How do I know what colour to use? is it just a process of choice, or is it just a feeling, a feeling that this colour is right one to use? By applying earlier findings that feelings equal our emotions, then, surely it is just an emotional response to which colours I choose. There are so many questions, and truly difficult questions for which I need to find answers, so what do the academics say?

Colour in the mind is a painting on paper from the artist Gregory, a mixed media ink painting,

Gregory,2012. MoE painting on paper, “Colour in my Mind No.1.”

Philosophy & Science

Nicolas Malebranche, a 17th century Cartesian philosopher, stated:- “…through feeling, the mind…knows its own existence”. Some  four hundred years into the future and Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, says:-” consciousness is the consciousness of feeling. Feelings are emotion, emotion are feelings, as are our consciousness and unconsciousness”.

Colour in my mind No2, painted by the contemporary artist Gregory,

Gregory,2012. MoE painting on paper, “Colour in my Mind, No.2.”

I can only deduce that my choice of colours, must therefore be part of the conscious and unconscious activity of my brain. Therefore my emotional state must be instrumental in the colours I choose.Therefore, as artists, we can experiment with our cognitive state in so many way, and deliver a new approach or perspective to our art works.

I am aware that there is mind altering substances around, but hey,what you do in the privacy of your body… I can see many ways in which you and I can have an effect on our painting, and I will try some of them to see what changes I can achieve.

,2012.Molecules of Emotion consists of a series of paintings by Gregory, this is a ink painting on paper titled "Colour in my Mind No4".

Gregory,2012.MoE painting on paper “Colour in my Mind No.3.”


Music is a great emotional tool, and one which I often use whilst I’m painting. So, to max out the stimuli of emotions today I listened to some indie rock, the latest album by Richard Hawley: Standing at the Sky’s Edge. Now I’m feeling the colour in my mind.

Gregory of molecules of emotion paints a new series of pictures titled colour in my mind,

Gregory,2012.MoE painting on paper “Colour in my Mind No.4.”

So music is just one way of altering the emotional state, another can be where you paint, the environment can also change e.g. painting on a ship during a force 10 gale in the middle of the Atlantic ocean may give some wonderful results!

a series of paintings titled "colour in my mind" by the leading UK contemporary artist Gregory,

Gregory,2012.MoE painting on paper “Colour in my Mind No.5.”