Selecting Art: Colors

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Why Color Matters in Selecting Art.

You know certain colors appeal to you. Certain colors evoke emotion, express your personality, and stimulate you. Consider the color red. When you think of red, do you think of Coke? Many people do. Certain popular companies have actually created signature colors. For example, IBM is Big Blue.

We have just passed through the bountiful colors of summer and soon will begin the subtle colors and darkness of winter. I hope you had an enjoyable summer. What summer colors are the most appealing to you? What flowers attract you? Think about those colors as we move to a time when we need to make our own color because Mother Nature is resting.

Look through your wardrobe. What are your signature colors, the colors that repeat over and over? Look at your home. What colors or combinations of colors really appeal to you so

much that you choose to live with them? Look at the wardrobes of your closest friends. Look at their homes. Can you see the differences among yourself and your individual friends when it comes to color choices?

Why is color so important? The colors you choose to live with have powerful influences in your feelings, emotions and state of mind. Here’s an example. I went into a fine art gallery for an opening. On the wall of their office was a huge abstract depicting large designs in neon colors with a white background. This painting screamed for my attention. It forced me to look at it, its colors were so compelling. Imagine my initial surprise when one of the gallery owners told me of hating the painting, because the owner felt uncomfortable in the office shared with this
painting. The owner said, “I feel like I need sunglasses every time I come in here.”

Another story involves a friend whose husband dabbles in painting, making some good works and some awful works and not seeming to be able to tell the difference. One afternoon, she came home and found that he had removed the dancer painting that hung in her bedroom and replaced it with one of his most awful landscapes. He tried to live with it and, like the gallery owner, felt uncomfortable every time she walked into the room.

Color plays a most important part in whether a painting makes you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. Obviously, the subject matter has a role, as well. Still, the most disliked subject matter in soothing colors would likely cause less discomfort than a like subject matter in jarring colors, according to your taste.

When you purchase art for your spaces, you are inviting a “person” into your space. And you need to make sure you like the colors the person is wearing or the painting will wear on you. The discomfort can be subtle. Yet, you may find yourself avoiding a room you used to spend time in.

Before you purchase an expensive painting, it is a good idea to live with it for a short period of time. Galleries do this as a matter of doing business, just like the Oriental rug dealers. These business people realize you are making an investment and respect your right to take some time making sure the painting really suits you. If you are purchasing a less expensive painting, take a long and hard look at the painting. If you are a visual, you can probably see it where you plan to hang it.

Color, subject matter, mood, the emotion you feel when you look at the painting, all are important to consider when buying art.

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