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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." ~Linda Hogan
Drawings & Sketches
Greg's Art Journal
Supporters the Arts
The Nature of Color Perception
The nature of color perception is paradoxical. There are subjective aspects as well as objective aspects. These two aspects may seem to contradict each other, but do not.
Regarding the objective way, across cultures, and throughout history, certain colors have been associated with particular things. For instance, the majority of people throughout history have associated red with blood and that which is hot, while blue has been associated with water, sky and that which is cool. This is the common and objective side to color perception.
At the same time, color evokes intimately personal and subjective responses. For instance, the color fuscia reminds me of tie-dyes & vibrant dyed clothing and tapestries. Yet in other people fuscia may trigger memories of flowers or something completely different. This is the subjective side to color perception.
The fact that our memories may recall certain things regarding a color allows every color to take on personal meaning and value. Yet the fact that there are common perceptions of color also allows us to find unity through color.
Understanding the common qualities of color, especially the emotional response associated with given colors, is a very valuable knowledge for a visual artist. For instance, if I know that a person would like a painting, to help them relax and be mellow, then I typically will not use lots of reds and oranges, rather I'll concentrate on blues and purples. The common, objective side of color perception can be applied to making and understanding various works of art, including paintings, decoration, architecture, cooking, fashion, design and so on.
In sum, the nature of color perception is both personal (subjective) and common (objective). Together, the personal and common sides of color perception are important, practical and necessary parts of the Creator's glorious creation and that part of creation, which we call color. ~GH, 2007