What is your favorite color? Why? The short answer is "IT DEPENDS." Back in the early 1990s, when I was fully absorbed in Art School, I took a color theory class. I thought it was a silly class as I was sure I had learned all of my colors from watching Sesame Street years before I began my formal education. Color, however, is the foundation of design and art. Every year, clothing designers, home stylists, and decorators pick apart the color nuances in the color wheel to inform clients of the season's forthcoming trends and tasteful colors. Using color in the painting is tricky because it complicates the relative value of things. It is not about what colors go together but what tones and values of the hues are. I always say that color gets all the credit, but value does all the work. Most people do have favorite colors. Where do these "favorites come from"? There is a theory in psychology called "Ecological Valence Theory" or EVT. This theory states that preference for a particular color is determined by our average liking for everything associated with that color.
Simply put, we don't prefer colors on their own; we like colors because they remind us of things we like (and we dislike colors that remind us of things we don't like). Using this knowledge, it is logical to deduce that culture significantly impacts preference. For example, average Japanese color preferences are very different from the average American preferences.
https://palmerlab.berkeley.edu/pdf/Palmer&Schloss(2010).pdf. Last March, I wrote about color in my newsletter. I am recycling the newsletter below with some additional thoughts on color as once again I find myself shying away from the earthy umbers and Siena's and leaning back to the bright colors of the Southwest.
Florida colors are pulled from the environment: the blues of the sea, the ivory and beige of the sand, and the pastel rainbow of sunrise and sunset over the ocean. Like nature, home decor leans towards sea color with occasional pops of bright colors such as fuchsia, lime, or other citrus. "Entering the Beach" is one of my most popular scarf and print designs for beach lovers. The full wrap is on sale this month if you use the code BEACH in the checkout on the website. I am also adding this piece to my collection of prints
Ingrid Fetell Lee, an accomplished designer, and writer explains the relationship between color and Joy in her 2018 book, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness. In her book, she states:..." the sky is the universal province of dreams"...The blossoming of the trees, the rising of the sun, the flow of the tides: these recurring events remind us of time's circular nature and create an underlying cadence of joy that we can rely on."
Spring starts in March. Astronomically, spring begins at the precise point when the sun's center passes directly over the Equator. A vast body of research has demonstrated a clear link between our surroundings and mental health. People with sunny workspaces sleep better and laugh more than their peers in dimly lit offices. Bright colors improve both our moods and our memory. In addition to kicking off the official spring season, March is historically the busiest month in sunny Southwest Florida, for a good reason. The light, warmth, and of course, all the bright colors provide an instantaneous spark to the winter doldrums. Finding inspiration this month, I search for joy. Looking at nature, I aim to represent a neglected beauty through a vivid color palette and energetic mark-making techniques.