The Mood Factor

THE MOOD FACTOR

Dunseverick – watercolour by Ken Riddles 

One of the aspects of art appreciation that is overlooked, is the ‘mood’ aspect.

What ? – Moody landscapes do you mean? 

No. I’m referring to the emotional state of artist and viewers alike.

It is difficult nay, perhaps for some folks, we could say, almost impossible to trace the origins or cause of mood swings.

We enthusiastically buy a piece of art. “Just love it!” Is the exclaimed conclusion when the money has been paid and it hangs on the living room wall.

But a year later they have a bad day and go ‘off-it’ completely, and set about to find a way of ridding themselves of the piece.

What do you mean that never happens? 

Really?

I remember sadly, that a friend of mine bought a painting I created,  entitled (I think?) ‘Couple’. It was a semi-abstract of two figures hand in hand.

She bought it for her fiancee, as an engagement present, owned by both as they entered marriage.

Unfortunately she had been duped and the partner wasn’t what he presented himself to be and the marriage ended.

She could no longer appreciate the painting and gave it away. A rather extreme example of how our subjective experiences can turn our emotional appreciation away from a formerly appreciated object.

I’m only too willing to concede also, however, that some pieces of art stay in favour throughout the life of the person who possesses it/them. Their daily experiences – good or bad – high or low – do not affect their intellectual and emotional attachment to the work.

I guess that is the ideal scenario, I’m just not convinced it is always the case.

Everyone likes a change. That’s why we RE-decorate our rooms.

As a painter I have moments of joy over what I have produced but I must confess it is sometimes short lived.

Fortunately there are works I do not want to part with. But not many.

As Christians we are not meant to live by our ‘moods’, as in –  only setting ourselves to please God, when we ‘feel’ like it. But to suggest we are not all subjectively motivated some of the time, would be unrealistic.

However, if The Lord Jesus had acted only on ‘nice or good feelings’, He would never have gone to the cross.

That’s where the will of God ‘kicks in’ for the Christian. Doing things because they are right, not because we feel right.

I certainly do not claim mastery in this sphere – only that The Master (Jesus), provides the help I need.

However in these considerations, and as part of this discussion is about art, we must also allow for the fluctuation of ambiguous artistic feeling. 

When an artist places his next mark on the paper, guided by an inner knowing and decision making mechanism, this can be referred to as ‘intuition’.

Put simply – an example would be – illustrated by the utterance: ‘I feel it needs something red down here…’

What do you mean ‘I feel it needs…?’

Explain that one…

There is no doubt we are all subject to whimsical feelings when it comes to taste. We get tired of always looking at or listening to the same thing. It is just part of human nature.

So I realise when it comes to my own art that those who have purchased or been gifted with my paintings may get tired of them.

The artist shouldn’t get too offended by this.

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life is self-control.

Therefore that effects all our decision making. 

In that – we are to know ourselves, and ‘collate’ our thoughts in the Presence of God.

This leads to God’s Peace being arbitrator between what is acceptable and unacceptable (Colossians 3/15).

No Christian gets this correct all of the time, but when we don’t – we run back to God for His understanding forgiveness – He understands that we are sheep that too easily go astray.

So by all means enjoy being a human being – allowed to have likes and dislikes, our own ‘taste’ buds – our individual emotional responses to the sight of the eyes.

But art dealer ‘Joe Bloggs’ having an off-day (or mood swing) and as a result rejecting your art – should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Self-control wins the day as something to aspire to. An emotional roller-coaster life, and – the car gets so out of control it heads for a crash.

Galatians 5/

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

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