As many of you know, it feels almost counterintuitive to use words to describe color. With endless possibilities of different shades and tones, one can seemingly only speak of primary colors and hope that the reader is creating the correct mixture in their head. As difficult as it may be to describe a specific color, describing the importance, and personal impact, of color all together is somewhat more of a manageable task, and many words have been said by all types of people who share a love for color, and recognize the impact it has on all of us.
We thought we would catch up on some of the top colors, palettes and patterns currently ciruclating through the community, and share some words about color from a few famous figures.
Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. - Oscar Wilde
White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white. - Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. - Pablo Picasso
Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint. - Pablo Picasso
Painting is something that takes place among the colors, and one has to leave them alone completely, so that they can settle the matter among themselves. Their intercourse: this is the whole of painting. Whoever meddles, arranges, injects his human deliberation, his wit, his advocacy, his intellectual agility in any way, is already disturbing and clouding their activity. - Rainer Maria Rilke
The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most. - John Ruskin
Whether religion figures prominently into your life or you choose to try to solve the mysteries of existence without its guidance, anyone can admit there is something about the act of believing in a power greater than yourself that has tremendous appeal. Faith can lead people to express their feelings about what they believe in in a myriad of ways. One of the ways seems to be through color, as many of the world's religions display a vivid palette in the ways and hows of their worship.
Photo by wonderlane
The Robes of Monks
Tibetan monks are one of the first things one thinks of when it comes to the presence of color in religion. Their saffron robes make for a bright contrast to the solemnity of their practice. Buddha was said to have worn a monk's robe made of patches of donated cloth, so the monks wear these robes in honor of his memory, and also to draw contrast between themselves and the physical world in their quest to attain enlightenment.
Another familiar image is of the Gelukpa monks, who are of the same sect as the Dalai Lama. These monks often wear yellow, pointed hats that draw to mind the image of a plumed helmet. Chinese and Korean monks wear brown or blue robes instead of the more commonly recognized orange that Tibet favors, and Japanese monks wear black or grey robes, leaving strong color out altogether.
Photo by anna pearson
While most people also think of Tibet when then think of prayer flags, they are believed to have originated from Tibet's oldest religion, Bön, which actually predates Buddhism. There are two types of prayer flags: Lung Ta, which are the horizontal flags, and Darchor, which are vertical. Lung Ta are commonly hung on a long line that resembles a clothesline, while Darchor are usually hung on poles along their vertical edge.
For years scientist have known that chameleons' ability to change color served three purposes: camouflage, body heat regulation, and social communication. However, the most widely accepted hypothesis as to what drove this adaptation, up until now, was camouflage, but some recent research has brought new light as to why chameleons have become know as the color changers that they are, and scientist now believe that social communication is the main driver behind this adaptation.
There are more than 160 species of Chameleons known, and their body size and shape varies widely from 1 inch up to 31 inches. Most of them can be found in Africa, Madagascar and other tropical areas. While chameleons have many unique physical features, such as their independently moving eyes and extremely long tongues, their ability to change color has always been the most fascinating.
Photo by sukanto debnath
All chameleons are able to change color, with different species exhibiting different color ranges that include pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown and yellow.
Chameleons have specialized cells, collectively called chromatophores, that lie in layers under their transparent outer skin. The cells in the upper layer, called xanthophores and erythrophores, contain yellow and red pigments respectively. Below these is another layer of cells called iridophores or guanophores, and they contain the colourless crystalline substance guanine. These reflect, among others, the blue part of incident light. If the upper layer of chromatophores appears mainly yellow, the reflected light becomes green (blue plus yellow). A layer of dark melanin containing melanophores is situated even deeper under the reflective iridophores. The melanophores influence the 'lightness' of the reflected light. All these pigment cells can rapidly relocate their pigments, thereby influencing the colour of the chameleon.
Photo by Pashka
Scientists ran experiments on 21 species of southern African dwarf chameleons to figure out why these color-changing abilities formed.
If camouflage drove the evolution of color change, the species of chameleon that display the greatest diversity of skin coloration would have the greatest variety of backgrounds to match their habitats.
I'll never forget the first time I discovered Tokidoki. It was about two years ago, and I was walking in downtown San Francisco with a friend when I saw a girl walking down the street in front of me carrying a Tokidoki bag. Being a fan of cute art and vivid colors, I followed her (discreetly!) for several blocks, trying to identify more about her fantastic purse. Of course, it wasn't long until I had solved the mystery, and soon enough I had more Tokidoki bags than I would ever need.
Italian Tokidoki creator Simone Legno founded his company in 2005 with the help of business partners Pooneh Moohajer and Ivan Arnold. The word Tokidoki means "sometimes" in Japanese, which Legno gives more background on in the form of a little enclosure card that comes with the majority of Tokidoki products. His story started back in 2003, when Pooneh Moohajer and her husband Ivan discovered Legno's website. Pooneh was the co-founder of popular cosmetics line Hard Candy, and she saw something distinctly marketable in Legno's design style.
Legno released his first collaboration with the company Le Sportsac in Spring 2006. The bags met a tremendous reaction from fans, who soon were rabid to collect any and all things Tokidoki. To this day, the bags that are out of print fetch up to $400 on Ebay. There are also multiple fan sites who categorize all the releases and aid collectors in finding the bags they want to add to the burgeoning collections. The best of these is Tokidoki blog, which not only updates on the bags but all the other collectibles as well. It's an excellent place to begin if you find you have a gnawing hunger to own one of these delightful creations.
Legno's signature style caught the eye of the designer toy world quickly as well, and soon many collectible sculptures were available. While he has collaborated with most major designers, the most popular series seems to be the one made by STRANGECo, who released two major lines, Cactus Friends and Moofia. The Cactus Friends were small animals wearing cactus-like armor, such as the little green dog Bastardino. The Moofia series was based around milk products. Fans reacted positively to these as well, as they were not only adorable but also affordable. Having been welcomed into the designer toy universe with open arms, Tokidoki found itself reaching a whole new group of fans.
Ron Haselden mixes the hard materials of buildings with the soft media of light and sound. He also likes to incorporates a mix of high-tech and low-tech, often using people as an element in his works.
La Noche en Blanco. A light performance for 470 people. A series of changing images, based on the theme of Family Garden and drawn by local children.
New Street Square A large-scale neon light work planned for a new development in the City of London.
Dennis Ichiyama is Professor of Art and Design and a former Designer-in-Residence at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum. His experimental work with wood type has a complex impact that is created from the use of simple forms and colors.
This is the fourth post in a series on English Color Etymologies. Today we are looking at the colors that come from the names of places and foreign words.
English is a colorful language. Since its birth among the tribes of Europe, English has built its color vocabulary with the wealth of words it has inherited from Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek. Collected here are 172 colors that standard dictionaries (I used the American Heritage and the Random House) classify as specific color nouns (these do not, of course, include the standard ten – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white – or any Crayola inventions). This treasure of colors is broken down by etymological origin: is the color the name of a flower, an animal, or even a historical person? Some colors appear twice (when I felt two origins were sufficiently different). Others appear only once though they could certainly fit into several categories.
Ever wonder how a color got its name? Refer to the following and enjoy your new grasp on color!
Photo by gadl
From Europe to Asia, place names have become color names. It is not surprising that Italy, birthplace of the Occidental Renaissance, contains many such places.
Over the years we've all come across color changing products that may have been amazing or disappointing - especially disappointing if you tried to wash you hypercolor t-shirt using hot water only to find out that you have now permanently changed it to the lighter color, but since those trying days of the 80's and 90's, color changing products have continued to develop.
Now, many researchers have applied some of the science behind color changing for applications in public safety, like when water is hot, or streets are cold and covered in ice, and they have also developed some technologies that would allow us to change the color of our cars and clothing with the push of a button. Here is a look at some of the color changing products currently available or in development.
Photo from gizmodo
With a switch of a button your car could change color. Scientist have developed a material that uses an electrical charge to create different colors. The Coating has the ability to reproduce the full spectrum of colors, and it only takes about a second to change from one color to another.
The process starts out with a standard galvanized piece of automotive sheet metal steel. A special polymer is applied to the steel with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles embedded within it. The nanoscale crystalline particles of magnetite (iron oxide) are controlled using a low grade magnetic field which is used to effect the spacing of the colloidal crystals and thereby controlling their ability to reflect light and change color.
A number of faucets have been designed to change from blue to red as the temperature of the water increases. They simply use some sort of temperature sensor and a LED light, but can be very helpful in warning of a potential burn situation.
Eclipse wall paint from Alsacorp will get lighter when heat of some kind is applied. It is also available with extra effects called CrystalFX, SpectraFX or Funky Munkey.
At frst these candles seemed like they had been touched with 'the magic' until I read a little more and discovered that there is a LED light in the bottom, but the fact that it turns on when you light the wick, using an optical sensor, is impressive enough to include in the lineup.
"In deciding upon a proper color, neither the zodiacal nor the planetary values should be considered separately but blended as an artist mixes paints upon his palette." - Manly P. Hall
There are many theories as to which color is associated with each segment of the zodiac. While there does seem to be some sort of consensus among experts, and non-experts alike, large discrepancies still exsist , even in the COLOURlovers library.
Today we are going to look at three theories. Two put together from historical references from Manly P. Hall and Finnish astrologer Juhani Nummela, and a newer theory proposed over at astrologyweekly.com. Plus, we'll see what people in the COLOURlovers community think their colors are.
Colors associated with the 360 degrees of zodiac
The visible part of spectre of electromagnetic waves is what we call light. More exactly, from the entire range of electromagnetic radiations, the human eye can only perceive those with the wavelength between 380 and 780 nanometers (nm). Below 380 nm, there is the ultraviolet radiation, beyond 780 nm there is the infrared range.
I think there is a correlation between the visible light of different wavelenghts and the zodiac: the visible spectre begins with red and ends with violet, this can be associated with the range of 360 degrees of the zodiac, from Aries to Pisces.
Since the light with a wavelenght of 780 nm is a red light, and the light with a wavelenght of 380 nm is a violet light, a correlation can be considered between the light of 780 nm and 0 degrees Aries and so on, ending with a correlation between the light of 380 nm and 29 degrees Pisces.
Juhani Nummela: red, carmine red
astrologyweekly.com: between 780nm #610000 - 747nm #A70000
One of the most spellbinding color illusionists of the last century left her spectators dazzled to near-mystical proportions. Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) was pioneer of choreography and an innovator of theatrical lighting, holding patents for creating color gels and using chemical salts for luminescence. When she took to the stage dressed in flowing silk costumes specially lit according to her own schemes, she transformed into a full-fledged magician. When modern dance founder Isadora Duncan first witnessed Fuller's shape-shifting wizardry, she was bewitched by an alchemy of color and movement that left the impression of a once-in-a-lifetime miracle. Employing only voluminous colored silks illuminated by beams of light, Fuller performed what amounted to a shamanic ritual, convincing her spectators that a sacred metamorphosis was unfolding. Fuller evoked the primal power of the bonfire, depicted the wonder of new life, and enacted the elevation of the soul into boundless essence. Though the experience left Duncan in a state of wordless awe, she couldn't help attempting to account for the sheer magnitude of what she beheld:
Loïe Fuller at the Folies Bergère
"Before our very eyes she turned to many-coloured, shiny orchids, to a wavering, flowering sea-flower, and at length to a spiral-like lily, all the magic of Merlin, the sorcery of light, colour, flowing form. What an extraordinary genius! No imitator of Loïe Fuller has ever been able even to hint at her genius! I was entranced, but I realized that this was a sudden ebullition of nature which could never be repeated. She transformed herself into a thousand colourful images before the eyes of her audience. Unbelievable. Not to be repeated or described. Loïe Fuller originated all the changing colours and floating Liberty scarves. She was one of the first original inspirations of light and changing colour. I returned to the hotel dazzled and carried away by this marvelous artist. . . . I was more and more enthusiastic about her marvellous ephemeral art. That wonderful creature—she became fluid; she became light; she became every colour and flame, and finally she resolved into miraculous spirals of flames wafted toward the Infinite." (My Life, pp. 71-72)
The significance of Loïe Fuller's performance can hardly be exaggerated. She embodied the Goddess of Light and the Rainbow, whether under the guise of the Greek Artemis or Iris, the Hindu Uma, the Mayan Ix Chel, the Celtic Brigid, or the Roman Diana. Biographers Richard and Marcia Current called Fuller a "magician of light." Befitting a goddess, Fuller had a paradoxical nature, and she created her own mythology. Her biographers explain:
There are approximately 49 species of pheasants. Their habitats range from mountainous regions in the Himalayas to the grasslands of North America and bamboo forests of China.
The color palettes of pheasants range as drastically as their habitats. Many species possess colors you might only expect to see on birds in tropical regions with feathers of bright yellows and oranges that are complimented with deep rich maroons and blues. While other species possess simple soft transitions of beige and gray. Whatever the species, pheasants are a wonderful source of color inspiration found in nature.
Photo by jowo
- Other Names: Bar-backed Pheasant, Chinese Barred-backed Pheasant, White-necked Long-tailed Pheasant
- Range: Southeastern China
- Habitat: Thick mixed forests to about 6,200 feet.
Himalayan Monal Pheasant
Photo by peterjbaer
- Other Names: Impeyan Pheasant, Impeyan Monal
- Range: The Himalayas, from eastern Afghanistan to western China
- Habitat: Mountainous regions; in summer, they are found in rocky, grass covered meadows and winters in coniferous and mixed forests.
Photo by benimoto
- Other Names: N/A
- Range: South-western China, eastern Burma, southern Vietnam, southwestern Cambodia, southeastern Thailand, northern Laos and the island of Hainan.
- Habitat: Diverse, both grasslands and bamboo, evergreen and decidous forests.