By Chris Weygandt Alba
(as quoted in Life Magazine)
“My God, when you really begin to peer into something, a simple object, and realize the profound meaning of that thing — if you have an emotion about it, there’s no end.”
Here’s a cool bite of serendipity, with our ARTSFEST this month: We all just had a great art class on the power of color, from planet Earth itself! There was Winter, dead and bleak, showing us how a colorless world feels. So many people suffer without the color spectrum of light, pundits officially named it – SAD (no kidding: Seasonal Affective Disorder, a real psychological diagnosis!) – and invented artificial lights to treat it.
Then the world pivots. We Spring into life, burst into bud, sprout wings. Look at those action verbs! In our own backyard, a rainbow of species creates colorful landscapes.
Red violet blue teal green yellow orange …
Ladybugs lilacs bluejays oaks frogs pollen fawns poppies…
Just an ordinary bunch of plants and animals – yet kingdoms of artists. Their paintings make us feel alive.
That’s the power and art of color. We’re all artists!
Color talks to everybody in the animal kingdom. On a sidewalk, on a rosebush, it says things to critters that immediately affect their behavior.
“That’s poisonous! Eat this – it’s gourmet! Pretend you’re a twig, a stone, a tree in the background! Nice duds, Super Stud – you’da DNA Bomb, dude! Hey, that’s your kid! Ooo, scary look, lady. Uh-oh, he’s pissed – hit the gas!”
Humans get the same visual cues. We have body-parts dedicated to instant messaging, like a tongue, skin, fingers. On top, a big thoughtful brain.
A field of psychology studies the effects of color on people. It impacts behavior, emotions, relationships with others. It’s also vital to our sense of balance – unity – artistic design.
Like people, colors have distinct personalities, tones, and relationships. In color theory, they form an interesting family circle with three “parents” who paired up to make very mixed “children” — a study in contradictions:
alike / opposite
gentle / intense
harmonious / dominant
quiet / dramatic
They’re so different, their relationships could be disagreeable and confusing. But they actually work beautifully together. Opposites do attract, and contrasts complement each other.
According to color psychology, colors work beautifully because you have a distinct personality, a mixture of contrasts and harmonies. We don’t all respond to color like a bunch of lemmings.
Fine artists don’t say what colors speak to you. Colors call you directly. Some psychologists believe the attractive colors reflect your character, desires, needs – and stuff you don’t even know about yourself but understand when your color communicates with you in its powerful non-verbal way.
Your preferences describe your emotional, mental, and physical state right now, maybe for your entire life. Your dislikes theoretically describe your weaknesses or vulnerabilities.
Many of us have favored the same one, sometimes two or three, since childhood. Some people change their favorite once or more times during their lifetime, triggered (in theory) by your need for new qualities to deal with new circumstances.
Think about it when you’re at the PASO ARTSFEST on May 23rd, making your colorful craft project and admiring fine art among thousands of people on a Saturday in the park.
What color appeals to you the most? Color psychology assigns specific qualities to several colors, and your spontaneous answer to the question would be considered your “personality color”: not only your personality but (yikes!) your deepest needs for the qualities of that color.
Color talks in public, and other people can hear. So you can listen to others at that spectacular festival, and learn more about your neighbors.
It’s all about relationships, and the beauty of them.
To learn more about PASO ARTSFEST, visit the website pasoartsfest.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call upon Studios on the Park at 1130 Pine St., 805-238-9800.