Colorful stories

I had to write some ideas about color for a project that occupied my last month or so.

Even though I thought I would look up some resources for information, I ended up writing everything from the top of my head. After all it was supposed be just some basic information. While writing though, I realized it was quite hard to stop at only the basic and that I had so much to say.

Apart from the theory, some funny-ish stories regarding color came back to me.

The first one is from when I just became an arts student and I was talking to a friend and he asked me what are “pure colors”. I answered “the colors that come out of the tube” which pissed him off to no end and which should have amused me. It didn’t then, but it does now. What I meant by “pure color” was saturated colors. I do not know why the professor was calling them pure. I feel like it is not appropriate as most colors are mixtures. If one wants to call some colors pure, those would be only red, blue and yellow that cannot be obtained from any mixture and which are already called primary colors, a term I find more fitting.

Church of Pure Colors

Since we are being strict (to avoid using another religious term) about the colors. There is that myth that men see less colors than women. Which is not true since the colors are only six and we all see them. I consider colors only the primary and secondary colors. The rest are hues. Including the tertiary colors. I swipe those under the hues category too just because it’s easier. Women or gays, I’m not sure, just named the hues and made them popular as other colors which they are not. In other words, coral or peach are not colors, they are hues of orange. Turquoise might be a color, a tertiary one, but as I said, I like things easy and that’s just green to me. Since we are here, pink is not a separate color either. It is a tone or red. Pink is red+white, but it caught the eye of humans so much that we ended up with “another color”. Same for lilac which is a tone of purple. Or burgundy which is a tone of red or even brown which is a tone, more specifically, a shade of orange. I get that we have all the names because we need to refer to stuff somehow and that it’s easier to say burgundy rather then the darker red but not the darkest or something. However saying that men do not see all those hues is false. They just cannot keep up with all the names, which are arbitrary to say the least. I mean by turquoise one may refer to a large range of hues, not only half green half blue mixture.

Where does the green end?

This got me thinking to “Adam and Eve’s diaries” by Mark Twain in which Adam is exasperated by Eve naming everything just because it felt or looked like that name. Arbitrary. I am sure Adam invented this word though.

Another myth that crossed my mind was the myth that one cannot learn coloring, only drawing. You either know how to paint or you do not. I am unsure if I heard this myth during university or even before, but now it feels untrue. Even if at first you might just learn some recipes to combine colors, if you experiment, your eyes will learn what works and what doesn’t. You just need to practice and let go. Allow yourself to fail.

The fact that some people are talanted and others are not is also something that I consider a myth. More specifically that you are born talented or not. People call talent the ease with which a person does something really well. However, a person that does not have this ease may work and practice more and may get much better than the one that can do it with ease. And anyway, the more you practice, the easier it gets. I believe that after some time of practice (may that be over 10 years give or take a few), those who are “born” talented and who aren’t does not mean anything anymore. Also, being born talanted is relative. If you are inclined to do something as a child and that aspect is not nurtured it will disappear or diminish as you grow up. Add self censure and uncertainty to that and you will feel like you are not talented, which is false.

Those ideas were reinforced after I started percussion practice last year, after not doing anything even remotely related to music until then. And I know there’s a myth about not being able to learn how to sing after I don’t know what age (earlier than 30 for sure).

It’s true I am not going to become any [insert a musical genius you know], but I can surely enjoy playing music and I definitely got a better sense of rythm in the last year.

I could test my feel of rythm when I went to contemporary dance classes later last year and though I’ve been dancing all my life, I was pretty much just monkeying around. Still am 😄

Since going to the dance classes and the percussion practice, I feel like I have more control over my body. I also did some things I wouldn’t even have dreamed of trying out with any amount of succes when I was younger and I can see how I can do so much more with practice.

I will end this here. If I remember anything color 😅 related stories, I will create a part two.


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