Friday, January 16, 2015

Color Has Powers

    Whether we are socked in the eye with a color, or whether it insinuates itself into our consciousness with subtlety; color, the density, proportion, and placement of it on, and about our apparel, alters completely the message that might be given in another color.  And its important to remember that our reactions to colors are largely inborn.  We see and understand color relationships without teaching.
Certainly, all that gets layers of inculturation and experience ladled on it, but we do, chiefly, rely on an instinctual perception of color to drive our discernment of others visual expressions.
    A coat and vest of brilliant royal blue, would send an entirely different communique' to our brains if it were beige, or gray.
  This serenely lovely effort from Ralph Russo, would tell another story, were it in acid green.
    Our brains take this visual information in, weigh the intensity of the color, or colors, their relative amounts, placement on the body, and the specific garments or accessories they are part of, and all that goes into our final understanding, (or lack thereof), of what we are seeing.  That this internal process is vast and complex, I think we all understand, when we choose to think on it.  What I find fascinating is how we can do this at all.  We get hundreds of bits, perhaps more, of information when we look at someone and their attire, and in a virtual instant, we have catalogued and filed all of it, creating in our minds an understandable message.
    And color is one of the prime players in that process.  Think about walking down the street and seeing every person in your view utterly devoid of color.  Though their clothes have not changed at all in shape, or structure, all colored elements are gone, leaving only a white expanse of varying textures.  As a consequent, a huge percentage of what we might glean about those we are seeing would evaporate.
    But, reintroduce shall we say unexpected colors in unlikely combinations, and our processors go bonkers trying to find a way to handle it, which largely explains why we become uncomfortable, even irritated when we see color relationships that don't make sense to us.
    Try that mental game sometime.  See if you can edit the color information out and look only at structure and texture, and then you'll really understand just how much we rely on our ability to perceive a spectrum of hues.

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