• The Colors of Happiness

by Michael Wilson May 10, 2018

The Colors of Happiness

The Sunflowers is one of the most popular of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings.  It was also the painting Van Gogh was most proud of.

The lonely and passionate Van Gogh had moved to Arles in the south of France where he dreamed of setting up a community of artists with his friend the artist, Paul Gauguin, as its mentor.  Sunflowers was painted during this rare period of excited optimism, while he awaited the arrival of Gauguin.  The work is full of light, energy and bright colors.

Sunflowers had a special significance for Van Gogh, as yellow was also his favorite color.  Yellow, for him, was an emblem of happiness, and perhaps not iroincally in Dutch literature the sunflower was a symbol of devotion and loyalty, often synonymous with happiness and light.  It’s also been said that at times during Van Gogh’s fits of severe depression he used to eat yellow paint, because he thought it would get the happiness inside him.

Now, Van Gogh was undoubtedly a talented, although very troubled artist and we would certainly not subscribe to eating paint to find happiness.  However, his notion of color as a force of light to lift emotion is something to consider.

Perhaps your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind?  Do you ever notice that certain places especially vex you?  While other places are especially relaxing and calming?  Well, there’s a good chance that the colors in those spaces are playing a bigger part than you're aware.

The truth is color is light and energy.  There are a variety of wavelengths that light can be categorized, producing different colors of the visible spectrum.  Other wavelengths are associated with non-visible light such as x-rays and ultraviolet rays.  Most of us are commonly aware of the effects of these non-visible rays when we simply stay out in the sun too long -Ouch!  So it makes sense to at least consider that visible light could also affect us in some way as well.

So what’s your favorite color?  What colors make you feel happy?  Perhaps your workplace or home environment hasn’t felt as “happy” as it could be?   Well, look around and see if you can add a little of your favorite colors to the space.  You might be very surprised how it can positively affect your mood, and help get you Under the Influence of Happiness :)



Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson

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