On Colors

Find the whole series "On colors" here.

My dear  friend Lisa was wondering the other day how I chose my colors. She knows I am very much interested in the subject. From science to perception to language, sociology, and culture, it's not a light subject.

Most people are very happy with complementary colors...And are half wrong because they don't use the right color wheel.  Like, in the real world of perception, the complementary of blue is yellow, and red is turquoise. But whatever, because what is important is actually contrast and similar shades .


And then there is fashion (yes indeed for colors) and cultures . For example red is GOP here, socialist in France, and people live by the colors of their flags wherever they are. Except in Holland were they have another national color, orange...In bright lights like in LA people tend to like more vivid colors, in softer ones more subdued , like all shades of plums and grey in Paris , so you can't really define rules. Or you can define ones but they are very complicated. 


My grandmother Mamette explained me once a little trick : you put all your colors in a rainbow , chose 3 or more that stand close to each other, then one at the other side of the rainbow for accents. It always works. 

I do follow her advice . Then I added cultural palettes I met in my travels  and studies: the palette of the little pink  Battistero in Parma , red and pink combo seen in Japanese chiyogami, mix of yellow and fuchsia seen in Goa, the particularly delightful celadon green of the Pacific here when the sun backlit the waves...that kind of things. I created my very own palette, with my favorite blues, reds and greens, that worked together. It took me years!

But I realized recently that even if these were my favorite colors, and even if Mamette rules...I was still using the same colors, always . So I added colors from people I love : that lavender from Clo, this mustard yellow from Rachel, a bit of bright blue from my husband, green from my son...It's fun to think about them when I paint, but it's not enough, it's never enough.

So I took another step... I will post about it soon!


Pas de traduction...La dernière fois que j'ai posté à propos de couleurs, j'ai eu droit à plein de remarques très désagréables de la part de trolls Franchouillons qui ne savent pas que Newton a choisi 7 couleurs dans l'arc en ciel pour des raisons ésotériques ( c'est pas très scientifique ça), que Chevreul voulait surtout créer des teintes pour colorer du fil, que Itten est complètement dépassé et que la couleur est un problème de culture et de langage autant que de science. Si vous tenez absolument à expliquer à toute la planète que le vert est la complémentaire du rouge parceque c'est trop dur de remettre en question des règles difficilement acquises...Abstenez-vous de commenter et je ne sais pas moi...Allez regarder un feu rouge, fermez les yeux...Quelle couleur apparait?