Surround Yourself With Art That “Wows” You

Hendrick Avercamp - Dutch Winter Scene

Hendrick Avercamp – Dutch Winter Scene

I was born and raised in the land of the old Masters, the Netherlands, and lived in Amsterdam where you can drink coffee close to Rembrandt’s art and where the Van Gogh Museum is on the way home.  A country that allows you to look into living rooms with warm lights and beautiful green plants in the window sills; a country of November clouds so impressive, it would make you hold your breath; a country that during Winter, when covered in snow, looks surreal; a country with Summer parks where blankets of colorful tulips compete for your admiration; a country where some of the Masters’ painted scenes can still be seen in day to day life.

Frans Hals - The Lute Player

Frans Hals – The Lute Player

Masters like Johannes Vermeer, expert of the “Dutch light”, Jan Steen who was known for his homely and humoristic tableaus, and Frans Hals, whose joyful portraits made him famous. They all lived and worked in this very small country. My personal idea of why so many great artists came from this area is the weather, yes, the weather. Cold, rainy, and windy, grey as the clouds hang low and where Summer might last 3 days. The weather! No surprise people like to stay home… inside.  A desire to make the rooms of their homes warm and beautiful was given new life in the 17th century, when the economy was flourishing and traders like the Dutch East India Company invested in beautiful mansions along the waterways to Amsterdam.

The desire to beautify their interiors with rich colors, great art pieces and warmth – lots of warmth – surely had a lot to do with how these amazing artists became immortal.

Whenever a culture flourishes, so do the Arts. In Mediterranean countries the accent has been more on clothes (even today Armani, Dior, etc.), as the weather allowes people to go out and show themselves in the most beautiful garments. But for the Dutch the weather prohibits such luxury. We stay inside and specialize in beautiful living spaces.

Today the art of interior decorating with its amazing TV shows have opened the eyes of many and awakened the awareness of how to lift your spirit by surrounding yourself with beautiful things, beautiful colors, amazing art. The term “focal point” is now in everyday use and an accent wall to liven up a space is nothing new anymore. My husband got an e-mail from an interior decorator friend explaining to him the percentages of color in a room to create a desired effect. You could say that interior decorating has become a new art form. And I wholeheartedly agree. What joy to walk into an amazingly designed room. Like the old Masters, some people are fantastic with that.

79 - universeColors do influence the way you feel. Think about it, when you enter a dark room it is as if you contract, introvert and even feel fear. Masters influence your emotion. People going to a Museum walk away with a different emotion from when they entered. I once walked into a furniture store where they had a beautiful, colorful painting showing a Venice scene so beautiful, it filled me with joy and even though I walked in to buy some furniture I left with that painting. I hung it on my wall and ever since felt alive seeing this wonderful picture and could not help smiling and lift my step.

So “Masters and Interior Decorating” go hand in glove. Imagine walking into an amazingly decorated room with colors that match your disposition — man, that could make you start singing. It does for me and I have had many a shoe hit my head as a consequence. I am no Maria Callas.

Then imagine walking in a room that has no color or beauty, doesn’t that influence you? I wonder if we really are aware how much it does until we walk into a beautiful space. So the Dutch love to create beautiful homes to step in from out of the rain, the sleet, the stormy wind. And the Masters flourished.

Stephanie Pappas wrote an article for Science “Different colors describe happiness, depression” on NEWS NBC.com. (© 2012 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.) It says:

“Are you in a gray mood today? How about a blue funk? Maybe you’re seeing red, because you’re green with jealousy. The colors we use to describe emotions may be more useful than you think, according to new research. The study found that people with depression or anxiety were more likely to associate their mood with the color gray, while happier people preferred yellow. The results, which are detailed today in the journal BMC Medical Research Methodology, could help doctors gauge the moods of children and others…”

Universe - 109It turned out that happy people went for the yellow and brighter blue where people with anxiety and depression went more for the darker blue and grey. Oh yes, and red is of course the color of love…

Well, what did I say? There have been even scientific studies done on this phenomena of color. But you and I already knew, if only instinctively, that colors influence my emotions.  Maybe this is one of the biggest reasons the art by LD Sledge resonates and creates emotional reactions, with the bright colors and open interpretation of an amazing dynamic scene, pulling us into a world that invites us to create how we feel, time and again. Like taking a spiritual shower among the stardust and sparkle of outer space.

A “Sledge”, the art for every emotion; the art to lift your spirit; the art that invites you to smile can be seen on this website and just let us know what your expression looks like while you admire these art pieces. Did you get “wow-ed”?