Seeing Red

IMG_5069Oh, you can colour my world with happiness all the way!   Colour My World – Petula Clark 1966

Stats say that silver-coloured cars are the most visible on the road in any light and least likely to be involved in an accident. If you want to soothe the troubled brow then pink is first choice. Yes pink is no longer the hallmark of the pretty young thing created in Barbie’s image it is now being used effectively in prison and mental care facilities to subdue the violent or erratic souls that live within. Yellow and orange make us hungry and wearing bright colours make us more attractive to others as colours are responsible for creating the 60-90% of first impressions and it seems we like colour.

Blue evidently clocks in as the global favourite colour but not necessarily linked to the fact that dogs can only see blues and greens but  can’t see red. BTW it’s a myth that bulls charge when they see red, colour has nothing to do with it the bull simply responds to a moving object.  Little known fact that seeing red before an exam evidently decreases your chances of doing well but red before a race will spur you on to win.

Another red gem –  women have an easier time than men identifying the subtle changes in the colour red because we have an extra X chromosome which allows us to see the full spectrum of reds from crimson to maroon to pillar box red whereas the blokes see red as red, no finite shades just red.

Artists must be seventh heaven playing with all the shades and tones of the colour wheel. Examing objects more intensely than the rest of us, seeing the minute and myriad of shades that make up the integrity of each colour. As Edouard Manet said There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.

If colour makes you dizzy, nauseous, panicked, gives you rapid heart rate and a headache you may suffer from chromophobia an irrational fear of colour. But the good news is it can be treated so you, like the rest of us, can celebrate the rainbow bounty of colour that surrounds us.

For me the brighter, biting and bolder, the better – crimson with purple, hot pink with British racing green, lavender with emerald, chocolate velvet brown with shiny patent-leather black and palettes of green upon green upon green. Artwork that leaps out at me like the red splash on the white canvas in the recent French film Intouchables or Brett Whitely’s Self Portrait in the Studio that holds your gaze forever with its stinging cobalt blue background. Definitely yes – You can colour my world with sunshine yellow each day. Oh, you can colour my world with happiness all the way! Just take the green from the grass and the blue from the sky up above! 



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