Fleurs Series: ORANGE

Fleurs Series: ORANGE

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ColorFULL of Meaning: ORANGE

ColorFULL of Meaning: ORANGE

Color Wheel

This series of posts delves into the meanings, associations, and symbolism of color…starting with the color wheel above.  We have explored the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors…let’s go deeper with those now, and learn a bit about color psychology.  Now that’s a horse of a different color…but not necessarily a dark horse. Off to the colorFULL races. Today let’s jump into a color that can be both juicy and burnt…can it transcend its own contradictions? Here we go with ORANGE!

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The primary associations of ORANGE are stimulating, happiness, joviality, warmth, sociability, and pleasure. It is lively,  outgoing and energetic. According to Max Lüscher /the  Lüscher color test, ORANGE can also express  competition, excitability, and excitability. Bright ORANGE excites and stimulates,  while light ORANGE cheers. When it is highly saturated, ORANGE can feel intrusive, brash, or aggressive. Next to red, it is the colour most popular for extroverts, and is a symbol of activity

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ORANGE also associates with nature in a way very different than green:  Fall foliage…Autumn leaves,  harvest, (think Halloween pumpkins, Thanksgiving centerpieces replete with brilliant leaves and Indian corn), sunsets, the canyons of the Southwest. Although ORANGE closer to the actual color of fire…red is fire’s symbol (“fiery red”).

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On an energetic level, ORANGE corresponds to the spleen  Chakra, symbolizing energy,  and influencing the heart and the spleen and pancreas.

ORANGE may be used as a color of warning, or caution in temporary and construction signage  specified by the US Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices  A skull with an ORANGE background indicates a toxic substance or poison, possibly also hearkening back to the scary aspect of Halloween. Level ORANGE is second only to level red in the US Department of Homeland Security‘s color system indicating  the threat of terrorist attack.

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ORANGE can stimulate the appetite, and is often seen in the cheerful decor of casual dining establishments. It is the color of a wealth of fruits, vegetables and spices; from oranges (of course)  to carrots to pumpkins to salmon to paprika, and can be a great choice of hue for a variety of eating environments.

In fact, the “…colour orange is named after the appearance of the ripe orange fruit.[2] The word comes from the Old French orenge, from the old term for the fruit, pomme d’orenge. That name comes from the Arabic naranj, through the Persian naranj, derived from the sanskrit naranga.[3] The first recorded use of orange as a colour name in English was in 1512,[4][5] in a will now filed with the Public Record Office. Before this word was introduced to the English-speaking world, the colour was referred to as ġeolurēad (yellow-red)….” the parent colors of ORANGE!

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ORANGE is the hue most visible in dim light, or against the water.  It is  the color of life rafts, life jackets or buoys. It is worn by people wanting to be seen, including highway workers and lifeguards, and people who others want to keep track of, like prisoners (“Orange is the New Black“).  San Francisco’s  Golden Gate Bridge  is painted international orange to make it more visible in the fog that often shrouds the San Francisco Bay.

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As regards to Synesthesia, or  associations with other senses, ORANGE associates this way: Sound: loud, major key. Temperature: warm, flame-like. Taste/Odor: strong. Tactile: dry

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Born of red and yellow, ORANGE enlivens and cheers us, cautions us, encourages us to eat and warns us not to,  illuminates both what we want to see, and wish we didn’t have to. Always warm, and often inviting, ORANGE encourages, expresses, beckons, halts and screams both yes and no.

What does ORANGE mean to YOU?


Secondary Colors are Primary Too

Secondary Colors are Primary Too

After posting last week about the Primary Colors (in the paint, print,  dye sense…as opposed to the “light” sense)…I had to give some color time to those marvelous combos of primary colors…the ever-loving, and equally important secondaries!

Web1Purple = Red + Blue

Web2Green= Blue + Yellow

Web3Orange = Yellow + Red

Color WheelInterestingly…the complimentary colors are comprised of colors that are directly opposite, or across from each other on the color wheel.  They are diametrically opposed…complete opposites. These dramatic duets are composed of the pairing of one primary color, and one secondary.  Since each secondary is composed of two primaries, complimentary pairs contain all three primaries between them, and effectually “cancel out” each other’s color properties (I.E.- “neutralize” each other), when mixed.

Web7On the contrary, when placed next or in proximity to each other, secondaries can create brilliant, arresting, and “can’t get enough of it’ color palettes. Seeing Green, orange and purple all together, adding brightness to a house exterior, well, it just wakes up your senses, ready or not!

Web5Purple and orange share a red “parent” color in common. The other two primaries, blue and yellow, are expressed within them as their other color “parents”. That brilliant, hot orange packs the proverbial palette punch as an unexpected accent and frame to the softer purple house body color.

Web6Here we have a pale orange (salmon), with a teal green, punctuated by bright purple flowers. Without the exuberant purple blooms nestled amongst their own green leaves, this exterior color palette might descend into the realm of the ho-hum.

Web8Orange (here with a rosy glow) and green share yellow as one half of each of their wholes.  It is almost impossible for yellow not to add warmth, relating, as it does, to the radiance and heat of the sun. The palette here is integrated with the green leaves of the foliage, which makes the warm rosy orange stand out all the more.

Have You designed solely with secondaries?  What have You come up with?  Working with secondaries, which express, but indirectly, the primaries they contain within them, can create strong, edgy color designs.  Perhaps not for the faint of color heart, but guaranteed to move your blood. A powerful way to tell a color story.

Featured Work: A Mid-Century Tale

Featured Work: A  Mid-Century Tale

Once upon a time,  in March of 2011, I had two wonderful and creative Clients who wanted a special decorative / design application on a perfectly blank wall in their master bedroom.

Here’s where we started…

And..here’s where we ended up.

So…what happened in-between?

Well, having done a custom application in their guest room,

I had familiarity with the Clients’  home, tastes, design style, and color preferences.  It was immediately apparent upon entering their space: these Clients have a passion for  Mid-Century/ retro style and design.

Their strong affinity for hues of orange fit right into their Mid-C sensibility.

The Clients’ unified approach to their home decor and design is expressed in just about every detail of their space, including

tray tables…

shower curtains….

coasters,

textiles,

a sunburst clock,

vases (and furniture and ornaments),

and more vases (and furniture and ornaments).

We began our collaboration with a small gem of an idea…a snippet of  inspirational pattern that caught my Clients’ sensitive eye.

We played with the scale, the sizing and the spacing,

 

and I created custom stencils.

We did the math (a few times…), and I marked out the pattern on the wall with chalk.

I did the first stencil application. The pattern emerged, and,  the wall came alive…  the pattern just animated that wall!

The secondary stencil animated the pattern, design, and wall surface yet further.

Little rings of fire did their job…added energy, snap, crackle and pop that was just, well, FUN.  (As my Clients are).

The result, though we had planned for it carefully, surprised us all in its whimsy, uniqueness, and aliveness.  (Also qualities of my Clients.)

Somehow the wall, and the design, the pattern  and the treatment became more than the sum of their parts…

one of the happiest outcomes of the Arts!

And here we have the happy ending of the tale…or, is it a beginning?

Have YOU ever had the experience of your collaborations and creations becoming more than the sum of their parts?

If you feel so inspired,  please share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all creating this story of our LIVES, together.

May You have JOY and Aliveness in your Life, as you Live it!