For the Love of Color

Colors are one of the wonders of the world. Not only is almost impossible to copy Mother Nature’s incredible variety and vibrancy but they are almost as difficult to describe. Yet we continue to try. Look at the variations there for red as an example –  burgundy, cardinal, carmine, cerise, cherry, claret, crimson, garnet, magenta, maroon, scarlet vermillion, and wine. That list is just a start and still you’ll walk through a flower garden and be stumped to put a word to a color that Mother Nature has produced on her own. 

Colors affect us personally as well. I’d say I’m a warm color person, but as I look around my personal space and my person, I’m realizing that I live in cool colors. Warm colors are reds, yellows, oranges and cool colors are the blues, greens and purples. Of course there are shades involved that can affect the cool/warm perception. I wear a lot of blue and dark colors, my living room is wood based so warm orange, gold and browns but my furniture is all blues and greys so cool colors again.

I’ve known for a long time that although many colors look good on me, I have to be in the right mood to wear them. I can’t wear orange at all and red only in small doses. I prefer blue to work in and black to work out in. I only wear white when I’m going out somewhere nice. I wear solid colors over prints and dark over light. Colors relate to emotions as well and in order to remain productive I have to keep balanced.

As I started with red, we’ll continue on the same color, and yes all of these come under the heading of red tones:

  1. Light red – represents sexuality, passion, sensitivity and of course love
  2. Pink – signifies romance, love and friendship
  3. Dark red – represents is vigor, rage, anger, leadership, courage
  4. Brown – signifies reliability, stability, male
  5. Reddish brown – rust has come to mean harvest time or autumn

But reds are a high visibility color and they provoke strong reactions. Did you know people wearing a lot of red are attacked more often than people wearing other colors? Hence the reason for red in stop signs and fire trucks – it attracts your attention. Of course the sexual implication means it’s used to denote anything sexual such as the ‘red-light’ district and romance or erotic book covers. It’s also one of the most common colors found in national flags as it denotes passion hence patriotism. Because it brings text and images to attention easily, it’s perfect to stimulate people to make decisions. You’ll see if used on many call to action buttons like BUY NOW. Red is also an appetite stimulant, which is why many restaurants decorate with this color.

For cool colors, blues top the list.

It almost seems like Mother Nature loves blue the best. It’s the color of the oceans, and the sky. It covers us and gives life to us. It’s associated with deep depths, and stability. It’s used to denote loyalty and confidence, wisdom and knowledge, faith and trust and of course, heaven.

Blue is calming, tranquil, restful. Blue is related to consciousness and intellect. It’s also related to high tech or cleanliness type of industries. It’s considered a masculine color even though women wear it almost as much as men.

Blue is interesting because it’s thought to suppress the appetite but will also slow the metabolism. On the plus side, it’s known to help the body produce calming chemicals. It’s different too in that dark blue shades are power colors, representing sincerity, integrity and knowledge – business colors. Yet light blue is thought to represent healing, understanding, gentleness – tranquility. It’s recommended that one wears blue to any job interview as it’s a sign of loyalty. Studies have proven that weightlifters can lift heavier weights in a blue gym than any other color. Working in a blue room – makes you more productive!

The Other Colors

There are so many colors that I can’t touch on them all but a few others worth mentioning are:

Yellow – this happy color is great for grabbing attention. It’s harder to stay balanced in a yellow room, like orange, it can be a frustrating color. Babies cry more in yellow – even though the pastel color is often touted as a perfect baby color. Yellow does help people to concentrate though so have yellow on your desk to stay focused while at work! It is the hardest color on the eyes and can be overpowering if overused. Yellow is known to speed up metabolism.

Purple – is known to represent royalty, Wealth and status. It’s also considered feminine with a romantic overtone. However, it can be artificial looking and the wrong tones will imply fake or fraud.

Green – green is the easiest color for the eye to absorb and can even improve a person’s vision. It’s a relaxing color and often used in rooms where people need to relax – think hospitals. It’s a healing color as well and often related to fertility and nature. Dark green is considered masculine and often represents wealth.

I love color. Not only as a writer and trying to put color into my work but I’m an artist, and although, not a good one, I love colors in my paintings – but best of all – I’m a gardener. Flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables and fruit – it doesn’t matter I love them all because every year Mother Nature joins in my celebration of life and helps fill my garden with the most glorious colors of all.

So how about you?  Warm or Cold? Are there colors you can wear and colors you can’t? do you work better in one environment than another?  Or have you never considered the impact of your surroundings and your clothing on your emotions?

About Dale Mayer

Dale Mayer writes romantic suspense, with or without paranormal elements like TUESDAY'S CHILD (2011) and now young adult books in various genres like DANGEROUS DESIGNS (2011). Writing stabilizes her in a life gone wild! The other stabilizers? Cheesecake and her four cats! Of course, she's dreaming to think she'll get a piece cheesecake once her four kids find out she's been baking!
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7 Responses to For the Love of Color

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Very interesting! My most recent purchase was a warm red sweater. Not quite a bright red (which I also like). (It’s very soft, too; I love it) Most of my clothes are in the blue/turquoise (another color I love), reds, pinks and purples range. I have black, too. In our house, we have a lot of light blues. A couple weeks ago, my husband painted our bedroom walls a light silver/gray – but the light bounces off the blue carpet and depending on the time of the day, the walls look silvery blue. We still like it.

    In our family room, we have browns and blues. The brown is a grounding color, adding warmth, and the cool blues and browns work well together.

    • Dale says:

      Hi Edie,

      Colors are fascinating and I can see with my kids what an impact the wrong ones make on them. For instance in my house, my oldest son’s room was a deep dark dark red. Not an accent wall, but every wall. He was always short tempered, angry and couldn’t sleep. I changed it to a creamy yellow, with a sky blue accent wall and he immediately started doing so much better. We added rattan window coverings and when the light hits the windows the room goes to a beautiful golden!

  2. Amy Atwell says:

    I’m told that loving the color yellow shows a bit of lunacy in a person. But I adore yellow. My bedroom was yellow as a kid. It’s the color of sunshine, sunflowers, dandelions and baby ducks. I mean, come on! Yes, warm and cool colors are nice, but I think of yellow as somewhere in between. Great post!

    • Dale Mayer says:

      Hi Amy,

      I love yellow! I have a smooth creamy yellow on my bedroom walls myself! It’s a color I can wear too, but orange and I – no way. I get miserable and cranky in orange – lol.

  3. Wow Dale, I consider color to be the most important aspect of my working and living environment. It must be calm, soft earth tones, and nothing wild and distracting in the immediate view of my work space. With my clothing I love a splash of red on top with basic black pants, or any delightful bright “Provance” colors with basic colors. The kitchen must be happy instead of calm, the living room warm and inviting and the colors of the surroundings in settings I write or descriptions of nature in my prose are also important. I hurt for those who are color blind, be they actually or merely internally. Interesting choice of topics :)
    florence fois`s last blog was …Cross the genre side of the street …

    • Dale says:

      I find there are many people, both male and female, that pay no attention to colors. My parents painted their house in blue and beige, neither like the colors but they chose to cover the house in them??

      It’s such a fascinating topic!

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