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Creating Atmosphere

Updated: Apr 5

Atmosphere is so important wherever we are. You want to create a romantic setting? Then you need dim lighting, soft furnishings, candles and appropriate music, you get the idea. You are creating atmosphere to facilitate the intention. But what has that got to do with art?

I always remember looking at Francis Bacon's art. British born artist who paints quite disturbing pieces. He was obsessed with animals and their behaviours being core to our humanity.

'Man and Beast' captivated me when I was younger. I loved the way he used his imagery and how it created a really disturbing atmosphere around me, and still does. I hate it yet I'm captivated by it.

'The best art continually disrupts and invites' Allen Arnold.

Creating atmosphere through your art creates a world for your viewer to enter into. It can hold their gaze whilst they make sense of your art in their mind and heart. They begin to interpret it in their own way.

When people begin to enter into that atmosphere of your creative gifting, they will begin to go through a list of questions in their mind like how much is the painting, can I afford it, is there space at home etc etc.

Atmosphere creates buying potential. You want to create pieces that people will not want to live without!

I have sold pieces of art to people who have said to me ,'I just had to have it!'

I have been at exhibitions where people have gone around the whole exhibition yet kept coming back to certain pieces. They were drawn to them!

Atmosphere draws people back! That's the kind of art you want to create! But how do you do that?

I'm not an expert, so I'm going with my experience on this one. I think you need to begin with creating an atmosphere around you before you paint. The best pieces of art come from your soul. It is your heart on canvas or wherever you create. So here are some tips to help you create your best work and work that atmosphere in.

  • CREATE A HAPPY PLACE - I am very fortunate to have a dedicated space to work in. My studio is generally OK in terms of tidy, but it gets messy real quick and that affects my painting! So I need to make sure I work in that time to keep it tidy, well organised and clean so that when I walk into my studio first thing in the morning it makes me happy! If you don't have that dedicated space, then make sure whatever space you have, it works for you. You may have to be clever with organising the space or clever with your timing, for instance when the kids are at school. Organise your space, organise your time and create the perfect environment for you to unleash your gifting.

  • YOUR INTERNAL SPACE - So important!! If I am stressed or upset I know that my painting won't work for me. Flip that the other way and you may find that you create your best work when you are stressed!! Know your internal space and when you are at your best creatively. I am also aware that if my house is a mess or if I have a ton of laundry to do, my painting will be affected! So I make sure that 1 day a week I am focused on those things that can affect me the other 6 days. Friday is my 'house' day and if I'm stressed about anything I generally find that doing the housework helps. Clearing those other jobs helps focus my mind and my heart.

These external and internal areas of our lives are where we have authority, where we can change things. It doesn't limit us but it focuses us. We become intentional about creating pieces that hold atmosphere or feeling.

What atmosphere are you wanting to create? For me, I am obsessed with landscapes and cloudscapes. I LOVE my beautiful Kent and am at my happiest when I'm transferring that passion onto canvas. I am at my happiest when I'm walking with my hubby and my Toby (Labradoodle). I not only want to transfer that onto canvas, but the feeling as well. That's my atmosphere!

It is an atmosphere of complete satisfaction and joy. It is an atmosphere of peace and serenity, even when my paintings are moody. That's the atmosphere that I want to capture and invite people into.

Be intentional about that feeling you want to transfer, be it an atmosphere of joy and fun, or seriousness, or maybe peace or slightly disturbed like Mr Bacon's. Maybe you don't really know what that atmosphere is? Take some time to think about it, maybe experiment whilst painting.

Where do you see your paintings hanging? Is it an office environment, a home, a restaurant? Each environment will dictate to a certain degree the type of atmosphere. A painting that DEMANDS attention would look great in an interior designers installation plan and on a feature wall, whilst a gentle pastel piece would be an ideal piece for a bedroom.

So know what you want to create and be intentional about that atmosphere. Think about your external and internal areas, when you are at your best creatively, and let that atmosphere carry on into your artwork!!


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