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Screen still from "The Rending", short film by Jessica Libor, 2014

Screen still from “The Rending”, short film by Jessica Libor, 2014

Recently I have become more curious about the psychology of colors.  In my paintings, I see recurring colors come up as part of my personal taste.  Many times these colors are reflected in the clothing choices and home decor choices I make as well.  While most people have a favorite color that they can remember from their childhood, I find it interesting how the color(s) you gravitate towards can say something about your unique makeup as an individual.

The colors I like to bring into my life are rich greens, deep indigo-purples, lavenders, pale pinks, and shimmering golds and silvers.

Looking at other artist’s work, I can see color preferences reflected in their visions, as well.  Some artists have a turquoise-blue tone to their work, others a gray tone.  Some paint in sepia, others, pure shades of black and white.  Some render their work in brilliant technicolor, and some out of shiny substances like bronze or copper.  Each artist has a unique color palette that becomes evident through the mediums they choose to work with, and the colors (or lack of colors) that they include in the spectrum of their creation.

Below are some basic physiological meanings of colors, first in their most positive lights, and also symbolic negative meanings to take into account.

Red: ready to take action, passionate; could mean angry

Orange: optimism, social communication; could mean superficial

Yellow: cheerful, optimistic, intellectual; could mean cowardice and criticism

Green: balance, growth, self reliance; could also mean envy

Blue: trust, peace, loyalty, integrity; could also mean cold and unforgiving

Indigo: idealistic, intuitive; could also mean ritual

Purple: imaginative, creative, individual; could also mean impractical

Turquoise: clarity, clear communication; could also mean idealistic

Pink: nurturing, unconditional love; could also mean silly and girlish

Brown: serious, security, protection; could also mean dull

Gray: the compromise of white and black, a color between two non-colors

Silver: feminine, changing, fluid, sensitive, mysterious, related to the moon; could also be seen as unstable

Gold: success, triumph, and splendor; could also be seen as showy

White: purity, innocence, perfection; could mean blank

Black: mysterious, hidden, secret; could mean evil

I hope this piqued your interest as you look at the color choices you have made in your artwork and life.  I think symbolism can be used in color intentionally, but often it is the choices we make unintentionally in our artwork that are the most interesting.  Now that I’ve learned about this I just may take a look at some of my past work and see if I can decipher what I was really thinking.

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