Category: Art + Design

Setting the Mood: The Tone of Art



Image courtesy Sawa on Flickr

Art is intrinsically emotional; whether deliberate or not, there is a particular mood set by each individual work. Through color, theme, style, concept and approach, artists create a unique emotional response in their audience; happiness, calm, sadness, and anger all created purely via visual cues. It’s truly fascinating to explore the way art can affect you upon first impression.

Anke, "Blue Arrow", Mixed Media on Panel, 60 x 60 in.
Anke, “Blue Arrow”, Mixed Media on Panel, 60 x 60 in.

With a largely red palette and fantastical imagery, “Blue Arrow” by Anke is striking and enigmatic. Presenting animate subjects with a still life feel, Anke portrays a deliberate story. In each mixed media work, Anke employs photography, collage, and paint to deliver her message to the viewer; evoking whimsical dream-like appeal. While red is typically associated with energy or urgency, Anke is able to present strength and stoicism via the subject and softens the intensity of the red through a light sepia wash and precise handling of the scene she creates. Anke’s work has childlike mysticism with mood improving undertones; stolen moments from a playful imagination set atop bold impactful color, immediately striking a chord within the viewer.

Lee, "Stillwinds #8", Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 36 in.
Lee, “Stillwinds #8”, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 36 in.

Not all artwork is forthcoming with what it portrays. Delicate and light, Hyunmee Lee’s abstract creates a subtle energy through thin gestural strokes and competing vast colorful shapes. There is at once tension and peace in Lee’s work; heavy dark gray and black balance against eggshell white and light blue. Blue is most often associated with trust and has a calming effect while black represents power and mystery. Minimal yet full of movement and rhythm, the contrast within Lee’s work builds a satisfying unease; creating a still calm yet quiet energy in the space it inhabits.


Poulin, "Les Courant De Tes Reves", Mixed Media on canvas, 36 x 48 in.
Poulin, “Les Courant De Tes Reves”, Mixed Media on canvas, 36 x 48 in.

Blending blues, yellows, and deep grays/black, Poulin presents a dynamic dreamscape. With distorted figures (often elongated and seemingly ephemeral) who have a ghostlike presence, Poulin appeals to the deepest corner of our psyche, bringing the foggy emotions and forgotten memories that often only appear in our dreams to the surface. Mysterious yet engaging, Poulin’s work uses color to bring the viewer closer to the shadowy focus of her piece. While the subject itself is still, the surface texture of this piece has distinct energy; the artist’s expression built into the canvas. Poulin’s piece pulls an array of emotions from the viewer, a thought provoking work that hits below the surface.

Discover the art that draws you in and sets the tone and mood you want to convey.