In the first image titled “Plum Tree” (1996) I believe the psychological color use is fairly explanatory. The background is drab and lifeless. A tangled mess of briars and lifeless undergrowth surround the plum tree. In the foreground of the work your attention is immediately grabbed by the only bit of life in the work. The plum tree in bloom. I feel that the psychological message that this work puts out is “there is always hope”. No matter the circumstances, no matter what yesterday was like, no matter what you think the outcome will be, there is always hope.
In the second work in the gallery titled “The end of the day” (1904) immediately the psychological message is cold. Very, very cold. But upon further inspection there are many other key elements that are at play. In the foreground of the work we see a man, covered in snow. Obviously day light is quickly fading and he has been hard at work all day. He’s cold, the horses are cold, his fingers clinching the tool he is working with are borderline frost bitten. But the day is almost finished. In the background of the work we can see the warm glow of the cabin. The fire is burning. His family is probably waiting on him before they eat supper. That is the sight that he has been waiting to see all day long. The colors in this piece depict the feeling of a cold dead of winter of day by the snow. But there is a bit of warmth coming from the soft glow of the cabin.
In the third work in the gallery titled “On guard at night” (1887) the psychological use of colors are a little harder to interpret due to the painting being done in black and white. I feel that that adds to psychological effect though. I feel the main message here is loneliness. It’s the middle of the night. The man on guard is the only one awake. He’s far from home, and barely clinging to consciousness as he stands guard over the crew for the night and prays for the sun to come up. The only thing to keep him company is his thoughts and the soft, warm glow of the fire.