Monday, July 30, 2018

Color Wheel of Summer

By Denise Turner, ASID,CID CMG
Summer is officially in full swing. Yeah! 

And with that comes longer days that are filled with warmth and sunshine. Oh, and let’s not forget the best part. Summer is filled with sun, water, sand, flowers, outdoor activities and other colorful elements. 
It’s no wonder that nature tends to inspire artists, especially the warmer seasons. As a result, many people have an urge to update their color palettes during the change during the summer, especially when the season is so inspirational and vibrant.

Here are some interesting color tid bits!

Throughout history, RED has signaled excitement, danger, drama and sex. In every culture, red evokes the strongest of symbols and emotions: Satan and the martyred saint; love and the beating heart; or the scarlet letter identifying someone convicted of adultery.

Our prehistoric ancestors viewed red as the color of fire and blood – energy and primal life forces. Most of red’s symbolism today arises from its powerful associations in the past.

Pink is the offspring of red; it’s created by combining red and white. Pink can range from a blue-based berry pink, to an orange-based salmon pink. Pink’s color means complex and its popularity is due to many influences.

Many cultures in human history have worshipped the sun. The association with the sun seems to be universal. For many ancient cultures, YELLOW was also associated with gold, and considered to be sacred. Because of their proximity to the heavens and heavenly things, yellow and  
gold signified divine love and enlightenment. 

ORANGE’S meaning is linked directly to the sensation of radiant energy, heat and the long glowing presence of the setting sun. Orange evokes all things luminous and hot. It is sometimes considered the hottest of all colors; even hotter than red, because it takes on the heat from two radiant sources, yellow and red.

Orange takes on many personality traits. It is less passionate and intense than red; it incorporates yellow’s sunny disposition. Red may be the symbol of fire, but orange is color of fire.

Kermit the Frog says it best: “It’s not easy being green!” The emotional pendulum for GREEN’s response swings from highly pleasant to utter disgust. So why the extreme conflicting emotional responses? Here’s the possible reason. Of the 8 to 10 million colors discernible by the human eye, the widest range distinguishable is in the broad variety of greens. 

BLUE is practically everyone’s favorite color. Blue is embraced as the color of heaven and authority. It’s nature’s color for water and sky, but is rarely found in fruits and vegetables. It is cold, wet, and slow in contrast to red’s warmth, fire, and intensity. 

Throughout history, PURPLE has symbolized magic, mystery, creativity, spirituality, and a connection to a higher source. 
Science has proven that our ancestors were onto something and intuitively knew about purple’s power. Purple has the most visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy and is closest to x-rays and gamma rays. These features, combined with its rarity, could also explain why purple is linked to supernatural energy and the cosmos.

Like the majestic giant Sequoia, that represents strength, BROWN represents secure roots, stability, security and comfort. Life just wouldn’t be the same without our favorite, feel-good brown indulgences, such as stone-ground bread, coffee, oatmeal cookies and let’s not forget chocolate. 

To some, BLACK is ominous and scary, while for others it’s sophisticated and timeless. Since black absorbs all colors and
carries every color of the rainbow, it holds the mystery of hidden colors. Regardless of how you view black, we can all 
agree that its presence can never be ignored.

GRAY has an inherent calmness and sophistication. It’s the marriage between black’s power and white’s purity. Gray is neither black nor white; it’s literally a color of indecision and uncertainty. Being in the “gray area” defies direct action. 

WHITE sets the tone for harmony and balance. It provides a sense of personal solace and revival for weary minds. It’s the purest color. It creates a sense of space and sophistication, and gives a feeling of freedom and uncluttered openness. It also reflects the entire visible light spectrum. 

I always chuckle to myself when I hear people say “I’ll just paint my house off-white, because it’s easier.” So not true! As someone who works with color for a living, finding the right white can be tricky. Mainly because every off-white has an undertone that may lean towards pink, blue, yellow, orange, violet or green.