Pantone’s color of the year is “Radiant Orchid”….a purple with a strong pink undertone.
It’s been fun to watch the design community debate if Pantone “got it right”. For some, it felt like a surprise and/or a miss. To others, it is delightful. There have been a chunk of purple rooms published lately in the major design magazines.
We discussed this very thing at Tobi Fairley’s “Getting Published” camp. We were down to a small group….an ice storm had forced most of us out of Little Rock. As we were talking, I realized what an interesting relationship I have with purple.
In my very first art class in junior high school, my teacher joked that artists see color completely different than most people. I’ve found that to be true. I would sit in our ranch-house kitchen where I grew up, look out the window, and ask my mother, “What color are those clouds, Mom?”
“No, they’re purple.”
“Hmm, I don’t see it,” she would say.
And when I got into high school, I expressed interest in painting. I was “tired” of pencil. It was only briefly that my teacher explained I’d better not mix black into any of my paints to get dark colors. It would muck the painting up too much, he warned. Instead, I was to “mix purple” for my shadows. It worked.
Back to our discussion in Little Rock. As we talked “radiant orchid”, I had to bring up that purple, whether we like it or not (I’m personally not a fan) it will always be with us. It’s the color of the clouds and pavement and shadows. It’s never going away.
Which brings me to black.
How can that be, you ask? I see it right over there!
Well, it’s simply a mixture of other colors….in my world, it is ultramarine blue and permanent alizarin crimson. (Although green and red make a gorgeous black…..a discussion for another time). In normal terms, it’s blue and red, which make purple.
Isn’t color fascinating?
Black and white fuel many great debates. Are they colors? What are we seeing? Where do they come from? I’m probably just adding fuel to the fire, but to me, black doesn’t exist.
You have to create it.
From the website, Color Matters, it gives us this definition of black:
“Black is not a color; a black object absorbs all of the colors on the visible spectrum and reflects NONE of them back to our eyes.”
Hmmm, so what is gray then?
And does white exist?
Answers for another time! You can learn more about “Picking the Perfect White” when you sign up for my newsletter (on the home page or in my sidebar). After you sign up, you’ll be given a link to an article that will help you pick white for your home. And if you need more color help, give me a call and we’ll set up a time for a color consultation.