Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

Siting Santa Monica: Architectural Variety is the Splice of Life

An informal romp through  the Pico-Lincoln neighborhood of Southwest Santa Monica yields glimpses of  architectural treasures of all sorts.

WEBaAlleyways across the board in Santa Monica yield moments of contemplation and surprise, like this wall crawling with red blooms, reminding me for all the world, of Southern France.

WEBcFantastical decorative gates are another Los Angeles hallmark, and Santa Monica is no exception.Here an image that has become “au courrant” among the holistic set.

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WEBeGlass bricks, metal and stone flanked by green combine to elegant effect in this vertical structure.

WEBiI wondered if this brilliant yellow and white building was live work space.

WEBjIt looked to be designed with a nautical feel, appropriate to its location in the beach town of Santa Monica.

WEBgVariety is the spice of life, and here in Santa Monica, architectural styles run the gamut. Here we have a study in yellows: bright yellow on the modern, multi-unit building, and earthy ochre yellow on the small neighboring house.

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WEBfVoila, a beautiful ad hoc complimentary set up!  Starring the complimentary pair of purple and yellow hues, opposite each other on the color wheel.

WEBkFinally, another pastoral scene that one sees often in Santa Monica..an outdoor dining set up, in an enclosed area that is right off the street! Santa Monicans, and Angelenos in general love themselves some hedges, fences, plants and gates to create privacy, but true to theatrical form, often right off the busy sidewalks outside their homes! What else would you expect in this glowing and glittering home to the entertainment industry?

Lucky for us, the setting in these parts here has its pastoral side…and a great deal of variety, which makes for some rewarding walks for the  flaneur. Big Fun, and a visual feast…or is it a movable feast?

Let’s get walking!

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Fleurs Series: YELLOW

Fleurs Series: YELLOW

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The Gift of Compliments

The Gift of Compliments

Today we are celebrating the complimentary pair, yellow and purple, which shows up in nature, architecture and signage, but can always take our breath away.

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Opposite each other on the color wheel…the pair creates both harmony and drama, the contrast of which can be softened by the hues of their surroundings.

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If complimentary colors are mixed together, they “neutralize” each other’s color “properties (akin to mixing black and white ), and can create beautiful grays and rich browns.

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Juxtaposing yellow and purple can create instant associations: royalty (royal purple and gold), springtime (purple crocuses with yellow centers), and holidays (I will let You figure that one out…).

But most often, I feel, our reaction is simply that of pure joy.

Color…is energetic…so…  EnJoy!

 

ColorFULL of Meaning: YELLOW

ColorFULL of Meaning: YELLOW

Color Wheel

This series of posts will delve 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. Let’s look now at the not always mellow YELLOW!

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YELLOW associates with happiness, joviality, cheerfulness, optimism, high-spirits, and the sun. Related to light, and the most luminous of colors,  it  can symbolize a bright future, hope, expansiveness, and wisdom. It is also associated with gold, and wealth!

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YELLOW is the color most often associated with the deity in many religions. Let’s remember that in Greek mythology,  Apollo is the god of light and the sun, as well as, truth, music and prophecy.  Perhaps that is where the idea of the “light of truth” originates!  The expansiveness of YELLOW means communication (which means mental and spiritual enlightenment).  It is the color of mail boxes in many places, and a symbol for the gods’ messenger, Mercury“You might have noticed the prevalence of the color yellow in stones and plants. YELLOW is a color of intellect and clarity. Wear yellow when you’re having a fuzzy-minded spell. Mercury’s attention is attracted to yellow, and offers clarity in response to it.”

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When too strong, it can become glaring (think of about glaring sunshine). It is the color that most captures our attention, and thus can express egoism and madness. It is used to indicate caution, as the Green “GO” light turns YELLOW as a warning before it turns Red, demanding  that we stop! It is the color of pedestrian crossings  more easily seen than white. YELLOW is also used to express cowardice, jealousy and betrayal (“Yellow-bellied“)

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In the world of advertising (and thus branding and marketing),  YELLOW communicates  activity and cheerfulness, expansiveness, search for new horizons, and  communication. Our reaction to YELLOW is primarily emotional. It alerts us, and activates out attention,and combined with  black, it communicates warning: think about bumblebees, black and YELLOW signage, the coloring of certain wild cats. Although we may respond to YELLOW with philosophical detachment, and also can awaken our anticipation.

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As regards to Synesthesia, or  associations with other senses, YELLOW associates this way: Sound – shrill, major key. Temperature –  hot/warm. Taste/Odor – sour. Tactile – smooth. Weight – light.

On an energetic level, YELLOW corresponds to the Solar Plexus Chakra, symbolizing knowledge and intellect, as well as being the seat of tension. It influences the solar plexus and the adrenal body.

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In conclusion, I am wishing you the happiness, enlightenment,  wealth and clarity of YELLOW, minus any egoism, betrayal or cowardice that this complex color associates with. May your paths be expansive, luminous, and paved with gold, or at least…YELLOW brick!

Primary Colors: the Red, Yellow and Blue of It

Primary Colors: the Red, Yellow and Blue of It

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Primary. Colors.  Those that cannot be created by any combination of two or more existing colors. Those from which all other (subtractive) colors are created: Red. Yellow. Blue.

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The blue here is a bit aqua…(has some yellow in it, reducing its primary blue-ness)…but the Blue, Red, Yellow concept remains the same.

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Primary colors standing tall…with both an aqua, and a “true” blue completing the range of primary hue.

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Red, Blue, Yellow (with a bit of orange hue thrown in) are bookish interspersed with black and white.

web8The Red of Red

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web7The Blue of Blue

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Blue, Yellow and Red grace a table setting, flanked by silver, white, gray.

Primary Colors…from whence all hue begins…and the first color story.

Color Blossoms: Yellow

Color Blossoms: Yellow

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web2_2Against bars

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Mar102012_8049At the table

webhYellow beauty

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WEB2One yellow rose…

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webrrMagnificent markings

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May your Day be Sunny and Bright…

Published in: on August 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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Humors, Hues, and Healing: Color Symbolism of Yesteryear

Humors, Hues, and Healing: Color Symbolism of Yesteryear

Sunday July 15, 2012, on our Color Muze  for Artistically Speaking Talk Show, the Blog Talk Radio brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Rebecca E. Parsons, we delved into the mists of antiquity to explore what my teacher, Frank H. Mahnke, of the IACC-NA (International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers Seminars) has called, “Mystical Color Symbolism.

Rebecca interviewed my old friend and colleague, Joy Conway, decorative painter extraordinaire, owner and lead artist of  Funwalls Studio in Albuquerque, NM, a division of her evolving, green  artistic enterprise, nmVerde. Joy is also part of Vintage and More,  selling vintage items and antiques as part of a collective effort.  Although “vintage’ is not necessarily “antiquity”, we found plenty of tie-ins!

We “muzed” about the four-fold system devised by the ancient Greek physician  Hippocrates,  (b. ca. 460 B.C, often termed the “Father of Western Medicine”,  which connects the four major “humors” (human bodily fluids) with the four “temperaments”  (one might term these, personality types) and their color counterparts.

Bear in mind that the hue of each  humor, IE, black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm (this is not for the faint of heart!) does not necessarily correspond to the color related to it.  No, blood/sanguis, even though physically  a shade of red, is related to the cheerful color of yellow, and element of air.

The  term for a cheerful, optimistic, hopeful personality…or, temperament is sanguine!  Perhaps this humor, blood, runs healthily through the veins of one of this temperament, helping them to be positive, and upbeat!

Let’s take a look at the this fascinating  four-fold system.

The humor yellow bile, or “cholos” is associated with  the element of fire, and the  choleric temperament: passionate, touchy, quick, violent tempered, and active. The choleric temperament is strong, faster changing, a tensed mental state directed towards the outer world.  It’s color is red, in modern systems symbolizing  aggressiveness, activity and strength.

The humor black bile, or “melas cholos” is  associated with  the element of earth (not water, as one might intuitively expect given our natural association with blue) , and the  melancholic temperament: sad, with a tendency towards melancholy and depression.  The melancholic temperament is strong, but slower changing, a tensed mental state directed towards the inner world. It’s color  range is  blue, blue-violet, and black. It’s counterpart in contemporary color symbolism would be “feeling blue”- IE, sadness, melancholy, and depressiveness.

The humor blood,, or sanguis” is associated with  the element of air, and the  sanguine temperament: warm-hearted, lively, cheerful, impulsive, with a positive approach to life.. The sanguine temperament is weaker, faster changing, a relaxed mental state directed towards the outer world.It’s color is yellow, which in our modern system symbolizes cheerfulness, vitality, and high-spiritedness. Yellow, in the Hippocratic system relates to the element of air, and the humor of blood,  is the color of the sun, and sunlight…perhaps the “life blood” of our planet earth?

The humor  phlegm  (we all know that one, yes?!) is associated with  the element of water (which makes sense when you think about the relationship of phlegm to dampness) and the  phlegmatic temperament:stolid, calm, reserved, and hard to rouse to activity. The phlegmatic  temperament is weak and slow changing, a relaxed mental state directed towards the inner world.  (Think about when you have a cold, and just want to curl up in bed and let the world go by). It’s color range is green, green-blue, and white. Green, in more modern color symbolism, can express withdrawal, quietness and reservation.

Just for fun…here is an excerpt (found on http://www.fisheaters.com/fourtemperaments.html)  from the 11th c. Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, attributed to John of Milano, giving the basic run-down as to the effects of too much of one humor or another: 

If Sanguin humour do too much abound,
These signes will be thereof appearing cheefe,
The face will swell, the cheeks grow red and round,
With staring eies, the pulse beate soft and breefe,
The veynes exceed, the belly will be bound,
The temples, and the forehead full of griefe,
Unquiet sleeps, that so strange dreames will make
To cause one blush to tell when he doth wake:
Besides the moysture of the mouth and spittle,
Will taste too sweet, and seeme the throat to tickle.
If Choller do exceed, as may sometime,
Your eares will ring, and make you to be wakefull,
Your tongue will seeme all rough, and oftentimes
Cause vomits, unaccustomed and hatefull,
Great thirst, your excrements are full of slime,
The stomacke squeamish, sustenance ungratefull,
Your appetite will seeme in nought delighting,
Your heart still greeued with continuall byting,
The pulse beate hard and swift, all hot, extreame,
Your spittle soure, of fire-worke oft you dreame.
If Flegme abundance haue due limits past,
These signes are here set downe will plainly shew,
The mouth will seeme to you quite out of taste,
And apt with moisture still to overflow,
Your sides will seeme all sore downe to the waist,
Your meat wax loathsome, your digestion slow,
Your head and stomacke both in so ill taking,
One seeming euer griping tother aking:
With empty veynes, the pulse beat slow and soft,
In sleepe, of seas and ryuers dreaming oft.

But if that dangerous humour ouer-raigne,
Of Melancholy, sometime making mad,
These tokens then will be appearing plaine,
The pulse beat hard, the colour darke and bad:
The water thin, a weake fantasticke braine,
False-grounded ioy, or else perpetuall sad,
Affrighted oftentimes with dreames like visions,
Presenting to the thought ill apparitions,
Of bitter belches from the stomacke comming,
His eare (the left especiall) euer humming.

So, what does all this say about our use of color, and the use of color in the architectural space?

I can’t give a definitive response to this query, but take a look at these interiors, and let me know what you think!

Red for the bed…a couple’s romantic red bedroom.

Blue for you…this is where you will stay as a guest in this house…in the blue guest room.

Mellow yellow? The blue guest room’s yellow and deco bath.

Green for clean?  This green room is the complementary master bath for the red bedroom above.

What does it all mean? Have we changed that much since 460 B.C?  Certainly not our “humors”, nor their hues. If we truly peruse and analyze the ancient Greek scholars, we can probably discover methodologies and means timelessly revealing of the human body, spirit and psyche.  At any rate…it is a fascinating  area of study and contemplation, and one befitting our Color Muze,on  Artistically Speaking Talk Show and  Cre8tive Compass Magazine.

if anyone is interested in further humor-ous (or other) exploration, please consider checking out these sites for further fascination, fun and fancy…and maybe a few insights along the way!.

May YOU live long, and healthy.

http://www.greekmedicine.net/b_p/Four_Humors.html

http://www.thecolourworks.com/pdfs/Hippocrates%20the%20Four%20Humours%202.pdf

http://thecolourworks.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hippocrates-galen-the-four-humours/