seeing green

my friend susan has been reading this book on color and i’ve been writing the section of my book on color theory and it has me thinking.

i have an interesting relationship to color. i’ve spent my life saying that i don’t really have a favorite color, which I don’t. if i see a rack of the same shirt, one particular shirt will the best on the rack for me because it seems the most interesting color on that shirt. i’ve also spent my life thinking that others were silly to have favorites (i think i just don’t like the concept – if it’s better in a different color, it’s better in a different color). i’ve also spent a good deal of time in arts classes where people would say things like, “my real love…” or “my real passion…” is color. What does that mean? Who are you people? but then again, i’m always a bit frustrated in classes, being a grumpy learner and all :)

but seriously, when i put things into my dye pot, they all have an equal chance to impress me when they come out. they all have the equal chance to be used in interesting and challenging ways. when i paint, i have many colors on my palette and mix them together in numerous ways, and use all or most combinations.

that said, i’ve come to the conclusion lately that the color green (at least the murky shades) is a part of me, deep down inside. it’s in my bones. i wouldn’t say it is my favorite because I don’t want everything to be green, i don’t only buy green things and I certainly don’t want others to only buy me green things. But the more I think about it, the more I know that it has been green for me for a long time. I have a feeling that my mom could have told you that years ago…

here’s a early cosy knitting story. back in the winter of 2002 i wanted to start knitting so i asked my mom to buy me a scarf kit for christmas. she went to the local knitting store and couldn’t decide what colors to buy so she told the lady that i liked ‘ugly’ and ‘pukey’ colors! i think the lady probably looked at her like she was crazy. and, if you ask me, neither of them could figure out what ugly colors were to save their lives… because my first scarf was beautiful (and no, it wasn’t pukey green).  i think part of noticing that i am so attracted to green is noticing that other people weren’t and thinking that was preposterous.  susan says every once in a while, ‘i’m usually not attracted to that color, but…’  and as you can imagine, my mom and i have very different color tastes.

it all makes me wonder why we are attracted to the colors that we are. i wonder if i internalized the greens and browns of my montana environment.  i do very much like to be outside and with trees.  i wonder what green means to me. does it make me feel relaxed? i don’t dye more in green than other colors. my wardrobe is none the greener for it… probably because i’ve kept it so well under wraps for so long… so, unlike me, i assume this won’t be so hard for the rest of you – what color are you irrationally drawn to? any idea why?

p.s. i was not paying attention when i was writing this and capitalized in all of the right places. i definitely had to go back and de-capitalize! it’s entirely too shocking to change the way i write my blog now, this far in.

12 thoughts on “seeing green

  1. I don’t wear it often, as it tends to make me look too drab for my work persona, but I like the many honest earthy shades of brown. I don’t really like the way deep chocolate brown is paired up in the fashion industry with things like raspberry and turquoise though. I guess that my core personality is that of a quiet shy person in the background, at the periphery. I’m not one to call attention to myself in a roomful of people. Way down inside, I am still that wide-eyed, brown-eyed child who quietly takes it all in and ponders things internally.

    And I want to explore green and gray together, as the way the green leaves look against a stormy summer sky has always fascinated me. Gray gets a bad reputation and is underused as a neutral, I think.

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  3. very interesting discussion definitely gravitated always towards black grey ( all shades) browns, and -red! I like the other colors- but- ok.
    I have an odd relationship with greens. sometimes- they are out. sometimes not… prefer the yellow-greens, & brownish greens.

  4. i like the idea that the environment i grew up in shaped my colors, it makes sense. (makes me want to re-read “the poetry of space”)
    my irrational colors are red and light blue, together. i can’t deny that they’re my favorite (although really the right mix of any colors is exciting). i think your theory makes sense – i grew up around boats and the ocean, red and blue are a very nautical combination.

  5. I have found recently that green is apparently my favorite color. I always gravitate toward green. I am really interested in color, even though I am not an artist. The people at the LYS are always surprised by the colors I choose to work in. I am looking forward to reading your book.

  6. I’m also very attracted to green and my fascination with the color has been a recent phenomenon. My theory is that living in Vancouver for the last 2.5 years and being surrounded by green 24/7 has shaped my liking towards the color.

  7. My ‘favourite’ colour has always, since I can remember, been purple – when I was little this manifested itself in wearing purple, having a purple bedroom and a purple bicycle. It is still my favourite colour but I honestly don’t own anything purple because I decided that the best purples occur naturally in flowers and that everything else is a poor imitation. When I say ‘favourite’ I’m just referring to how it makes me feel: when I see the purpley-blue of a cornflower I feel pure joy.

    I have a wardrobe full of green, blue and yellow. No idea why. I used to wear a lot of black because I thought it made me invisible (not literally!). Perhaps green is camouflage because I live in the country?!

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  10. i know i’m a bit late on this, but i have been thinking about it for a while. i’m not sure i really have a “favorite” color, either, but i do go through phases of color saturation in my life. in high school, i wore an awful lot of green, lots of mossy, earthy greeen. in college, it was red. everything was red. i sometimes wonder if that phase was my way of redefining myself in a new setting, surrounding myself with the opposite end of the spectrum. when i went to grad school, i started streaks of color in my hair, which varied from deep jewel purple and dark blackish blue to my peacock phase with all shades of green, teal, and turquoise. what’s funny to me has always been the way that people make assumptions based on the colors others wear, whether overtly or subconciously. in a way i think i did it to myself, associating certain colors with my varying outgoing/shy/playful/studious personality traits. as i grow older i feel i’m settling into my true self, getting comfortable with who i am, and as i stop trying to please others, i’ve found i wear and gravitate toward a more vast assortment of colors. go figure.

  11. I like green in the spring. After seven months of snow and black trees then a month where everything is brown it is so nice to see green things poking out of the ground. See buds bursting and little by little grow bigger and greener until the whole world is green. It is such a soothing colour.
    I like blue. A deep cobalt/royal blue brings me alive. It matches my eyes. I like any bright colur deep purples pinks yellows reds greens and blues. They look especialy good in the sun. I lived in South East Asia for four years. There everything is bright becase the sun is so intense

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