'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Colours









What an amazing complex world it is. My interests, and therefore my blog posts, just scratch the surface.

And even if I take just one bit; say, colours, and how we perceive them, it doesn't seem to get any simpler!

Take the patterns above. Each contains only four colours and a dark background. Yet each interests me for a different reason. Some feel more serene and calming, and others definitely catch my eye more. Some individual colours predispose me to react, like red (blood). Of course Emergency signage and advertising makes use of these colours like red and orange that we find more alerting.

Then there's the placement of colours next to others. Highly contrasting colours like red and white or yellow and black, draw my eye. I once saw a white and black striped sea-snake while skindiving over a coral reef in Vanuatu, and although I had never seen one before it made me instinctively curl up my toes and swim away.


And of course the concentric bull's eye shapes draw me in to the centres. They are like a whole lot of predator eyes looking at me. The old OXO boxes are perfect examples of 'eyes' plus a good, bright red. It's hard not to look at circles, especially red ones, as you pass them on the supermarket shelf.


And then there's plain ol' personal preference. Everyone seems to have a favourite colour or two. Mine's green.

7 comments:

  1. First I thought of tiny bubbles in the wine. Then I thought of gears grinding in a machine. Then I thought of someone drowning. Then I thought of a bin full of beach balls. Then I thought of an aerial photo of tops of skyscrapers.

    I have never seen a white and black striped sea-snake while skindiving over a coral reef in Vanuatu. Until now.

    Did I mention that my eyes are green?

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  2. Chortle. You make me smile Robert.

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  3. I find colours affect my mood, almost as much as odours or perfumes.
    My favourite colour is yellow.

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  4. I love the pale greens of the third one down. Green for me is the most restful colour. But I love the blue of the sea too!
    Fascinating post, thank you.

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  5. When I first looked at the circles and read your post several days ago I was quite puzzled (nothing new there then!) because there seemed more than four colours on the background. I actually found the whole effect of the pictures almost mesmerising.

    Favourite colour? Depends on mood and subject. Yellow's good. And blue. And green (so long as it's not meat). And.... Come to think of it I'm just grateful that I can see and appreciate them all.

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  6. Neat! And I think I learned something :) That snake's pattern is amazing too.

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