• Anu van Warmelo

The Dark Side of Colour


I was reading an analysis of van Gogh's The Night Cafe recently, where the artist is quoted as saying the painting was the 'ugliest' he had done. Apparently he was deliberately trying to invoke a sense of degradation and despair by use of the greens and 'blood-reds'.

Living next door to a pub as I do, I appreciate this depiction, something has really been captured here. What is interesting is that the aforementioned colours are Wood and Fire elements. Familiar as Christmas colours to many, they are a vibrant, very yang ch'i which work effectively in bringing uplift to the darkest time of year. Yet so easily and subtly can they change! To understand how and why tends to be the province of interior designers or artists more than Feng Shui practitioners, which is why we tend to prescribe parameters rather than precise instructions. Here, I would be interested in the subconscious reasons for the landlord subscribing such lugubrious tones and inadequate lighting.