Finding harmony and tranquility has never been easier than using blue as a tool for personalization. Associated with feelings of stability, calmness, and serenity, blue gives us vitality to think outside of the box and stimulate production. It’s for this reason that blue is the most used color in offices. Blue is the color with the shortest wavelength, and for this reason, blue is the most preferred color by men. It’s seen as sympathetic, conservative, and traditional, and many companies use blue in their logos because of this. AT&T, Facebook, Walmart, and even Fox are just a few of the countless businesses that have cracked the code, and keep it chill with blue. Naturally, blue can be seen in the sky and in the waters , two things we as human beings always gravitate towards. Nevertheless, there are so many different elements to blue, especially when considering changes in brightness and saturation. These two components of the triad can change blue from an inspiring color, to one of sadness. This is the part of blue that is highly personal, because our unique triad expresses itself differently in each individual. A bright baby blue sky is often associated with optimism, spirituality, and excitement. However, if the brightness is decreased and the saturation increased, blue can take on the effect of strength or an emotional storm. One of the perceived detriments of this color is that it is often times associated with the emotions of sadness and depression. We likely feel this way about blue because it is not something that is naturally occurring in our foods, and is commonly linked to poisonous and spoiled foods. We have naturally adapted to avoid these blue foods for risk of death, so it’s only natural that subconsciously we have linked blue with our poisonous emotional states. Our emotions, just like food can be digested and released, so we must ask ourselves if our mindset is one of faith, or one of doubt, because we have the power to bless or curse the present moment with a single thought. In order to counteract the emotional drain we might get from blue, we must look at it in a new light. We must learn how to swim and navigate through the maze of the mind, so we can begin to float on the peaceful waves of this color. Given this knowledge, if we don’t try to change our mental state from negative to positive, we will surely drown trying to fight the blessing of blue.
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.