Green Art Therapy, and the Science Behind It

The color green is a popular choice for home decor for a reason. Have you ever wondered why a splash of green draws you in? Why . green art makes you feel just a little bit lighter? Brain psychology illuminates how decorating with green art can actually boost your mood.

green art

The Color Psychology of Green Art

A green traffic light… green leaves in the spring… what feelings do these images conjure up? Many simply associate green with growth, health, and rest, without even knowing why.

The strong association people have between the color green and the natural world has a lot to do with it. In the warmer months, the color green is definitely the most prevalent hue on the natural landscape. Many people report that being outside surrounded by “green” leaves them feeling refreshed and rejuvenated… even energized.

A reported at ECOBNB says that “the development of our brain is affected by a green environment. Recent scientific research shows that living surrounded by nature and trees gives surprising benefits to our mind and contributes to the development of the cognitive skills of children.”

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That’s right, childhood is when most of our cognitive development is taking place. And during this time, scientists identified that kids with a higher “green exposure index,” (that is, their accessibility to trees, parks, and forests) did have an impact on the way their brain grew.

Is it too late for adults?

No way. Nature and wellness has an important connection when we’re talking about humans of all ages. Researcher Wendee Nicole authored a study about the benefits of living near green space, and stated that we all need a “psychological connection with nature.”

So what if you don’t have a huge yard, or a wooded area next door? It’s worth throwing some green up on the walls. Green art brings at least some of the benefits of green space into any space you happen to be in. Choose a piece of art that strongly features the color green, and instills in you a feeling of calm and peace. Make a point of “drinking in” this piece of art at least once a day. You can pause to take a breath in front of it. You can picture yourself frolicking around within the frame. Anything that gives your brain a break, and a healthy dose of green.

green art

We love this piece by Vincent Van Gogh because of the fresh colors and unique perspective. Can’t you imagine joining this pair int he midst of all of that green? What must they be feeling? Smelling? Hearing? Imagining yourself in a green space can bring you peace, too!

Wake Up! It’s me, Green Art!

Have you heard that excessive use of smartphones at night or in the evening can prevent you from sleeping well? That’s mainly because of the levels of blue and green light. These wavelengths inhibit the release of melatonin, and prevent us from becoming drowsy.

Is this a negative effect? Sure. But we can use it to our advantage. If you’re trying to get work done in a certain space, consider decorating with green art! The cones in our eyes need to process the wavelengths to tell the brain we are seeing the color green, and this action can have a similar wakefulness effect. Wake up! Get to work! That’s the positive effect of green wall art!

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Green art doesn’t have to be landscape art. Abstract pieces like Myrrhis Ordorata IV by Lynn (above) can also energize and refresh.


Looking for your own dose of green? Check out’s entire gallery of green art here!