Month: March 2019

Color Meditation: Spring Green

Spring green. Celery. Absinthe. Whatever you call it, this is the color of growth and rebirth, freshness, vibrancy and new ideas.  

But what do you pair it with?  

We all know the basics of the color wheel: you choose a complementary color if you need one color match, split complementary or analogous colors if you need two, triadic colors if you need three, etc. 

And there the traditional wisdom ends. 

Honestly, you can put together any colors you want! When I am color matching, I look for a color combination that “hums.” I’ll know it when I see it.

So much for a succinct theory, I know!

Here are some great options, though: 

  1. Ultraviolet: a version of the complementary color schema (which would be a red violet) but a touch more nuanced and sophisticated.  
  1. Charcoal: the power of a neutral is that it tones down color and helps to stabilize it. 
  1. Dark Teal: this one is akin to the analogous or diad color scheme, but jumps a few more colors away. It has the comfort level of the analogous but with a bit more interest and tension. (I’m using a 24-color wheel, but you can use any size you like.) 

Pop over to Instagram and tell me in the comments which combo you like best. 

P.S. You’re probably familiar with the idea of “the golden hour” in photography, but do you know what “the green hour” is (l’heure verte)? Call it a precursor to our modern day “happy hour. It’s that time of day when—in the latter half of the nineteenth century in particular—a certain green-tinted liqueur (absinthe!) was at the height of its popularity, and whole districts of Paris were said to smell faintly herbal. (Source: The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair.) 

P.P.S. This talk of absinthe got me thinking of cocktails. Here’s a delicious recipe from David Lebovitz.

Meditations on Color

Over the course of the last several months, as I’ve been working on the colorwheel limited edition prints and stationery, I’ve been wondering why I’m so drawn to color right now. As in, all of it. Can’t get enough.  

I’m sure it comes, in part, from living through the Pacific Northwest winters. In Seattle, when everything is grey and dreary for the large majority of the year, we feel drunk with the excitement of it when spring finally starts to appear. 

Still, I wonder if the larger political unrest we’re seeing…the division and anxiety and uncertainty and rage…don’t all contribute to a real need for something that resembles hope. 

I do think color can do that. Not in exchange for actual involvement and activism in our communities, but as a means of coping, privately, or with the closest of friends. 

There is something soothing in the contemplation of color. It feels fun, it feels alive, and it feels uncomplicated. 

And don’t we all need a little of that?

Do you have a theory of why we’re drawn to color? Let me know on Instagram.