Why Do We Choose a Certain Color or Colors?

I woke this morning and went to fix my cup of coffee.  I mean my pot of coffee.  While I was aimlessly walking around the house, with a near blank mind, the subject of color popped into my thoughts.  What makes us choose one color over another when we are creating something?

Some of the time it is very logical.  A summer tree has green leaves, so we choose a shade of green.  If we are quilting, the fabric may have green leaves on it.  A jeweler may want to do a nature theme and will choose a green bead.  But then again, the imagination can take over and those summer leaves can be transformed to purple.  Why purple, or blue, or pink?  Well, that my friend is a mystery of the mind. Does it make it wrong?  Well, perhaps for some, but my thoughts are if a pink leaf adds value or beauty to the overall art piece then, why not use it.  Unless, someone is ultra conservative, then a leaf must be green. It is after all a matter of choice. 

Since my material/medium is wire and beads, with the finished piece likely going to the public to wear, I need to think about the buying public and what color they want to adorn themselves.  When I’m making something for myself I can make my color selection to fit my mood at the time.  Yes, moods change and then our color choices change.  Have you ever had a sad mood and a bright color just helps you to feel better?  Personally, if the weather is rainy and dreary, I’ll be sure to wear something bright, perhaps yellow.  Hmmm, I wonder if that’s why the traditional raincoat is yellow.  To help people be happy. Or, perhaps it’s a practical color.  You’re bound to see someone is a bright yellow slicker on a dreary day. 

Then we have that color wheel that artists talk about, especially the student artist.  What the heck is a color wheel and who invented it?  Since I have not been formally trained in the arts I sometimes have caught myself being monotone and using one color.  This makes me stop and pull out the color wheel to see what other color or colors can be used to spice up my jewelry and to help transform something from blah to something with pizzazz.

A lot of people are attracted to a certain color or range of colors.   What’s that all about?  I remember as a child loving orange, later in life everything was yellow, and now I’m finding more red in my clothing and home decorating.  Have you noticed that most of your creations have a similar color theme?

“Instead of trying to reproduce exactly what I see before me, I make more arbitary use of colour to express myself more forcefully … To express the love of two lovers by the marriage of two complementary colours … To express the thought of a brow by the radiance of a light tone against a dark background. To express hope by some star. Someone’s passion by the radiance of the setting sun.”
Vincent van Gogh, 1888.

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