Color shapes our view of the world. It enriches our lives and surprises us with its endless variety. Color mirrors our moods and probably has more influence on our lives than we realize. Yet we take for granted the ever-changing palette of our surroundings, seldom stopping to consider how those colors came to be. New colors are invented all the time, but why do they affect us so strongly?
As we begin to move closer to winter, let us not forget our fall memories. The crunch of a fall leaf is a sound that brings joy to our hearts. Color is vital to the repertoire of our everyday life. Colors are an element of design that we react to on a visceral level. What colors and combinations of colors stimulate us to be interested in different things? What colors make us feel pleasure or sadness, hot or cold, to be attracted or pushed away, our appetite stimulated or suppressed? Many reactions to color are instinctual and universal.
At different ages of our life, certain colors may be more important than others. The children experience color through their eyes and their time, differently from an adult perspective. Madison Ashley and Leo – “Green hands”
I asked the children, “What colors do you think of when you think of autumn?” The Narkisim and Daliot selected colors that they recalled from outdoor landscapes to fall photographs. Their choices of yellow, orange, red, blue, green, purple and brown presented different reactions. Their colors were being associated and incorporated into their everyday stories and adventures in life.
Ashley- “I like trains.” – Leo -“Trains!”
Madison- “Play with toys”
There are many high impact toy designs that are created with combinations of blue, red and yellow. These colors, along with every other color in between, project feelings, emotions, and events in the children’s lives. The images from these objects all have color associated with them. Ashley and Leo love trains. The natural wood with red and blue colors may represent an energy and strength for them. As a way to think about color and how we respond to it, you might find it interesting to hear some of the associations we make between color and expressions.
Blue/Pale Blue: delicate, calming, understanding, yet also mysterious, softness, thoughts, inner strength, sky. Purple: spiritual, high aspirations, royalty, connection, concentration and inspiration from dark purple to light purple. Green: earth, growth, youth, renewal, hope, safety, refreshing, calm, joy. Yellow: sun, cooperation, happiness, warmth, energy, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, joy. Red: determination, promote images, energy, strength, passion, cheerfulness, courage, element of fire. Orange: inviting and determination, warmth and vitality, highlighting important elements. Brown: friendships, earth, outdoors, strength, generosity, dirt harvest. Brown is also very low key if used broadly without texture or another color to enhance it. White: spirituality, goddess, peace, purity, simplicity, innocence.
I set up Kraft paper and paint and let the children discover their own attraction to the colors.
Madison- “I’m drawing- A flower”
The children’s communication was more expressive from their paintbrush strokes than from their verbal communication. Each child found one color to be more dominating for them, even though they explored all the colors.
Noa Noel- “I paint the sky”
Carter- “A tree-I just Noa Abby paint this side- It’s a really tricky part.”
When Noel, Carter, Noa and Abby came to the atelier, they used fine tip brushes and canvas to interpret their experience with fall. They each clearly identified certain colors from a selection of pictures, and created their own identity of themselves. Noa was very expressive with her brush strokes and explored all the colors that were available. Abby realized that she could blend colors once she noticed that her paintbrushes were all mixing together in the different paint jars. She created new colors and continued to experiment with how blending of colors can change by having a palette that she could swoosh the brush around.
Just as color from the seasons of the year emote different feelings and expressions, colors and children, as they grow, will also create various expressions of images and identities.
Carter,Noel, Noa, Abby (across)