Painting by Juliet Stück

Language of Color

May 9, 2016
Maureen Heath
Maureen Heath

When I lack words, I paint.

Visual art can be a powerful means of expression. It is a uniquely distinct and mysterious form of communication, a language all its own which can be very beneficial for the artist as well as for the viewer. 

Colors convey moods or emotions and they have the capacity to elicit an emotional response.

Symbolism brings meaning to the emotional response of the piece without the use of words. It is a silent conversation which begins within the artist—a journey between a deep subconscious essence toward her conscious or aware self.

As the viewer, if you pay close attention to sensations within yourself, you will notice that colors can have a wide range of emotional impact on you. An experience that goes beyond simply feeling "moved", which could just as easily have been something you ate last night.

A message is being transmitted to you as you listen; the other half of the conversation. You are first "moved" deep down in the essence of your being and as you pay attention to the emotion elicited, you begin to put meaning to your experience. The art has spoken to you, the artist has communicated.

As an abstract painter I am awe-inspired by the wonder of color, the vastness of the spectrum, how a bright orange can lift my spirits or a deep violet can stir up melancholy. A lighter violet can bring a sense of calm while a bold red can provoke boldness or aggression.

Color empowers me to express emotion that I might otherwise struggle to express. It may be that I'm not consciously aware of repressed feelings or perhaps that my deeper self has not yet felt safe enough to put words to how I feel. Colors are a tool that our Creator gave to us to express our deepest sorrows or our greatest joys. We also get the privilege to use color for inspiring messages of hope. At times they are there simply to delight in.

Color and symbols combined empower me to tell a story. 

Painting by Juliet Stück

This painting by Juliet Stück, with ITeams in South Africa, has communicated a message of hope; a vision of the kingdom of God here and now. Using stunning colors and imagery she has expressed a powerful message which she shares here:

“I have had this vision on my mind for awhile and wanted to paint it. It's the idea of man walking through a wilderness, endlessly... The desert is so big and so wide, that there is no way to see anything else. The contrast is the reality of a place of paradise... a place that offers salvation, rest, replenishment, hope, beauty... it is not just a place to not die or be on the fringe of death, it is a place of abundant life... beyond our wildest dreams. But we must open our eyes, and lift them from the dust to see...” — Juliet Stück

Art is a powerful tool for integrated community transformation. It empowers, it gives voice, it restores hope. It is communal, it provides a sense of place as co-creator and Creator intermingle, it gives permission to play. It calls us to responsibility, it makes us self-aware, not selfish; it heals. It is a redemptive force that points back to a loving Father who we look upon with a gratitude that compels us to worship.