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Colors in Nature and What They Mean

June 29, 2017

 

When you look at a tree, how many shades of green do you see? When you look at the sky, how many shades of blue or white do you see? Before I started to paint I only saw one shade of green, blue and white. Now, with my 'artist eyes' I see an infinite number of colors. Notice the color of green in the leaves of a tree, the color of the sky nearest the horizon vs. right above you. Different, huh? The color of clouds differ from the top to the bottom. Ever seen 'green' clouds in an approaching tornado cloud? Being from Minnesota where we have LOTS of tornadoes, I've seen many of them in my life.

Now, look at a bed of flowers. Yikes! Who knew there were so many shades and hues of color. Look at the color of grass in sunlight and then look at it in the shade of a tree. Same grass, different color. Same with water. Notice the color of water near the bank vs. that in the middle of the pool and the colors that are reflected in it.

When my husband and I learned to Scuba dive I was amazed at the plethora of colors under the water. I didn't know that Nature could produce such a variety of hues and shades. It seemed like an underwater flower garden. Pink, purple, yellow corals...bright blue, red and orange fish...green, azure and crimson creatures....every where we looked we saw brilliance and variety.

Nature provides us with an unlimited color palette. That's one of the reasons that I love nature AND color.
I'm sure my love of color started with noticing what was around me in Nature and appreciating it. We are surrounded with 'eye candy' in landscapes, skies and plants. Different colors can elicit certain emotions.

Jerry Cao has done research on the effects of color.  Here is a thumbnail look and the website where I found some of his info: www.creativebloq.com/web-design/12-colours-and-emotions-they-evoke-61515112

Red: passionate, aggressive, important (red light, stop sign).  It helps attract attention to something (red carpet).
 

Orange: Playful, energetic, inexpensive (My favorite color!). It can add energy and excitement without being over bearing.

Yellow: Happy, friendly, warning (yield sign). It can increase happiness but also has negative meanings, i.e. caution.

Green:  Natural, stable, prosperous. Represents nature and the out of doors.

Blue: Trustworthy, serene, inviting. Invokes calm and serenity.

Purple: Luxurious, mysterious, romantic (My second favorite color). It can create a sense of elegance and high-end appeal.

When you mix and match, there is an endless array of color and effects that they can have. One of the reasons that painting is so satisfying. Give it a try.

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