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Exploring moods, atmospheres and stories in paintings.

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Art Dissertation Exploring moods, atmospheres and stories in paintings. This year I have decided to base my projects on visual communication. I intend to investigate how artists are able to communicate stories through paintings. I will also consider any moods and atmospheres they create in these paintings. At AS level I looked at nightlife and the social environment of pubs and clubs. I enjoyed doing this and I think this may influence my A2 work as well. I would like to develop my Unit 5 problem solving unit to looking at different situations - different stories, atmospheres, moods, etc. I may look at paintings creating happy atmospheres and compare them with paintings, which create unhappy, tense atmospheres; like 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch. To enable me to complete this properly I will use this Unit 4 contextual study to develop an understanding of the work of several relevant artists. Some of these artists are Edvard Munch, Kathe Kollwitz, Rita Duffy, Terry Bradley, etc. This should give me an insight into the different ways that different artists use to create strong atmospheres and moods. I think colour, line, style and tone will be the main ways in which this is done, but how? ...read more.


The piece above - Widows and Orphans creates an atmosphere, it is a sad and depressing piece. The composition of lots of women and children clinging together for support all with sad expressionless faces creates a depressing atmosphere. The strong contrast between white, black and greys is very moody and helps create a still motionless scene with lots of sadness. The strong lines and bold shading also help create this depressing atmosphere. I would not like to be one of the group. Rita Duffy One of Northern Ireland's most celebrated artists, Rita Duffy; born in Belfast in 1959 and grew up in South Belfast. Rita Duffy is then quite different from both Munch and Kollwitz as her work is more detailed, is often autobiographical and includes themes and images of Irish identity, history and politics. "My background is Catholic so there is a rich legacy of imagery and iconography there" (Rita Duffy). Her work is surreal yet still has a sense of realism. She is able to create great tensions throughout her work. "It remains intensely personal with overtones of the surreal, homage is paid to the language of magic realism and always there is exquisite crafting of materials". ...read more.


His colour is clean and pure, not murky, thick or opaque. The composition also helps create moods within paintings. Kathe Kollwitz tends to group the people in her paintings together, which creates a feeling of desperation, clinging together for support whereas in 'The Scream' the composition is focused on one single person lost in a vast landscape. This also creates a feeling of desperation, fear as well as isolation - his realization that he alone is aware of the "scream passing through nature". In conclusion, I have learnt that it is important to carefully select colours and compositions when trying to create a strong atmosphere or mood. The use of texture, tone and contrast are also strong elements. It is also important to adapt your style depending on what type of atmosphere you are trying to create, whether it is happy or sad, desperation or celebration. To create a powerful atmosphere or mood all these factors need to be considered in order for the piece to be successful, but out of all of these colour is the key. "In his paintings he plays with colour and light creating moods and atmospheres that elicit emotional responses in the viewers." (Regarding Stephen Bennett's work). ...read more.

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