Sunday, 25 March 2012

Meaning of Green

I love this photo. It really sums up my next colour, green.
 Its peaceful, restful, uplifting. It signifies balance, honesty, harmony and a refreshing sense of well being. Green is the colour we associate with words like durability and renewal and fertility. Its the colour of self respect and unconditional love.
Green is the most restful colour on ones eyes. Its the world's most favourite colour after blue. In colour therapy its the colour used to relax a mind. If the colour wheel was a PH scale it would be bang in the middle.

 Green really stands for nature. If you think about it almost all of nature has some element of green in it. Politically it is always associated with environmental issues which is logical. In Asia the green stone of Jade is sacred. In Ireland , St Patrick's day is always associated with the colour green. Its the colour of Christmas ( coupled with its opposite red of course) and the ' go ' colour for traffic lights . In business if you get the 'green light ' for an idea or project its only positive go go go!! If you have a green thumb in the garden, you are a 'natural' gardener. We talk of the American dollar being the ' green back', ' greener pastures' being richer than what we have. Deep greens indicate old money, racing green, speed with style whereas olive green is the ultimate colour of peace.

However green does get some negative press too. How about green with jealousy ' the green eyed monster' as Shakespeare referred to this deadly sin. It is also a colour we can associate with sickness. We talk about someone turning green when they are about to vomit. But maybe that is more Chartreuse yellowy greens in the palette as eating green vegetables is always a healthy option!

Whether you like green or not, it has to be considered the oldest colour of life really. Its our natural back drop and makes you feel calmer even if you don't realise it does. Next time you are at the park or in the garden with the kids , get them to spot how many different kinds of greens they can see.  You would be amazed and I think its always good for them to appreciate the colours of their surroundings.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Creative Purple

Purple is a secondary colour. It is the combination of primary red and blue. I like teaching kids how to mix colour at bathtime using food colouring. Just a couple of drops of each and it won't send them to bed looking like a punk. Just breaks up the boredum of bed times routine .

Purple is a colour you find a lot in nature. Be it a spud or a stunning jacaranda tree. It traditionally symbolises royalty , nobility and spirituality. It's the colour of magic. It the colour associated with creativity so its not suprising that its an artists favourite and one of mine.

Purple is the colour of good judgement. Its confident and ambitious. The colour of purpose.  The perfect colour for meditation as it combines the hot red and cool blue opposites to a colour that calms over activity or lifts you up from depression.

Purple used to be a very expensive dye to produce. 4000 years ago in the ancient city of Tyre, the glands of a spiral Murex shell were sought as they contained a rich purple dye. These shells were found deep in the Mediteranean so only the divers that could hold their breath long enough to retrieve them did. 12,000 shells were needed to dye cloth for one toga so no wonder it was a colour associated with royalty and wealth. Later lichen was used but again , it took the same weight in lichen to cloth to dye it. The lichen was combined with urine ( Yukko!) to draw the dye out of it over a matter of weeks. Nice.!

Traditionally the colour of mourning in Thailand. Purple is worn by priests during lent to symbolise spirituality and restraint. It was queen Cleopatras favourite colour. It's used as a symbolic colour today for example International Womens Day( last week) or Epilepsy day. The U.S Military award  the wounded in battle with the purple heart medal.

Now you don't have to be royalty to enjoy the magic of purple. You just need to look around you and stop to absorb how great it makes you feel ! Forget the smelling the roses, lavender will calm you in both colour and scent!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Got the Blues?

This photo is from the Bluebell woods near my hometown of Marlborough in the UK. I was lucky enough to time a trip 'home' a few years ago and took my middle daughter to go to experience the peace and beauty of these woods in full bloom.

Blue is an interesting colour to work with. It signifies the cold end of the spectrum.We associate it with cold, clinical, clean, efficient.  Most washing powders or medicines have a lot of blue packaging you may notice. Poison was bottled in blue glass bottles in Victorian times. Cold taps are indicated with blue. You can  easily experiment with how your brain's thermostat works by painting one beach pebble blue and one red. What feels colder and what hotter? Its the same with painting a wall. A room will instinctly feel cold if painted blue. Its the colour of hospital waiting rooms, offices, cool and efficient places of work.

 We associate blue with water. Of course water is colourless and it's only the sky reflecting on the ocean to make it blue but childen will invariably paint water blue.
 Blue is one of the three primary colours so is not easily made. Blue is most men's favourite colour, we always associate blue for boys, pink for girls. Wonder why that is? Especially when you consider one in eight males is colourblind anyway and only one in 20,000 females are!

In painting blue is traditionally symbolic of piousness. Mary, mother of Jesus was always depicted in blue. If you look at a landscape blue is the colour of the distant hills, it's the tone that all colours become in the distance, the absolute opposite of red jumping out at you, blue disappears into haze on the horizon.

Blue in music would be the base tones, to ' sing the blues' would be sorrowful, soulful sounds. Its the sound of a whale in the deep waters. The sound of peace , low and slow.

Having worked in fashion both sides of the planet I find it amusing that a blue colourway in most prints will always sell well in Australia, but never in the UK. I always put it down to the fact that most Australians are hot enough already without wearing hot colours and the same in the opposite applies to the UK. Blue bedlinen always sells well down under but Chinese culture and Feng Shui associate blue as bad in the bedroom. Not good for loving at all!

Here are few tricks for your kids to mix a range of blues if you follow my UTUBE link below.