Monday, October 27, 2008

color as an emotion

i like to consider myself a creative person. unfortunately that creativity comes in spurts. some days i have a hundred ideas floating around in my head, so many that i couldn't possibly write them all down. let alone fulfill them. the next day i have absolutely nothing--and i've forgotten those hundred ideas from the day before.

my creative blocks gave me a lot of trouble in high school. i had some teachers that were none-too-happy by the fact that half of the time i either doodled, wrote notes, did other homework, or slept in class. with the exception of my ap art teacher. he was totally cool with it, because he knew the next week i'd think up, create, and finish 12 new pieces. more than the rest of the class combined.

this teacher was one of my favorites. he was a little odd, as most art teachers (ahem, artists...just look at me) are. his art was odd, too. very interesting--but odd. with a lot of his work, after he would finish, he'd take it out to the desert and shoot at it. therefore most of his large canvas paintings were full of bullet holes. aesthetically interesting, for sure--i always wondered if he tried to put the bullet in a certain place or if it was all random. i probably should have asked, but never did.

mr. w. was also convinced i could see auras. as in a colored cloud surrounding a person. i can't. i tell you, i can't. i fully believe that people have auras, and that it is possible (but very rare) to see them. i do not see them. no matter how much i denied it, he didn't believe me. i used auras a lot in my artwork. he thought i denied it because i was embarrassed or didn't want people to think i was weird or make fun of me. so the entire year, he talked about how i could see auras. (i can't!)

it is an interesting concept, though. that was really the first time i had experimented with auras in my artwork. the reason is this: color is emotion. emotion is color. in my head, they are the same thing. i see the color blue and it means one thing, a slightly darker shade, a totally different thing. i can see why he would think that i saw auras. i used color surrounding a figure in my art as a means of conveying emotion.

this is part of the reason why art speaks to my soul. i am visual. i express myself better visually than i do verbally. i learn better visually. i "hear" things better visually. if someone were to make me a card, write me a letter, draw me a picture, even get me flowers--all physical objects--that i can see visually, it conveys something stronger to me than just telling me something. that doesn't mean that words mean nothing, not at all. i need the words, too. it's just that the meaning is stronger to me, somehow.

color surrounds us. in everything we see. and every color, every combination of colors, is symbolic. much of the time it is not meant to be. and to a lot of people, it is what it is--a color. to me, every combination of colors, the amount of a single color, the way they are arranged and displayed, all speaks of a different emotion. this is a lot of the reason why i love mark rothko. his art is simple, often with only two or three colors, but it speaks VOLUMES to me. each painting of his is an experience. each painting is an emotion, a series of emotions. i love that.

i wish everyone could see color, see art, the ultimate representation of color, the way i do. it fills me up to the brim. i stand and look at a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, and my entire soul is filled with emotion. and i can't verbalize it very well. i had the opportunity to see an actual van gogh, an actual picasso, a few months ago. and i cried. (that occurs frequently in art museums. well, frequently outside of them, but who's keeping track?) i was so overcome with emotion i could not contain it. the colors were so vivid, the brushstrokes so defined, so perfect, the painting as a whole amazing.

one of the things that bothers me the most is when someone buys a painting to match their couch. or their carpet. or that color of paint on the wall. we should NEVER buy a painting just to fill wall space. just to match the house decor. we should start with the painting. we should go looking for something that will speak to us. that makes us feel something. that contains a piece of our souls. so every time we look at it, we are reminded of the way we were immersed in the painting, the way we became a part of it, the first time we saw it. then buy your couch. then pick out your carpet. then paint your wall. everything else should center around that piece of art. that is my opinion. and if i had the financial means of doing so, you better believe i would.

as it is, my living room is centered around a piece of art that does that. that fills me with emotion. that makes me cry tears of joy, of pride, of humility. we picked our paint to match it. it is a piece of art that has been used for good and evil, that has a history, that will for many years continue to inspire and incite emotion in millions. that piece of art? a representation of the american flag. we actually have a few of them.

color is an amazing thing. it is a beautiful thing. sometimes an ugly thing. but it is always inspiring. and it is always emotional.


Kaylynn said...

I too have a piece of art that I want the wall colors, couches ect to enhance the art instead of the other way around. Maybe you really can see auras, but can only express it in your art work?

cornnut32 said...

that's an interesting idea. i never really thought about that...

my teacher also said that he thinks i can see auras but because i've never known anything different i don't notice a differentiation.

i still don't think i see them.... :)

Mother Goose said...

i so agree with you! I have to love the artwork, i have to feel the art work, it truly has to speak to me before I will purchase it. There are very few pieces that are up in my home for this reason alone. I tire and bore of things very easily but the pieces that are up are lifers! I will keep them for life!