and body, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.


This photo taken coming down from one of the rain forests in Penang is one that I took not only because I wanted to capture the moment but it was the colours and the tranquillity of the view that had me mesmerised. I could have spent hours looking at this view.


However, every time I look at this photo, I see something new.  The clarity of the blues, the stillness of the water, the boats just floating in one place, the curves in the beach with the tide being out. This sea view also offers much serenity and the feelgood factor I get from it lasts a long time.


What else can you see in this photo?  Do you like it as much as me?  This image will be my next painting, I only hope that I can do it justice.

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