How Layers of Color Lift Your Spirits

It's spring, let's talk green.


Did you know that there are more shades of green than any other color?



"Standing Tall" - Original Oil by Kate Moynihan

Just one gaze outside during this lush season, and you’ll see an endless number of greens!


No wonder the color green symbolizes rebirth, refresh, refuel!


In addition, green increases efficiency as it creates less strain on the eye to perceive it, allowing your nervous system to relax. This sedative quality of the color is a good reason to bring green into your home.


In a painter’s world, green comes alive by mixing the primary colors of blue and yellow.


However, it takes a dark pigment to mix a dark color. When yellow becomes dark, it becomes brown. Since brown is already a mix of other colors, when it's used to mix an additional color, the end result is often dull and lifeless.


To get a really rich, dark green, I use another primary color - red!



I prefer a dark red called Alizarin Crimson – a clear deep burgundy.




"Time Slows" - Framed Original Watercolor by Kate Moynihan


Even masters, such as Vincent Van Goug, mixed intense greens using Alizarin Crimson and Viridian.


"The Garden of Saint Paul Hospital" - Vincent Van Gogh


This layering of rich color adds depth to art.

We need layers of dark colors to appreciate the contrast from the lighter, brighter layers.


When the two layers work together, magic happens.

The dark colors recede and the lively light colors advance.


"Lost, yet Found" - Original Acrylic by Kate Moynihan


As you look outside this spring, let the abundance of the various shades of green remind you of the beauty in the balance of dark and light.

This mix of dark and light layers also makes me, me.


From my life experiences, I've become a blend of dark and light layers.


I’ve learned to let the light, colorful things in my life, like a soothing cup of tea, a bubble bath, a smile, family time, art... bring me joy. Then I let the darker events recede. Sometimes, it takes a strong effort to push aside deeper darks like worry and regrets. I know. When I returned to college to become an artist I had three things: a broken heart, humiliation, and a zero bank balance.

But I remind myself those negative thoughts will only eat away at my energy and spirit. I can't help others or myself if I'm distressed and unproductive.


You can do the same.


Remember these dark layers are important as they make you who you are, but they don’t have to control you.


Instead, learn from them.


So step outside, and savor the boundless shades of green ... the balance of lights and darks!

Then consider bringing the green of the outdoors in. Perhaps, with art.


Let the layers of art remind you of the importance of balance in yourself. In your life.


For art ideas, here’s a link to my Original Paintings, or Giclee Prints.

For more about the color green, click this link: Color Psychology: Decorating with Green


Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay balanced.