| COLOR AS EXPERIENCE|
When you change the way you think about things,
the things you think about change.
Summary statement on color.
To understand color is to understand the visual environment-or context–that distinguishes the character of the color(s) observed. The language of color is relational, context dependent; color has no absolute appearance. Any color can acquire various “looks” as surroundings–the context–change. The study of color requires consideration of both “how we see” and “how we think” as well as the study of the limitations of media chosen to represent color. This study necessarily begins with a reconsideration of the color wheel. Both theory and practice must guide the learning curve: theory, how we see and think about color; and practice, manipulating color with media toward highly articulated relationships. Once achieving facility with color and media, color can be discovered for its infinite possibilities, with principles applied purposefully through various media toward specific creative and aesthetic ends.
Approaching the subject of color.
Color can be considered from many perspectives. The scientist, researching perception, would have one view, a psychologist another. This writing is for the artist and for those interested in an artists’ perspective on color, a theoretical, philosophic and practical perspective toward art and in the world around us. This paper is intended to change the way color is considered–thought about–in seeing and manipulating color relationships. The study of color is not a spectator sport; the study of color requires much of the student of color, and ¬it’s about self-knowledge. All of us are students of color. The study of color is more metaphysics than science. Frequently we are too overwhelmed by an amorphous color-field to talk of color critically. Color is only accessible as phenomena; it is to be experienced. This paper uses logic to set the groundwork for experiencing color, but ultimately the study of color is metaphysics. This presentation doesn’t include some common information about color, keeping the focus on concepts. The proof of this paper’s content is in consensus, not scientific proof. Art students and artists have provided sufficient consensus to put this paper together.
The adjacent image, based on the color wheel, shows that the primaries extends around two-thirds of the color wheel, meaning that 1) when working a complementary relationship the primary color has the most possibilities and 2) any position on the color wheel theoretically contains at least two primaries.
This thinking is thoroughly explored in the essay Color as Experience. Click here for PDF.