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Mood and atmosphere

Watch this to analyse mood and atmosphere in Higher Art (and to appreciate that feelings do matter)

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Have you ever been in a busy, intense environment where the music is loud, the space is minimal and you can’t hear yourself think but the energy is amazing?

Or, in direct contrast, alone...on a beach, in front of the sea in the wide open space...arms open wide, breathing in that fresh, unoccupied air with just your own thoughts for company?

Now ask yourself.....how did each of those different scenarios, and the mood and atmosphere created within those scenarios, make you feel?

If we can learn to articulate and describe our own emotions within certain situations, then we can
learn how to identify the feeling communicated within artwork and make justified explanations of how we think the artist has achieved this.

Let’s look at analysing Mood and Atmosphere in Art.

Take a deep breath.

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The mood and atmosphere created within a piece of artwork will depend on what the main focus of the art work is. Let’s unpack Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, painted in 1899. Here, the main focus is location. In order to then identify the mood and atmosphere, the feeling communicated by the artwork, we must transport ourselves into the painting....as if we are standing right there, in front of that bridge, in front of that scene, in front of those water lilies floating on the water bed. And then ask ourselves......how would we feel if we were there?

Would we feel calm? Quite possibly! Why.....? Why would we feel calm? Is it because of the lack of movement in the water? How has Monet portrayed this lack of movement? The water lilies are all floating peacefully – this conveys a lack of wind within the atmosphere, suggesting a calm, summers day, where nature is at peace.

We look around.....are there any signs of life in the form of human or animal activity? No. There is no one in the painting. Transport yourself back there. How would you feel, standing there alone.....isolated? How has an isolated atmosphere been conveyed by Monet? Is this feeling of isolation gained from the lack of human activity or is it gained from the vast overgrowth of vegetation surrounding the water and the bridge? There is a feeling of containment...of secrecy....of protection and isolation from the outside world. How does this make you feel? What feeling is therefore portrayed by the artist? Tranquil.....peaceful.....hidden.

The answers to all of these probing and analytical questions lie with you. If you feel it, and you can pin point and articulate how the artist has portrayed this feeling, then you are right! Being successful in your analysis is how you justify your feelings, the feelings communicated by the artist.

The impact they have on you matters – it is your interpretation – but it takes time and practice to develop the skill to articulate it.

Tap into your feelings and enjoy the impact.

This was thinkfour, thanks for watching.

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