Color ~ What does it mean to you?

I remember years ago in art classes they would teach various forms of Color Theory and its components, including the physical and psychological elements. I learned how to analyze a color to understand what elements it contained and how to reproduce it.


There was also the subcategory where you would explore what colors meant to individual “famous” artist. For example, what did the color red represented for Henri Matisse or the color green for Piet Mondrian. What meaning did they attach to them and what did they desire to convey to their viewers through the use of them?


In Maria Popova’s article Goethe on the Psychology of Color and Emotion She investigates the meaning of the brightness of a color but also explores the concept of a color possessing an element of “darkness” She expresses these thoughts through the ideas and writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in 1810, published Theory of Colours,


I have to admit that for me this article was completely fascinating. Everyone has a different idea of what each color represents by their associations or memories connected to them … and sometimes it is just as simple as… they used it because they really liked it.  I like the concept that a color has a brightness / darkness quality.  I know for myself that there are certain colors that I have always been attracted to and use in my palette often.  Each one is used to create a particular feeling or reaction and sometimes it is the combination of colors that help to convey an emotion or thought.


I can remember years ago when I was working with blind & deaf individuals they would often describe to me how they could tell the difference between colors by the way that they felt. They could differentiate if it felt warm or cool because a color would either absorbed heat or reflected it. It always amazes me how there are so many different ways to experience something.


Everyone experiences color differently: sight, feeling, smell or even taste.


What does the color Orange mean to you?

What feelings or memories does it generate for you? 


3 Responses to Color ~ What does it mean to you?

  1. Sue says:

    The color Orange to me makes me think of Fall, crisp days and beautiful trees.
    I love the Fall, cool, crisp nights and warm breezy days.
    The Mums are blooming is beautiful, oranges, reds, and yellows.
    The trees are an abundance of beautiful colors, you can smell fall in the air.

    • johnmichael says:

      Orange for me is a very powerful color. One can usually find orange in my paintings, but it is reserved for only one item per painting.
      Thank you for sharing, it is always wonderful to learn new things about people.

  2. Larry says:

    Great article.

    Orange – was not one of Mom’s favorite colors, so not used much in the house growing up. It was my grandmother’s favorite color and I associate memories of things in her home that were orange. Two small marble vases that sat in the window ledge, as I sat at the kitchen table while she made me oatmeal.

    Orange strikes me as a cool color (orange push-up pops, orange juice, dreamsicles, etc., even though orange is also the color steel glows when it is molten hot.

    I don’t really associate with sunsets, although they often have beautiful orange hues. I do love the many shades of orange that make up the colors of fall leaves.

    Orange is a happy color for me.

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