Sunday, June 22, 2014

A New Look at the Psychology of Color...

Goethe's color wheel
Colour itself is a degree of darkness.
- Goethe

   I didn't make my first color image until 2007.  I didn't really delve into color seriously until 2011.  I wasn't taking advantage of the vast contemplative possibilities inherent in the color image.
  Even now, I've barely scratched the surface.  This quote by Goethe really makes me pause and consider.  I think that creating a personal color wheel, not with watercolor but with photographic images, would be an interesting challenge.  I think I would add the neutral colors to the center of my wheel.

   When I taught middle school, my grade 8 students created a huge color wheel mandala with magazine images.  Groups were assigned a color and spent a week immersed in finding and creating that color. As middle schoolers are apt to do, they went overboard with the idea, some even dying their hair "their" color!  They became their color!

   This exercise opened up all sorts of questions for my students and myself.  When it is the color itself that becomes the focus and not the object it is on, it awakens personal responses in each of us. Color triggers memories and emotional responses as well.  We "like" some colors and not others...why?  We find some color combinations pleasing while others seem disturbing...again, why?  How does Goethe's quote effect your perception of your favorite colors? 

   You might find this article that explores Goethe's unique approach to the psychology of color inspirational.  Perhaps this summer you can spend a day immersed in color...who knows where that will lead.  Keep a journal of your responses...not to the object but to it's color.  How does it effect your response to the object itself?


Mystic Meandering said...

Oh - yes - I definitely have response to color! I am drawn to the deep yellows and deep orange reds (the ones on the right side of Goethe's wheel)as they make me feel alive. Colors do create a kind of internal resonance. Some say that it corresponds to the chakras, as they vibrate to different colors. I will definitely read Goethe's article. Thanks!

Patricia Turner said...

There is so much about our response to color that is deeply rooted and somewhat mysterious. Fascinating to delve into its meaning to ourselves.