A polished artist can paint harmony in times of chaos. Grey allows us to create a balanced energetic base that attracts positivity. This requires a clean spiritual surface, so that we can turn our cluttered lifestyles back into a blank canvas that’s fertile for bliss. Grey is not a color, but rather a shade. It’s symbolic of the great equalizer, bringing illumination to softer and less seen colors, as well as toning down colors that are too extreme. This adaptive quality can be very useful in multiple aspects of life. If we utilize the essence of grey, and strive to keep our spirit clean, it is evident that we should stack up on positivity while it is abundant. This way during seasons of negativity we can hibernate from mental deprivation. Seasons of positivity and negativity seem to be completely random in nature, and can be described as a flip of a coin. However, when we toss this coin of spiritual energy, we must love ourselves despite the outcome. Meaning no matter how tough times seem, an artist must always have his or her own back. We are prepared for much more than we realize and we have the ability to weather emotional storms with a little bit of self love. Nevertheless, an artist often learns the most about their masterpiece during these negative seasons. It’s the fire that forges their inner dignity, which is much more valuable than any gem or jewelry. Grey being the shade of shades is the compromise of black and white. This means that it is able to survive and make its presence known in any shaded situation. Coated with the mysterious nature of black, and the expansive nature of white, grey becomes a new plain that stabilizes the world of color, allowing peace and harmony to flow in any situation.
Crack the code and elevate, that’s the golden rule. There’s always a new path to experience, with new opportunities to embark. Gold symbolizes the journey of emotional strength. It’s tied to the illumination and enlightenment of life, helping artists gain a true understanding of their self worth. The temptation of staying stagnate in one’s spiritual development may seem enticing, as we tell ourselves that to grow anymore would be too painful to bear. However, this is fools gold; a series of lies that keep the artist in bondage. The more an artist knows of themselves, the more freedom and knowledge they have to express on the canvas. The golden rule shows us that there is always room to improve on the quest to finding the true self. In order to reach the next level of self abundance, the artist must analyze his or her own work. Any mistakes made can be learned from, but the painter who never learns from his or her mistakes will never crack the codes to unlock the treasures of self actualization. Take the first stroke, you don’t have to know what you’re painting, the image will show itself in due time. Negative traits that are associated with gold are perceived as self centered. However, those who don’t paint would never understand the dedication it takes to create a golden foundation. The peaceful artist paints their life with a heart of gold, and the consistency of self development helps them break through their limits. Gold is the cousin of yellow “the illuminate” and brown “the grounded”, designed to help the painter shine and find wealth from within. If one ever feels low, they must visualize gold, and allow it to symbolize his or her ability to crack codes and elevate.
Ground in values that create wholesome foundations. Brown confides in simplicity and comfort to give us a feeling of security in our daily grounding process. Acting as the earth’s natural hue, brown is a color of sensibility. The comfort and security that we perceive from brown can act as both a mental safe haven, and a relaxant from the stresses of life. When one looks at brown, they should allow it to bring warmth and comfort to the spirit. However, to truly utilize the power that this color brings, one must have a grasp on their virtues and vices, and the willpower to abide by their own righteous principles. Brown can most commonly be seen in dirt, death, and trees. Therefore, this is a color with a biological basis, but what energy do we associate with brown?
Brown contains the energy of “Transformation”! Most if not all natural brown byproducts contain a lesson about self love in the midst of change. Even if one is dying, they can still enjoy the journey as seen through a leaf. A dying leaf does not care that it’s no longer apart of a tree, because this same leaf is in the process of turning into the dirt that makes the trees blossom. Something as simple as dirt is abundant with the property of self love, it is evident through its power to manifest the hopes and dreams of countless seeds. Although, the dirt must accept its own nature, before helping these seeds reach their potential. This is why it is important to value self love over crew love, because a crew cannot fully benefit from an individual that doesn’t love them-self. Let brown symbolize a unique internal comfort, without the presence of arrogance. Stay down to earth, with roots in the heavens. Who do you want to be? What dreams do you want to pursue? We with the human spirit have the capability to choose our transformation. If we want the qualities of dirt and self love, we can have these things if we express genuine love internally, and accept our flaws. We have the power to transform any situation, and the person who realizes this can reap the benefits of brown. Internal change brings external value.
Orange creates a vivid contrast between life and death, extending itself into the world of sacrifice and power with red, and the realm of the eternal with yellow. Orange is a color of high visibility, without bringing the same eye strain associated with red or yellow. This is the main color of the harvest and autumn seasons, and is thought of in union with the summer. In addition, it can also give us a thirst for action, improve our decision making, enhance our confidence and improve our moods. Studies have shown that orange can awaken physical sensations such as an increased appetite, similar to red. It is proven to also heighten our mental activity, increase oxygen supply to the brain, and elevate our feelings of contentment. Orange’s ability to produce a feeling of contentment is not just a physical reaction, it also crosses us over into the world of the spiritual and eternal. Fire is the element we will use to connect with orange on a spiritual level, so that we can truly understand its benefits. Think of a flame, one cannot physically touch it, but rather feel its affects. Depending in how prepared we feel, we inch closer and closer to the fire to warm ourselves even more, but if we aren’t properly prepared we could be burned. This is why we associate orange with caution. A flame is one of our instinctual links with orange, giving us a warning of possible danger, but not in the same imminence as red. Inching closer to the internal light we attach to yellow, red mixes in and gives orange its visual shock. Nevertheless, are we truly ready to see within the depths of the spirit? Orange is the balance that allows us to control how much of our internal light we see in relation to our ability to harness that power. In other words, we can only see the internal light that we have the power to possess. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are on the correct path, as we are learning more about ourselves in perfect timing.
Take your light and transform it into a form that others can see. This is the essence of yellow. It’s the most visible color in the color spectrum, and acts as a derivative of light. With one of the highest reflective values on the spectral curve, yellow appears as the lightest hue in the color spectrum. Associated with feelings of optimism, cheerfulness, and fun, it has the ability to excite us and give our bodies a surge of energy. If we mix black in with yellow, we quickly notice that yellow has a complete change in nature when introduced to darkness. It no longer remains yellow but turns into a sickly green. This is proof that yellow is in the image of light, because it does not allow the presence of darkness. Nevertheless, we can often times feel agitated with too much exposure to yellow. Being a secondary form of light, it has the tendency to give off a fake vibe, as we expect a sort of shine or glow to radiate from it. Betrayal, cowardice, and madness are all characteristics that are negatively linked to yellow. Individuals claim that the color can also draw out feelings of anxiety, more than likely because its lack of shine and physical warmth flustering our mind-state. However, do not be discouraged, like any other color, we can adapt our mentality to embrace its benefits. This transforms its perceived negatives into sources of peace. It’s important to note, the negatives we associate with yellow all stem from our desire to make this color our source of light. We have no choice but to feel a sense of disappointment at times when we don’t get the same spark from this color, as we do with genuine light. Nevertheless, if yellow shined as bright as a star we wouldn’t actually be able to appreciate its visual beauty. Considering that we ourselves have a light that beams vividly inside our spirits, we shouldn’t be concerned about any external lack. Allow yellow to be a reminder of the light that radiates within us, expressing our power to burn as bright as the sun. Yellow is an affirmation of the internal glow we all posses, allowing us to make the world a brighter place.
Balance the canvas and the crown. When we align ourselves with the bigger picture, we realize that the imagination is where we reign supreme. Wrapped in the arms of wealth and nobility, purple will act as our crown reminding us of our royal origin. The byproduct of red, a strong warm color, and blue, a strong cool color, purple ignites the visual, spiritual, and emotional innovation. Purple does this by retaining both the warm and cool properties of the color spectrum to bring a superior wisdom to light. We can optimize the blessings that come before us by understanding that this moment is rare. This moment is something that we cannot get back, and our ability to make the most of the now is what truly defines us. Let purple remind you of this ideal. Purple is known for its ability to uplift the spirit, calm the mind, and encourage the imaginative process. Nevertheless, it’s most noted for its associations with wealth and wisdom. Observe the amount of times that you see purple in your daily life. Unless you attend an HBCU or live in a rare environment, purple isn’t something that is necessarily seen too often in nature. Even in ancient times, purple dye was the most expensive dye to make, making it the color most commonly used for noble characters, and royalty. However, each one of us have this mental wisdom and natural wealth if we start to visualize the color and incorporate it with our visual thoughts. Purple is also denoted to have negative associations of arrogance, and exoticness. Although, if we go further than our egos, we can start to use a purple mindset to create a better mentality for peace. This peace is not only for us as the artists, but for others who will reap the benefits of our colors. This new found balance helps us to navigate through the anxieties and sad moments, because we understand our worth and are prepared to show the world exactly how valuable we are. It is important when on this purple journey to remain true to ourselves. We all have a set spirit, but we have the choice to exacerbate and mellow certain aspects of it. However, it can come with a price. When we over exert parts of our personality for too long it can change the core of an individual. Anxiety can even spawn as the spirits defense mechanism , so that we don’t kill our individuality. Therefore, we use purples wisdom to remind us of the balance required in finding our true calling and source of innovation. One of the major downfalls of royalty is desiring a kingdom that does not fit within the mission and purpose that have been destined to the rulers. Strive to keep a sense of inner balance, because we reign supreme in our own kingdom. We each have a unique gift within us all, and just like the color purple, we are a rarity in the natural world.
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.