Paint to Experience the Power of Color

Images from Amazon – Only part of the book is represented

It is no secret that colors impact us emotionally.  Research even indicates that color can be used strategically to evoke any of several different healing processes.

Color is very important in my own art.  If for no other reason, everyone should paint–just to experience the power of color.

Following is what the website of Color Wheel Pro has to say about the meanings associated with various colors.  The link is at the bottom:

Color Meaning

Red Color  Red

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags.

Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, ‘Lady in Red’, etc). Red is widely used to indicate danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.

Orange Color  Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.

Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.

Yellow Color  Yellow

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this color. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning. In heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.

Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design. Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘childish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes. Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it. Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.

Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.

Color Meaning

Red Color  Red

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a color found in many national flags.

Red brings text and images to the foreground. Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites. In advertising, red is often used to evoke erotic feelings (red lips, red nails, red-light districts, ‘Lady in Red’, etc). Red is widely used to indicate danger (high voltage signs, traffic lights). This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Light red represents joy, sexuality, passion, sensitivity, and love.
Pink signifies romance, love, and friendship. It denotes feminine qualities and passiveness.
Dark red is associated with vigor, willpower, rage, anger, leadership, courage, longing, malice, and wrath.
Brown suggests stability and denotes masculine qualities.
Reddish-brown is associated with harvest and fall.

Orange Color  Orange

Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation.

To the human eye, orange is a very hot color, so it gives the sensation of heat. Nevertheless, orange is not as aggressive as red. Orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. It is highly accepted among young people. As a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. Orange is the color of fall and harvest. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.

Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention and highlight the most important elements of your design. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.

Dark orange can mean deceit and distrust.
Red-orange corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression, and thirst for action.
Gold evokes the feeling of prestige. The meaning of gold is illumination, wisdom, and wealth. Gold often symbolizes high quality.

Yellow Color  Yellow

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Bright, pure yellow is an attention getter, which is the reason taxicabs are painted this color. When overused, yellow may have a disturbing effect; it is known that babies cry more in yellow rooms. Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning. In heraldry, yellow indicates honor and loyalty. Later the meaning of yellow was connected with cowardice.

Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings. You can choose yellow to promote children’s products and items related to leisure. Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design. Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘childish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes. Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety. Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it. Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.

Dull (dingy) yellow represents caution, decay, sickness, and jealousy.
Light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness, and joy.

Green Color  Green

Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

Green has great healing power. It is the most restful color for the human eye; it can improve vision. Green suggests stability and endurance. Sometimes green denotes lack of experience; for example, a ‘greenhorn’ is a novice. In heraldry, green indicates growth and hope. Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the color of free passage in road traffic.

Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products. Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products. Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, the financial world, banking, and Wall Street.

Dark green is associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy.
Yellow-green can indicate sickness, cowardice, discord, and jealousy.
Aqua is associated with emotional healing and protection.
Olive green is the traditional color of peace.

Blue Color  Blue

Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colors like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products.

Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males. Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.

Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite. When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.

Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.

Purple Color  Purple

Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

According to surveys, almost 75 percent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple to all other colors. Purple is a very rare color in nature; some people consider it to be artificial.

Light purple is a good choice for a feminine design. You can use bright purple when promoting children’s products.

Light purple evokes romantic and nostalgic feelings.
Dark purple evokes gloom and sad feelings. It can cause frustration.

White Color  White

White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.

White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation. White can represent a successful beginning. In heraldry, white depicts faith and purity.

In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness because it’s the color of snow. You can use white to suggest simplicity in high-tech products. White is an appropriate color for charitable organizations; angels are usually imagined wearing white clothes. White is associated with hospitals, doctors, and sterility, so you can use white to suggest safety when promoting medical products. White is often associated with low weight, low-fat food, and dairy products.

Black Color  Black

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, ‘black death’). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme.

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Dare to Learn Something New – Dare to Draw – Dare to Paint – Dare to Dance

“For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following a trodden path of thought.” – Albert Einstein

I just saw an article about the fixed minset–as opposed to the open–or growth minset.  Perhaps the words speak to me now because I am finally allowing myself the time, money, energy, and the risk of exposure required to LEARN to dance–at the age of 65.  I am allowing myself to travel a path that until now, for me, was untrodden–to explore another realm of my own intuition.

“Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself.” – Einstein

“Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life.” – Einstein

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.  Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

In an effort to be safe, people with a fixed mindset learn a few things well and lock themselves on a fixed stage where they can shine–doing those few things well.  Learning something new threatens the safety of those stages–those fixed, constrictive cages that the fixed have allowed to form around themselves.  What a waste of the much larger stage offered by the unused stage just beyond the cage!

I recognize that far too long, I have allowed myself the security of a cage.  I am daring to leap beyond its stifling, strangling straps.  Join me.  Dare to Learn Something New!  Dare to Grow! Dare to Draw! Dare to Paint! Dare to Dance!

We Need to Empty Ourselves of Inner & Outer Clutter

KahlilEmpty

On Joy and Sorrow – Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises
was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,
the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart
and you shall find it is only that which has
given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,”
and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

~Kahil Gibran, The Prophet

In an odd way, this quote makes me think of the Zen teaching that in order to fill, we must first empty. Barbara O’Brien nailed it when she said that most of us think that we are open-minded, but that, indeed, our minds are totally full–not opened at all.  Here is the rest of her article [the link to her original post is at the bottom of the article]:

“Empty your cup” is an old Chinese Chan (Zen) saying that occasionally pops up in western popular entertainment. “Empty your cup” often is attributed to a famous conversation between the scholar Tokusan (also called Te-shan Hsuan-chien, 782-865) and Zen Master Ryutan (Lung-t’an Ch’ung-hsin or Longtan Chongxin, 760-840).

Scholar Tokusan, who was full full of knowledge and opinions about the dharma, came to Ryutan and asked about Zen. At one point Ryutan re-filled his guest’s teacup, but did not stop pouring when the cup was full. Tea spilled out and ran over the table. “Stop! The cup is full!” said Tokusan.

“Exactly,” said Master Ryutan. “You are like this cup; you are full of ideas. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can’t put anything in. Before I can teach you, you’ll have to empty your cup.”

This is harder than you might realize. By the time we reach adulthood we are so full of, um, stuff that we don’t even notice it’s there. We might consider ourselves to be open minded, but in fact everything we learn is filtered through many assumptions and then classified to fit into the knowledge we already possess.

The Buddha taught that conceptual thinking is a function of the Third Skandha. This skandha is called Samjnain Sanskrit, which means “knowledge that links together.” Unconsciously, we

“learn” something new by first linking it to something we already know. Most of the time, this is useful; it helps us navigate through the phenomenal world.

But sometimes this system fails. What if the new thing is utterly unrelated to anything you already know? What usually happens is misunderstanding. We see this when westerners, including scholars, try to understand Buddhism by stuffing it into some western conceptual box. That creates a lot of conceptual distortion; people end up with a version of Buddhism in their heads that is unrecognizable to most Buddhists. And the whole is Buddhism philosophy or religion? argument is being perpetrated by people who can’t think outside the box.

To one extent or another most of us go about demanding that reality conform to our ideas, rather than the other way around. Mindfulness practice is an excellent way to stop doing that, or at least learn to recognize that’s what we’re doing, which is a start.

But then there are ideologues and dogmatists. I’ve come to see ideology of any sort as a kind of interface to reality that provides a pre-formed explanation for why things are as they are. People with faith in ideology may find these explanations very satisfying, and sometimes they might even be relatively true. Unfortunately, a true ideologue rarely recognizes a situation in which his beloved assumptions do not apply, which can lead him into colossal blunders. http://buddhism.about.com/b/2012/08/13/empty-your-cup.htm

Allow Yourself Time to Practice

cartree birds

When I was 16 and had been practicing to take my driver’s test [I would be eligible to do that in another month], my parents allowed me to drive a couple of blocks alone — to catch the bus so that I could cheer at a ballgame.  I grew up in a tiny town; and there was definitely no traffic.  After returning from the game, I helped carry some things inside and by that time, the parking lot was virtually empty.  Regardless, I managed to back into the only tree in the parking lot.  Naturally, I was scared to death to go home and admit my crime; and judging by my mother’s anger, my fear was justified.  Ultimately, she said:  “Until you learn how to drive, I am just not going to allow you to drive any more!”

I dared not laugh at the remark; but even at the time, I saw the humor in the obvious truth that no one can learn to drive–unless they drive.

The same thing is true of art.  Regardless of how freely you want to paint, there is a learning curve.  Allow yourself the time to learn; but don’t wait to paint–until you are great at painting.  That can no more happen than one can learn to drive without driving.  

What Learning to Water Ski Taught Me About Making Art

 challenge

 A friend of mine was an excellent water skiier.  In fact, he could even ski backwards and with no skis at all–barefoot.  That same friend taught me how to water ski; but the greatest lesson that I learned from him was the value of the first fall.

Each time that we went out in the boat, the routine was the same.  Within 5 or 10 minutes [after he would begin a day’s skiing], my friend would take a nasty fall.  [My friend was an impressive skiier; and his falls were equally impressive].  After lashing about in the water for a few seconds, my friend would Invariably bob back to the surface and shout, “Thank Goodness for that fall!  Now, I can actually begin to ski!”  Until that first fall of the day, my friend’s subconscious fear of falling would make him tense–would prevent him from reacting naturally to the water and the waves–would prevent him from being the skiier that he was capable of being.  

Creative people can also profit from their falls.  Some call it fear of the white page [writers might call it writer’s block]. Whatever it is called, there is a paralyzing fear that often prevents a creative from beginning a day’s work.  Once having begun, the fear lessens.  I have learned that if I just go with the fear and allow myself to ruin a painting or two, my fear lessens even more.   

Art Myth Number 1: If You Cannot Draw, You Cannot Be An Artist

Pink Flower Painted by one of my 4-year-old students

“One of the primary aims of my program is to find and preserve the child within–for that is where the artist resides.” – Jacki Kellum

Art Myth Number 1 – If You Cannot Draw, You Cannot Be An Artist

“Being an artist is a way of Being–of Becoming Aware–of Increasing from Within–of Wondering–and of Inventing because of that Wonder.” – Jacki Kellum

Unlike many, I do not feel that being technically good in art [good at drawing and/or good at painting] is a talent. I think drawing and painting are skills that virtually anyone can develop. People with lack of training and/or limited motor control may initially become frustrated by an inability to be technically perfect; yet the technical is not truly the art. Painting and drawing are to visual art the same as learning and forming the ABC’s into letters are to the creation of poetry or books or stories. Neither the ABC’s–or the computer that records the ABC’s are the story–these are merely the tools to express that story. The story is within; and the ABC’s and the computer are merely ways to get that story on paper.

Painting and Drawing are the same types of tools. They are tools that anyone can master–with time. I see no need to hurry. The true art–the expression–is not dependent upon the technical. Art can happen–even during the time needed to devlop technique. There is no need to wait.

Having spent most of my life in Mississippi and having only moved to the Jersey Shore a few years ago, I feel that I have a behavioral and philosophical balance that I might not have had otherwise. Like many other Southerners, I do not feel the need to continuously rush and to honk my way through life. I am much more mellow than that; and it is the not-hurrying approach to art that I most advocate. Do not postpone the pleasure of creating art for some future time that you might become technically good at drawing and/or painting. Start now!