Art is a reflection of culture and values. In the wintertime, the weather is closely tied to folk art in Northern Europe and Russia, where the sun remains hidden for the entire month of January and the temperature can fall to -60 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is not difficult to comprehend the reason that artists in this region of the world use bright colors against backdrops of black or white for stark contrast that mimics the natural landscape. Dark starry night skies and bright snow are overlaid with cool pink, green, blue and browns that reflect the trees, flowers and water, inspiring area residents to persevere through the winter to spring.
The modern design principles were influenced by Germany during and following World War II, which emphasized order and functional design, combined with folk traditions of Russian and Scandinavian tales. Where the two cultures diverge is Northern Europe’s egalitarian and human-centered society that evokes a naive, almost childish purity in its renderings, whereas, Russia’s more complicated political and social system complicates its art with images that represent the repressed social order.
Researchers in recent years have correlated bright colors with therapeutic benefits. Hospitals, assisted-care facilities and even corporate offices employ color therapy theory in interior decor schemes targeted to soothing, alleviating stress and inspiring creativity.
Vibrant color in art as an extension of the spirit lifts the mood, evoking internal reactions that are nearly involuntary.
While the Impressionists of Southern Europe could afford to tarry in dark, forlorn landscapes during the winter months, the extreme temperature and total darkness of Northern Europe necessitated a more rigid dedication to cheerfulness facilitated by the area’s prosaic innocence.
Painting using bright colors against dark and white in the winter is a centuries old tradition that artists of all nationalities can leverage for inspiration and happiness in the winter season.
Even more effective is lighting your work with DAYLIGHT Lamps & Lighting, which simulates the sun by releasing mood balancing hormones, improving your mood and supporting your body’s natural cycle.
While you may never need to combat the mood-altering effects of -60 degree F weather, even at a moderate latitude in the winter, the body experiences sunlight deprivation and related depression is possible. Fortunately artistic expression and light therapy are readily attainable solutions that are both fun and affordable.
- Tamara C.