The Triad

Structure, effort , and intensity will be used to describe the tri-stimulus color variables, or as I call it “the triad”. These variables are brightness, hue, and saturation, each bringing a unique and valuable element to both the visible and invisible world of color. To understand the variables more effectively, we first need to understand a reflective curve.

A reflective curve is a graph the describes the combination of brightness, saturation, as well hue in the visible color spectrum. On the Y axis the visible spectrum is represented from 0 to 100 with 0 being absolute black, and 100 absolute white. This is described as brightness. Now on the X axis we have our wavelengths. If a wavelength is located on the left side it is considered a short wavelength , and thus more blue. Comparatively, if we move to the right side of the spectrum, we have a long wavelength creating red. These represent our hues, all other colors exist between the blue and red wavelengths.

Saturation is described as the strength of each hue represented. Therefore, we are going to associate saturation with effort. How far are we willing to go to paint the future we envision? For far too long we have worried about how our colors will be perceived by the world, not realizing that every triad is unique. Ultimately, it’s how much we work with and expand the reach of our colors that reflects for others to see. Saturation does not work alone, brightness, which is associated with structure has a direct effect on saturation. Most things in life require structure, too little of it and there is no control, but too much limits the freedom and expressive nature that we have as artists. We need to have a perfect balance of structure/brightness to ensure that the picture we paint is not without color. If too much brightness occurs, it creates white, and too little creates black, this can also be seen on our reflective curve. This is great for structure, but if we want to add our personal expression we need to balance our brightness levels to reveal the true colors of our image. Now that we have managed our effort, and have created a personal structure, we need to find our intensity. To do this we must figure out what colors truly define us? This is represented as hue, it will define our intensity in all aspects of life. Further detail about the emotion associated with each color painted on our canvas can be found in the companion book, “The Blank Canvas: A Dose of Compassion for Human Kindness”.

Never the less, the triad of color variables effects us in multitude of ways. Let’s take the life of birds for example, a group of animals who’s survival depends on color. Signaling strategies, identity, and even reproduction ability are all affected by color. This can be seen through the triad, as male birds are more attracted to females with a similar wavelength, with variance in the brightness and saturation. The same holds true in regards to female birds selection of males, as they prefer a larger wavelength in their males, with variance of selection in brightness and saturation. However, each bird has a unique way of expressing their triad , and the same applies when talking about the human spirit. The key lies in loving our unique colors, and putting the effort and structure in place to find our peace.


Rise and Shine! Previously we learned about black, and the human perception of the absence of color. This time we will learn about white, the combination of all colors. White reflects the full force of the color spectrum in our eyes. It can also create a barrier, but in a much different way than black. Black acts as a relaxant , while white has a straining effect. Its uncompromising complexion brings a pure, innocent, and hygienic nature to any picture. This is why the blank canvas is white, creating limitless possibilities and opportunities. Often used as a symbol of peace and emptiness, white has the tendency to be labeled a “boring” color. In spite of the fact that white is not a color, this shade is anything but boring, it’s a conceptual rainbow. With all the colors mixed into one shade, each color added on top of white is a new journey unlocked by the artist. Never the less, there is a certain “touch me not” stigma that glooms over white. A simple solution to the problem is to tell ourselves that we are worthy of the light. Many artists are afraid of the white canvas, because they fear they will destroy its beauty, or expose their flaws. Like an egg, if an individual isn’t careful, the inner contents of their character could spill out. This is exactly what we want, to reveal the colorful contents within our shells, because whatever decision an artist makes can always be turned into a masterpiece. If we can break through our shells of limiting beliefs, lack of trust, and stagnation, we will be nourished with food of the soul, awakening the world of color through white. When we accept our destiny of color and bring our stories to the light, uncertainty and insecurity start to fade away. Dont be afraid of white, because it is one of the things most needed when we as artists display our stories for the world to marvel. Embrace your path, accept your flaws, and watch as your masterpiece begins to take its form.


Before we start living a life of color, we must begin with the absence of color, black. Black represents the unknown, the blessings in life that cannot yet be seen. This most mysterious color isn’t actually considered color, but a shade. It’s a platform of unseen blessings that requires us to affirm our reality instead of just naming what we see.

Many individuals believe it’s best used to represent death and morning, or things that have a negative connotation. This is portrayed in a recent study of the National Hockey League players in which 52,000 NHL games were examined. They found that teams were penalized more for aggression while wearing black. This is likely the reason black is assigned to the visiting team in sports. We naturally associate black with fear and the unknown, but before any great creation comes a little fear.

Never the less, there is a way to transform the way we view black . The Egyptians believed that black symbolized life and rebirth, almost as if they had a certain faith in the unknown, making black seem far less ominous than many believe. Brands such as Chanel and Prada make a fortune off of consumers by using black to create a sense of sophistication in their items.

The key lies in attaching black to things that we already know to eventually change the perception of the shade altogether. This is a way to paint our peace and remind ourselves that the unknown doesn’t have to be all negative. Black is actually needed to bring structure, and provide an outline for our life’s image. Associations with the root chakra are common with this shade, as it has the power to ground us and bring a sense of structure. Powerful and elegant, black can evoke strong emotions, but if used in excess can be overwhelming as with every color, and anything in life. Black is the only thing we can see without light giving us this fear of the unknown, but imagine instead of seeing black when we closed our eyes, we saw something else. Would we still put associations of fear with this new shade? Possibly not. Many believe that there is something inherently special about this shade that’s seemingly a portal into a new realm.

Once you as the artist accept the possibilities of the unknown, and affirm your unseen blessings, black will begin to outline your future in a mysterious way that will soon start to create your ideal image.


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Choosing the Canvas

One of the many problems that we face as artists is deciding which canvas to choose. What platform do we want to display the fruits of our labor. This is the “how to” portion of peace by paint, and although I can’t give you the exact answer, I do know that you have all the answers deep within. Find a way to display your colors, and allow yourself to paint a perfect picture of how you view the world. 

Paint of The Spirit

Painting gives us a much needed creative outlet in a world that takes individuality for granted. This world was essentially painted, as it took an initial artist to create all of the things we have in today’s society. Peace by paint is by no means trying to discourage school, although it is almost ironic how it teaches individuals to metaphorically study the paint on another’s canvas and replicate it on their own. After having a mostly unoriginal picture on their canvas, they are encouraged to use their mind to finish their own image exactly how another taught them. Never truly creating an original painting, but only a replica. We as artists should strive to paint with the spirit, both literally and metaphorically, so that we can use individuality to paint our peace. Don’t get caught up in what picture would make another artist happy, but instead, the masterpiece we want to paint, using every stroke of the brush to make it happen. So no, painting is not just a so called artform, it’s a way of life in which we all participate. We can either paint our own peace, or somebody else’s.


Color has a unique way of liberating the spirit, as it contains qualities that can intensify and calm certain situations. Each color is blessed with a gift that can help harmonize and bring peace in situations of turmoil, and if we look into the broadened scope of nature, we are able to see different colors and how they are already used. For example, most plants and vegetables are green, symbolizing health and rejuvenation, bringing life and vitality. Each color has a different variable and constant in nature, but things get much more complex when we start talking about color and how we perceive this in our emotional states. What if we derive our emotional connections with color from certain encounters our ancestors had with these colors? Imagine one of your ancient ancestors discovering a spicy red pepper while on his or her daily travels. Assuming this is just an ordinary fruit, they take the first bite into this perceived sweet delicacy only to find out that this red pepper isn’t what was expected. Now experiencing a new sensation, we present day humans call spice, our ancestors can only associate the feeling with pain, anger and intensity. Something like this could have had a serious biological effect on future generations, evolving the human psyche to associate red with intensity and fire as a safety precaution. This is most likely the reason we associate certain colors with certain emotions, but if we could find a way to hack these colors and reverse the thoughts we associate with each color, we could find unrivaled peace through visual sensation. This would be done by taking colors usually associated with sad and gloomy times and combining them with objects that represent happiness. Eventually changing the way we perceive the color all together. This will make it possible to transform every color into something that can bring us peace through paint.