I was looking for some inspiration for a blog post and I came across a blog giving advise on ‘How to create MOOD in your painting’. I thought about this for a while and I’ve come to the conclusion that my paintings don’t contain ‘mood’. It’s not that I don’t want them to but It’s not something I think about when I paint. I see something and it strikes me as something I would like to paint, how it makes me feel, or some other deeper meaning, doesn’t enter into it. I don’t see a problem with deep meaning in a painting, but for me it is enough that I want to paint it.
Some paintings do create ‘mood’ for an observer, but I believe that is from the observer not the artist, so an artist has very little control over it. Some colours are associated with mood like warm fall colours or blue water. Most water isn’t blue but most people (including me) think it should be. There is a lot of water in my paintings and most of it is blue to some extent. I don’t think of it as ‘mood’ it’s just the way it is or that I think it should be.
So what good is ‘Mood’ in paintings? If someone is looking for a painting with a certain mood and the association is water or snow or fall foliage then they will find it, but I don’t believe that this is something an artist has much control over. If you like to paint blue paintings of subjects that appear cold then customers who want that look will find you. If you like warm coloured pictures then those customers looking for that might buy your paintings. If you want to sell more paintings then first paint all sorts of things to find a niche then paint more of what sells
I’m inclined to say that a good artist will be able to convey their ‘mood’ in their work, but I think it’s unlikely that even a good artist will be able to create that ‘mood’ on demand. Other than with a choice of subject and perhaps pallet I don’t think I could produce a happy or sad painting. I hope that if I am happy or sad it would be reflected in my paintings but I will likely be completely unaware of it.