Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Green's Properties

Green’s Properties
From Nori and Sandra Pope's book's photos

            “Green is the color of primeval wealth---sappy green fields, the green of a woodland glen---everyone can revel in it. It is this thin layer of green plant cells that keeps us breathing, keeps us fed, keeps us alive. No wonder we adore it and long for it when without it. The changing seasons add the melody to the green of a planting. Spring shoots are often tinged with chartreuse, turn blue-green in their fullness, and fade to biscuit yellow in the autumn before they fall. The eye translates the fresh green of spring to excitement, change and newness.
            Surely green is the color of Pan, god of life. Kirlian photography, which makes the invisible emanation of the psyche visible, concurs: green is the lush, sympathetic color.

George Harrison's Living in the Material World album cover

            Colors are rarely seen in isolation, so it is important to be aware of the optical effect adjacent colors have on each other. Both Goethe in his theories of color harmony and Chevreul in his 700 page monograph of 1839 about the Gobelins dyers pointed out the phenomenon of successive contrast, the way in which the eye, staring first at a color and then at a piece of white paper, will see on the paper an afterimage in a complementary or opposite color. If the eye is fixed on green, the successive contrast will be red; if fixed on yellow, violet; if fixed on blue, orange and so forth. Each shadow is in perfect contrast, and Seurat and Monet made use of this effect in creating the color depths of their canvases. It results in a dazzling shimmer between pure red flowers and green leaves.

(An excerpt from Nori and Sandra Pope’s gorgeous book Color in the Garden)

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