As I write this, here in the Northern hemisphere, it seems like winter’s just beginning to fade away. I know some of you in the Midwest (or other parts of the world) might still be facing freezing temperatures. Those of you in Australia are just now headed into Autumn; with your winter still ahead.
But at least here winter’s almost over—and I’m glad about that.
Now, I’m not the kind of person who gets really depressed during the dull, cloudy “winters” that we have here in Portland, but I do always get a persistent itch to be somewhere warm and sunny.
Kind of a feeling of geographical claustrophobia, if you will.
And I know it’s not just me; Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real issue for many people, especially here in the Northwest with all the rainy days we have.
So what is it about winter that makes people depressed? Maybe the lack of certain colors?
That’s what I think, anyway.
I came to that conclusion the other day after sitting in the sun for about 10 minutes. The golden light streaming in through my dining room windows was so bright that I shut my eyes and just basked in it, soaking up the red/orange glow from behind my closed eyelids.
And that was great, but what happened next was even better. When I opened my eyes and looked around, everything was blue.
The walls of my house (which are really cream-colored) looked pale blue; the floors looked cooler, and the the whole house just seemed lighter and more open.
Of course, the blue was caused by a sort of afterimage effect from the sunlight—my eyes, which had adjusted to so much red and orange, compensated by coloring everything else blue. And blue is anything but a depressing color.
After that experience sitting in the sun, I’ve begun to think that we as artists (heck, we as humans) are probably happiest with a full range of pure, vivid colors in our life.
So if you’re having a tough day, get some sun. Visit an art gallery. Or bust out those crayons you haven’t touched for ages.
Maybe all you need is a little dose of color.
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