The Unconditional Love of Water in Art

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With the warmer summer months, what better way to celebrate the season than to explore the power of water in paintings and prints? We've partnered with Chloe Gallery Co-Founder and Artist Amy Nelder to explore this longstanding trend in artwork—from dramatic seaside sunsets to memorable poolside moments. This summer, the gallery will welcome new works from Cheryl Kline and Isabel Emrich in addition to new Carrie Graber originals and limited edition prints. Below, Amy has selected a few of her favorite pieces from these artists that illustrate our shared fascination with water and all things blue. 

So much of the human body is made up of water. Perhaps this is why we feel such calm when we are near the vastness of the ocean, its colors and waves—that relaxation just sitting on a deck chair poolside, even if we’re not getting in.

Now is the time to celebrate our natural relationship to blue and water tones. Water landscapes can open up a wall and make a space feel bigger, more enervated or more relaxing. Calming our hearts, feeding our souls, or feelings suggest an ancient synergy between our bodies and this massive liquid heart of Mother Nature.

Let's Elope, Cheryl Kline, oil on canvas, 40" x 60"

The benefits of water extend well beyond real waves—designers and collectors know the relaxing aesthetic in a piece of art on the wall can bring a real tranquility deep into our emotional and sensory core.

Under The Sea, Isabel Emrich, oil on canvas, 30" x 40"

Blue is the most popular color in the world – crossing cultural and religious lines, crossing continents and cultures - even in Asia where red and yellow are considered best for good luck. The love of blue goes beyond social training - the sight of ocean tones alone can draw our brains and hearts into an environment.

Night and Day, Cheryl Kline, oil on canvas, 30" x 40" 

Acclaimed Chloe Gallery artist Cheryl Kline understands the unconditional love of water firsthand. Her big-sky-and-ocean landscapes add an undeniable calm to any space, emanating joy and tranquility to the viewer.

“My love affair with nature began first with the sky in 1999, when one day I had nothing to paint,” says the artist.

Salty Lips, Isabel Emrich, oil on canvas, 24" x 48"

“I live across the highway from the beach near Malibu and I noticed how calm the sea was that day and how the coves disappeared into the distant mist much like they do in Japanese paintings. I was amazed at how peaceful I felt (painting it)...I decided that I would paint the same scene every Monday for one year.

“I was awestruck by how different the same scene appeared from week to week. What ever was happening in the sky, the water reflected. If the sky was dancing with big thunder clouds the ocean was dark and rough, a distant rain shower and maybe a ray of light on the horizon. I couldn't wait for Mondays to continue this addicting affair.

“Views with water are always going to be priced much higher than views without. There's a cleansing feeling,” says top-producing San Francisco real estate broker Paul Barbagelata. “It provides a meditative effect, when you can stare at a view of blue or ocean."

But science is proving that the view can be a created one as well. “’We are starting to do brain scans...in response to [people] looking at images of coastal environments...’ says Dr. Mathew White, a University of Plymouth psychologist. ‘In the lab we've shown people prefer aquatic and water scenes...people are drawn to the color blue.’ (Both) natural and built scenes containing water are associated with higher perceived restorativeness than those without water.” – (Wallace J. Nichols, 2013)

Summer Sunshine, Isabel Emrich, oil on canvas, 40" x 60"

Chloe Gallery emerging artist Isabel Emrich’s stunning underwater paintings make a powerful and elegant accent, with their graceful and narrative figures, and broad abstracted areas of juicy paint - the brightest points adding gentle elements of reflective light to any room.

“Blue is tranquil and peaceful. It has a tremendous stress management quality that encourages calmness,” says Dr. Edward Group in his article on the relationship of color to stress management. “Different colors produce different psychological, emotional, and physical effects….Surrounding yourself with the right colors can be an excellent stress management tool.”

Contributions of the Artistic Obsession

Our artwork makes us think and feel, and our paintings of water take us to those rivers, oceans, and pools in our minds, but also in our senses. But what about the contributions of the artistic obsession? Does the artist’s own joyous and relaxing experience emanate right through the canvas to the viewer? More new original swimming pool scenes are coming into Chloe Gallery from artist Carrie Graber this June, and we can’t wait to feel the splash right through the wall, and the sunshine reflected in the droplets of water on the breeze.

Sunny Buns, Carrie Graber, giclee on canvas, 20" x 40" 

This artist’s love of water is both clear and contagious. Her paintings of cool blue swimming pools and golden ocean tides transform the rooms they are in, transporting the viewer into her environment – and selling out nearly as fast. “I mix blues with EVERYthing to harmonize. Water is a life-force...which has a hefty blue quotient. It unfailingly balances warmth, humanity, and light.”

Compliments for Complements, Carrie Graber, giclee on canvas, 25" x 36"

Whether it’s an ocean sunset, a boat going down a lazy river, or feet dangling into a swimming pool, just the sight of water affects us on a deep emotional and psychological level. Is it a feeling of health or love? Or a sense of the endlessness of our own hidden depths?

For more information on Chloe Gallery or the paintings above, please visit Chloe Gallery's website or contact info@chloefinearts.com. The gallery will be hosting an Art & Winemaker's Dinner on Saturday, August 20th, featuring a food and wine paired with work from artists Aldo Luongo, Amy Nelder, Cheryl Kline, Mark Yale Harris and Isabel Emrich. Contact greg@chloefinearts.com for pricing and details. 

REFERENCES:

1. Bohan, Suzanne, “Scientists discuss ocean's effect on the brain”, Contra Costa Times, 06/06/11, Santa Cruz Sentinel News, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/article/ZZ/20110606/NEWS/110607923

2. Bretell, Richard, Post-Impressionists; Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago and New York: Abrams, Harry N., 1987, quoted by Art Institute of Chicago, http://www.artic.edu/, in “Examination: Monet’s Water Landscapes”, http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/379

3.Group, Dr. Edward, “How Do I Eliminate Stress With Color?”, www.globalhealingcenter.com, 12/23/15, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/eliminate-stress-with-color/

4.Jordan, Will, “Why is blue the world’s favorite color?”, www.yougov.com, 05/12/15, https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/05/12/why-blue-worlds-favorite-color/ , 05/12/15,

5.Nichols, Warren J., “The Cognitive Benefits of Being by Water”, www.wallacejnichols.org, 08/08/13, http://www.wallacejnichols.org/126/554/the-cognitive-benefits-of-being-by-water.html