503 287 4354

Color's Benefits to Health
Healing environments need beautiful colors
Your home and office can be places to inspire and nourish your well-being

"The painting is complete. I just need to hang the artwork in my therapy office and the admin/kitchen area. We love it and so do the clients. I told my partner that we might not even need to do therapy. We can just have the client sit in the waiting room, have a cup of tea, soak in the environment, then head home".

From a client in Pennsylvania whose therapy offices were colored and artwork selected by Mary at a distance.


Color can have a profound effect on you; it alters moods, influences behavior and causes physical reactions. The correct choice of colors for health is a powerful tool. Art First will make the perfect selections of healing colors for you.

Healing colors that remind us of nature—soft green and yellow shades—have been proved to help people recover faster from illness. Light and color together provide relief for Seasonal Affective Disorder, or “winter blues”.

A deep, strong blue is an effective tranquilizer; the human brain produces eleven neurotransmitters to calm the body when this color is predominant in the surroundings. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University find that blue also suppresses appetite, so they recommend it, along with shades of deep green and brown, as an effective dietary aid.

For centuries the ancient Indian healing science of Ayurveda has used color therapy to balance each of the three mind-body types, and to create order and peace within the environment.


As a colorist and artist, what I do is different from a typical interior designer.
While a designer is concerned with fashion and current styles, I seek to bring out harmonies that will comfort, delight, and inspire the people who use them. Whereas interior design is sometimes used to impress others, art seeks to introduce beauty and benefit the beholder directly.

The great artist Matisse said that the purpose of his paintings was to refresh and enliven the viewer, comparing the experience to a comfortable easy chair after a tiring day of work. Similarly, I compose dynamic interactions between the hues rather than producing a static result, because there is a difference between feeling calmly centered and feeling bored.

Faber Birren, the prominent color research scientist, writes “In the realm of emotion, color can introduce sensory stimulation, break up monotony, establish an interesting change of pace. It is not just that one color is better than another, or that red is exciting, green tranquil and blue subduing. What has been learned from research is that variety is, of itself, psychologically beneficial”.

So we naturally require a variety of colors for our well-being, and with careful choices the balance of colors and shades will promote health and a pleasurable state of mind.


My work is specific to the people involved and to the building. It’s not as simple as one color being more healing than another, the balance of hues relative to who will be using that space is what’s important.       

Each of us has a unique response to color. I get to know my clients within the setting of their own place. I choose colors for health based on my knowledge of how colors appear in spaces considering the available light, architecture, and the desired results. We have an environmentally friendly policy and specify no-odor, no-VOC paints and other materials.


I can make your colors work for your health. I will propose dynamic color palettes based on your needs and your built environment. I design environments to provide color therapy: for hospitals, clinics, day care centers; and for homes, businesses and community buildings. My clients often say that my consultation has helped to improve their emotional and physical well-being.

Art First can provide health-promoting colors for you at your location. Health is comfort, contentment, "rightness" and joy. It’s our pleasure to help transform your place into a healthier environment.

Mary Mc Murray

Phone 503 287 4354

Hi Mary,
You were a delight to work with; you did wonders for my mental health when I was so worried about the stucco!
Many Thanks,
Susan E.


“Beauty dissolves conflicts, quiets us within, inspires us, creates a sense of happiness and serenity, refreshes us, and consoles us in times of depression. Beauty is not unnecessary or impractical”

Frank Lloyd Wright

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PHONE: 503 287 4354