Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don't Underestimate the Power of Color

eye, blue, baby
 (Photo : BethLo/Flickr)
Caucasian boys are most likely to suffer colorblindness among preschoolers, according to researchers.
A new study of 4,005 California preschool children age 3 to 6 in Los Angeles and Riverside counties revealed that Caucasian male children have the highest prevalence among four major ethnicities. In contrast, African-Americans have the lowest rate of colorblindness in preschool boys.
Researchers noted that the study confirmed previous findings that girls have a significantly lower occurrence of colorblindness than boys.

The findings confirmed previous studies and showed the rate of colorblindness in girls is somewhere between 0 percent and 0.5 percent for all ethnicities.Researchers said the findings suggest that 5.6 percent of Caucasian boys, 3.1 percent of Asian boys, 2.6 percent of Hispanic boys and 1.4 percent of African-American boys are colorblind.
Researchers said the latest findings highlight the importance of early diagnosis of color deficiency as the colorblindness can negatively affect academic grades.
"It's not that the child is not smart enough or bright enough, it's that they see the world a little differently," lead researcher Rohit Varma, M.D., chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine and director of the USC Eye Institute, said in a news release.
Researchers said that educators need to be aware of colorblindness and should provide adaptive learning tools and strategies for children with the condition. Varma said that teaching different lessons or assigning special homework could help children with colorblindness understand concepts for easily.
"That needs to start early on because labeling a child as not smart or bright enough is a huge stigma for the child and causes significant anxiety for the parents and family," he added.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Even Pollinators Gravitate to Certain Colors

Himalayan Blue Poppy

Melbourne: 
Himalayan flowers have evolved to attract bees as pollinators, scientists have found for the first time. The study has implications for understanding the effects of climate change on plant pollination. 

Biologists from Monash University and RMIT University investigated the evolution of flower colors due to the bee's color vision. 

They researched in the understudied Nepalese steep mountainous terrain, and other subtropical environments. 

Associate Professor Adrian Dyer of Monash and RMIT said previous studies had shown that flower color evolved to attract bees as pollinators in temperate environments, but the story for either subtropical or steep mountainous environments had been unknown. 

"Mountainous environments provide an ideal natural experiment to understand the potential effects of changing climatic conditions on plant-pollinator interactions, since many pollinators show preferences for localized conditions, and major pollinators like honeybees do not tend to forage at high altitudes," Dyer said. 

Using computer models to examine flower colors as bees would see them; the team
 addressed how pollinator vision had shaped flower evolution. 

Then, with associate professor Martin Burd, of the Monash University's School of Biological Sciences, they did phylogenetic analyses to identify how altitude zones affected results. 

Shrestha said flowers from both subtropical (900-2000m) and alpine (3000-4100m) regions showed evidence of having evolved color spectral signatures to enhance discrimination by bee pollinators. 

"The finding was a surprise as flies are thought to be the main pollinator in many mountain regions, but it appears that in the Himalayas several bee species are also active at high altitude, and these insects have been such effective pollinators that they have led to the evolution of distinctive bee-friendly colours," Shrestha said. 

The research could shed light on how flower colors may continue to evolve in particular environments, depending upon the availability of the most effective pollinators. 

While 'bee colors' were prevalent at all elevations, flower colors in high altitude zones were more diverse and had more often undergone larger steps of evolutionary change than those at lower elevation, Burd said. 

The study was published in the Journal of Ecology.


Himalayan Blue Poppy

Don't you love it that bees have favorite colors? Butterflies too. BBL 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The History of Colored Garments

The desire for colorful clothing has driven people for centuries to develop ways to enable them to stand our from the masses. 

Catherine McNiff sheds some light on how people in ancient times created colors for their garments:


Since people have been wearing clothes, they have sought ways to make their garments more attractive, more aesthetically pleasing—more colorful. Greek philosophers Democritus and Aristotle and Roman writers Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius described and recorded recipes and processes to create fabric dyes. Most dyes derived from plants or animals, which ranged from the ordinary to the exotic.

Blue

Blues and purples were known as vat dyes. Indigo and woad, a European flowering herb of the mustard family, were used to make blue dyes. These plants required lengthy immersion in an alkaline solution of ash, lime, or most commonly, urine, which turned them into a water-soluble salt. The fabric was then left to air-dry; oxidation made the blue color fast.

Purple

At the other end of the financial (if not color) spectrum was the Tyrian, or royal, purple derived from the mucous gland of the murex, a mollusk. Not surprisingly, harvesting this color—a pound of dye required four million mollusks—was a labor-intensive, time-consuming, and smelly process. (The ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, from which the dye gets its name, was known for its reek of rotting mollusks.) Only the rich, such as the reigning emperor or monarch, could afford this shade, whose acquisition would ensure that his heir would be born "into the purple." Hope for the common people lay in the lichen orchil, the poor person's purple, which produced a purplish hue after a two- to three-week ammonia immersion.

Red

Reds were mordant dyes; they required the use of a fixative to create an insoluble color that would remain true. Henna, a shrub, and madder, a root, were mixed with alum (a sulphate of aluminum and potassium) to render a color family far less intense than the red we know today. A species of female scale insect, kermes, was used by the Egyptians and produced a more vivid red. Similarly, cochineal dye was used by the Aztecs with great effort (70,000 insects for one pound of dye) and to great effect, ultimately becoming Mexico's most lucrative export after silver.

Yellow

Colors in the yellow family were the least complicated. They were direct dyes, produced with little drama. Weld, the seeds, stems, and leaves of Dyer's Rocket; and safflower, petals from Dyer's Thistle, were used to create yellows


Read more: The History of Color | Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/world/art/color-history.html#ixzz2wtragGPL


Have a colorfilled day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Man's Point of View about Color



Color fascinates me, it pleases my eye, as a kid the louder it was the more I was drawn to it, had a teacher tell me once that was because I was ndn.
I don’t know if that’s true or not as people everywhere seem to be attracted to color, even going so far as to dye their hair blue, orange, or some other hue.
And then there’s that tie dye thing that is singularly about color.
If you’ve ever been to pow wow you know it is a celebration of color among other things, the brighter the better.
The pomp and circumstance of grand entries, women’s shawls, dresses, and leggings.
Not to be outdone we men can be just as color conscious where in the day to day our“fashion sense” may run to the more sedate and utilitarian.
The whirling and dancing at pow wow can be likened to a kaleidoscope when at times in the changing of focus colors blur into one another during the transition as though paint thrown on a canvas by an artist like Jackson Pollock.
As a people we used to apply paint to our horses and adorn their manes and tails, still do depending on occasion or personal inclination.
I’ll stop to admire a flower, leaves, bugs, or anything colorful that catches my eye, but it’s more than admiration, it is wonder and awe at the intricacy and the purpose it serves.
With flowers it is about attracting pollinators, bugs, maybe to camoflauge or ward off a predator, and it is a gift that our visionary sense allows us to perceive color, it would be pretty drab if the opposite were true.
A truly blue sky is guaranteed to win my admiration, especially if it includes puffy white clouds or dark ones rolling in ladened with thunder and lightning.
And I learned long ago if a woman asks if the color of garment she is wearing works to always say yes, or the opposite if they ask if it makes them look fat.
The funny thing about color is that while it can attract people it can also repel them when it comes to ethnicity, that never made sense to me and I’ve thought of it as judging a book by it’s cover – no telling what we might miss if we make a judgement based only on the cover.
Check out more comments on www.rezinate.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Color Blocking

Maria Killam, the interior decorator from Vancouver, B.C. gives more fabulous advice; I could not explain color blocking any better, so I indulged my copy and paste computer skills to bring you her savvy advice:

The following are 5 ways to add instant Happiness to your space with colour blocking:
1. Colour blocking is a fabulous and inexpensive way to create artwork! As the article in the 2002 issue of House & Home Magazine (where I clipped the above image from way back then) says, "You can follow your heart and stop being bossed around by your walls"). 
In this great example above, a twig runner was added to create texture and instant art! I also created that here with my loft client because we had so much wall space to fill!
Images from House & Home Magazine
2. Creates an instant focal point. I love the way the back walls of the shelves were painted a stronger colour because they are recessed to visually link the fireplace wall to the displayed objects on the shelves! And if you don't have an obvious focal point like the fireplace wall, you can create one just the same way with just a quart of paint!
3. Colour blocking provides eye catching contrast, like in this image above with white walls and alternating shades of yellow and orange!
4. It creates a strong and graphic statement. In this kitchen chalkboard paint was used which makes it practical as well! And this effect is even more enhanced by the red chair and vintage fridge.
 
5. You can even hang colourful panels of fabric on the wall for a really fun and inexpensive way to change up your interior.
Colour blocking is also a great way to define an open space, for example you could paint a block of colour in the dining room area of a large space to create an instant feeling of coziness. I prefer the look of blocking colour like the ways I've shown above to accent walls because I think they are a little more intentional and artsy looking.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Blues

I've mentioned my admiration for Maria Killim, the Canadian interior decorator, before. The following post, from 2012, is so right on about how to use a happy color, I had to share. Colour=Canadian speak for our American color.

TREND ALERT: BLUE IS GETTING BRIGHTER AND HAPPIER

Photo by Maria Killam
At one of the CMG Conferences a speaker once said 'If you want to know which direction colour is going, check out the towel department.'
So a couple weeks ago I snapped this photo of a stack of bright blue and yellow towels when I was out sourcing accessories for a client.
Towels don't collect dust sitting on shelves like other products do so it makes sense that there's more turnover in product, therefore new colours can appear faster. (That's my take, if you have a more accurate one, please post a comment below).
Isn't this blue entry breathtaking? The styling certainly helps but this photo is a great example of happy blues taking over from gray blues.
For years the only place I've ever chosen a blue like this was for a kids room. When I saw those blue and yellow towels, I had this sudden urge to run home and paint my main bathroom this exact colour.
Remember the post I wrote 'What everyone should know about blue'? The bottom line was that light blues need to be sufficiently grayed so that they don't look like baby blue on the walls. But if you take that same gray blue and go darker, you end up with a mans den or teenage boys room.
Take a brighter blue though and go darker like the above photo and you end up with happy!
What do you think? Do you see this blue making it's way into your house anytime soon?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hearing the Hues


"You never know when you might need to pump up your vocabulary. You might soon find yourself in a friendly game of Scrabble or having cocktail conversation at some swanky party. Why not impress your friends and random strangers with extensive color knowledge?

I like to learn about them because there is usually some history lesson involved, and it helps me understand the undertones of color. For example, there are hundreds of shades of blue. If a blue fabric is described as smalt, I would know exactly what to expect even without a visual. Here are some colors you probably have never heard of but will love to get to know.