The first comment most people make when seeing my art is, “Boy, you sure love color.” I do love color. It draws my eye, inspires me.
Open yourself to color. Color influences thoughts and evokes emotions. We all know that red represents anger or love and green is sickness or jealousy. Feeling blue?
Even in black and white, there is bold and exciting color. But it’s black and white, you say. Yes, I answer, a play on the presence of all color (black) and the absence of color (white). Black is one of those colors that doesn’t truly exist in nature. Oh yeah, what about a black cat? Nope, if you look closely at the fur of a black cat, you will see that it’s really dark brown. The closest I’ve found to true black is a raven’s feather, but even that is tinged with blues and greens. Shadows are not gray, but rather a tone of purple and/or brown.
I love Chinese and Japanese art because their colors are always so subtile and unexpected.
Color effects us in ways that we sometimes don’t expect. Some people can’t eat brown foods, for example. One lady I use to work with didn’t like chocolate because it was brown. I’ve noticed that I love the color blue, but I don’t necessarily like blue foods, though if I don’t think about it, I’ll eat blueberries.
I don’t like dark movies, not because they are scary, but rather because I can’t see them. On the other hand, I love bright animation. For awhile, cartoons started to run toward darker colors, like the newer Batman cartoons. Nope, give me the old Superman and Friends! Want to draw me into a show — give me color!
Many landscape painters lean toward dingy, muddy colors. I’ve often wondered why. Do they see the world as dingy? Do the spring and falls colors not inspire them? What is with those mild blues and browns people label as “earth tones.” That’s now how I see the earth. Not that neutrals don’t have their place, but it’s not to be used alone.
Do I even need to mention what negative effects those watered-down pastel colors Martha Stewart enjoys have on me? The important thing is that I know why I dislike these colors because I do pay attention to it.
What colors you like/dislike? Are you paying attention to the world around you and the multitude of hues that other people like or dislike? Our attraction to bolds, neutrals, or midtones says a lot about a person. Do you see highlights or shadows? I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling pretty good about life, I notice the shadows, those little tones that give objects dimension. When I’m depressed, I notice highlights; a way to lift me out of the doldrums? When I’m feeling thoughtful like now, I notice reflections.
Right now, look away from your computer screen and see what’s around you. How is the light hitting it? What color is it? It it reflecting things around it and if so, how does that effect the coloring?
It’s been said that sight is the most important of our five senses. Would this still be true if we saw in black and white with various shades of gray? Don’t take your sight for granted and enjoy the vibrations of color around you. It only takes a moment to enjoy and be grateful for the world around you.