It had stopped raining, but it was a grey November day as I walked down the hill in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver, B.C. I was headed for the ocean, but as I walked, my eyes were continually drawn to the saturated colors around me. There was the soft and soothing green of the evergreens, some of the deciduous leaves had turned a happy gold and the Japanese maples were a vibrant, vital and demanding red. Pay attention to me, they seemed to say.
A couple of blocks up from the beach I found a little garden. I had walked by, but the colours called out to me, bringing me back, demanding a long slow look. Nurturing greens, cool blues, majestic violet, yellow, orange and red, a symphony of colour, a choir of voices, calling to me from the little side garden on a grey winter’s day. ‘Come, learn about colour’.
Colour is reflected or emitted light, but I think of it more as the voice of light. Colour speaks in a visual poetry that channels the ‘long slow look’ with expressions of emotion, mood and feeling. It captures us, taunts us, soothes and holds us, asking only that we slow down, observe and listen to the language of light.
In the majestic blues and whites of a scenic Lake Louise image, even a tiny amount of red draws the eye. In the language of color, red is hot-blooded and demanding, vital and powerful. It’s a’ fire in the belly color’ that speaks with a masculine energy of excitement, action and passion. Red is assertive and aggressive, a color that demands our attention, STOP! Look at me, here is something special.
Warmer than red or yellow, it's a more comforting color that expresses well-being and happiness. Interestingly, it’s a physically and mentally stimulating color that invites us to pause and consider, what are we seeing here?
A prairie landscape, awash in blues and greens is punctuated by a slash of yellow. While yellow can often be a cheerful, happy, illuminating color that inspires feelings of thoughtfulness and creativity, it can also speaks to us of decay and transition.
Green is a restful color associated with life, new growth and nature. It evokes feelings of solitude, balance, harmony and growth. Green is Gaia, Mother Earth, the Goddess, talking to us in a feminine voice of nurturing and nests in the forest.
Blue is a calm and relaxing voice that leads us to feelings of contemplation, meditation and spirituality. Blue is life. Our planet is blue and water is blue. The sky is blue and under the right conditions, snow and ice are blue.
Violet, a balance between the physical passion of red and the spirituality of blue, stimulates our imagination, providing us with opportunities for self reflection and questions of philosophy. What does it all mean?