Stage 4 Colour moods and themes

Stage 4 Colour moods and themes

I have been looking forward to this stage as my feelings and emotions are affected hugely by colour around me. I react quite strongly to various colour combinations and can feel quite upset by certain colour combinations which make me feel uncomfortable. I always carry a small camera around with me to photograph colour combinations, often those created by weathering eg peeling paint, rusty objects and bark. I have been creating colour boards on Pinterest as well as my own photo library. I shall put some of these photos in the Colour section of my learning log. I am also compiling colour boards to show various colour combinations.

Exercise 1

I started this exercise by creating my own colours and marks to express the following feelings: sad, happy, active, passionate, passive, excited, bright, dull. I found it easy to find the colours but finding marks to express feelings I still find difficult.



I went on to look through some magazines for colour inspiration and compiled some mood boards to express feelings:

Cool, calm and collected…


Fun, exciting….




Exercise 2

For this exercise, I was asked to identify a colour mood that I really feel drawn to. I chose a water theme, a soothing mix of soft blues and greens as illustrated by one of Monet’s paintings of Waterlilies.


I saw this particular painting in Japan at Chichu Art Museum on Naoshima Island. I had travelled to the island with my family for a break from Tokyo following the terrible Tsunami and Fukushima incident. We had been suffering from the aftermath of the Disaster and living with the numerous aftershocks following the Earthquake had taken its toll. We wanted to support Japan and stay in the country but needed a break. We opted to stay in a Yurt on the Island, close to nature, which seemed fitting when so many from the Tohoku region were made homeless and living in temporary shelters. I was in a wheelchair, with a badly sprained ankle but still managed to get around the wonderful art installations dotted around the Island. The highlight of the visit was when we visited the underground Art Museum, designed by Tadao Ando and entirely lit by natural light through the clever use of light-wells. It was incredible seeing the Waterlily paintings by Monet in such a tiny and remote island and I felt hugely emotional. The colours were soothing and restful and seemed to give hope. The colours were beautiful – a range of blue and green tones but highlighted with touches of yellow and the white flowers. The tiny dots of orangey red showed up in contrast with the overall background of deep bluey-green.

I started to gather together some fabrics and yarns to match these colours. I found some lovely hemp in dark green and a lovely soft blue plus some dark blue chiffon. Some mustard coloured hemp and canvas plus some yellow ribbon matched the yellow flecks in the painting. I found a range of threads and wool yarn. I decided that this would be a good time to have a go at dyeing some white cotton to try to get some blue-green colours. Using blue and yellow RIT liquid dye, I diluted the dye with varying amounts of water to obtain a range of concentrations aiming for a range of tones. I mixed in the following concentrations:

  1. full strength blue
  2. full strength blue + ¼ strength yellow
  3. ½ strength blue + ¼ strength yellow
  4. ¼ strength blue =+¼ strength yellow
  5. 1/8 strength blue + full strength yellow

I poured each concentration into a plastic cup and then scrunched up a square of wetted white cotton fabric into each cup. Then left the cups for half an hour and then rinsed out the dye.


I was very happy with the results which showed a range of tones and represented the watery colours in the painting. I added a square of each of these dyed fabrics to my colour bag.


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