4 Reasons I Love Color: Bright Happy Hues
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
I love color. On days when I wake up in pain or when I’m feeling depressed, I think about glorious color and gorgeous clothing and brightly colored Pinterest pins and the beautiful paint waiting for me in my “art room”… and somehow the anticipation of seeing all those beautiful hues helps me get out of bed.
And, some days it is so hard to get out of bed. I think moodiness comes and goes because the gene for depression runs in my family. Also, I’m retired, so my time is fluid. And, most importantly, I have a hard time waking up due to medical crap and crappy meds.
So… why am I telling you this?
I’m telling you because almost every woman goes through something similar at some time in her life. And, if you ever feel like you just can’t get out of bed (for whatever reason), color may help.
1. Color Makes You Happy
Colors are better than coffee. Whenever I imagine sunny yellows, and vibrant pinks, and tropical greens, and singing violets, it feels as if a bunch of happy endorphins are dancing and laughing in my brain.
OK, it’s not quite that wonderful and ecstatic… but it’s better than thinking about how I never get to see my kids anymore and how my mother loves her other children more than she loves me and how the arthritis in my neck is making me want to scream… and you get my drift.
And, as sarcastic and cynical as I can be, I have found that thinking happy, colorful thoughts actually seems to work. Raindrops on roses and all that… as long as those roses have been painted by an eight-year-old child.
2. Color Psychology is Real
It’s not my imagination. It’s been scientifically proven that colors affect your mood.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute says research proves the colors that surround you can change your mood.
Bright colors, such as yellow, reflect more light and stimulate the eyes… There may be effects from colors that we do not even understand yet. Neuropsychologist Kurt Goldstein found that a blindfolded person will experience physiological reactions under rays of different colors. The skin may be able to “read color” and our bodies, minds, and emotions respond.
Yellow is the color of happiness. Yellow “…raises blood pressure and pulse (but not to the fired-up levels of bold red), and both are physical signs that accompany joy.”
Personally, I think yellow and orange mixed in a print or pattern are the “color” of happiness. I once made a painting of a tree that I probably threw away. It had a yellow background and splotchy little orange leaves. Unfortunately, I can’t find a photo of it. So, I now want to make something similar to put on the wall next to my bed. Yellow with orange is the TRUE color of happiness.
According to Wikipedia, red symbolizes lust, power, excitement, and love. No wonder there are so many studies saying that women should wear red on a date. I think there are tons of women who love the color red. I’ve seen whole living rooms done in that color. And, while I like to wear red (in various shades), I don’t know if I could paint an entire room in that color. It would definitely have to be a room with lots of windows and an abundance of light or it would feel dark and old fashioned and Goth… wait… I might like that.
Researchers say that people who are surrounded by blue have a slowed heart rate. Blue is soothing like the ocean. Blue is tranquil and serene, but also confident.
To me, blue is cold and stable and boring, but I hate to say that because blue is probably your favorite color… and it looks good on almost everyone but me. I love blue as a neutral color for clothing, such as blue jeans, as long as it is accompanied by something bright like an orange purse... or a little pop of something.
Green symbolizes nature and luck. It’s another tranquil color, although it's slightly quirkier than blue, to me. Researchers say that being around green will improve your reading speed. (So, you can get through this article quicker... if ya want.)
Well, green feels cold like blue to me... making it good for hot summer days. It’s a refreshing color, and it seems to go with all the hot colors I like, but if I painted one of my rooms green, I would shiver to death… unless it was a juicy citrus (yellow green). Once upon a time, when I rented a house, I painted my bathroom yellow green. Some people hated it, but I loved it. So, who cares what they liked. I was the one living there… and I was trying to make a cold bathroom in cold Seattle feel warm and inviting. (In my mind, it worked.)
Purple is rich and warm in my mind. It has been used by the aristocracy and religious leaders for centuries, while commoners (like us) were occasionally banned from wearing it... and (I think) banned from having the fabric. God forbid we might make a pillowcase or a set of jammies out of our precious purple cloth.
It is one of my favorite colors to wear and to have in my home. Heck, I would paint my bedroom purple (or deep pink) if I didn’t think someone would tell my colorblind husband that they loved the purple walls. Purple gives me energy. I suppose everyone has a different reaction to every color. Purple and violet are as royal as you get.
Wolf Kahn, a famous painter, once said that orange is vulgar.
I disagree. I think orange, a wonderful combination of yellow and red, is warm and exciting. It’s one of my favorite colors. I’m not sure I would paint a whole room in shocking orange, but there are some softer versions that might look inviting. I read somewhere that orange increases creativity and enthusiasm. I should make my whole house orange!
While I find most blues and greens to be tedious background necessities (sort of like neutrals), I love green and blue mixed together to form teal or turquoise. I also love orange and turquoise together. I will probably never make my living room turquoise, but I might paint a very large turquoise canvas.
I guess some people like red, white and blue, while more unconventional types prefer orange, turquoise, and purple. Someday, I’ll do an article about what the colors you wear and put in your house tell people about your personality. (I don’t know if it’s true, but I think I’ve read something about what your color preferences mean.)
3. I Have Always Loved Bright Colors
I love bright colors and I CAN say that different colors really affect me in different ways, but I can’t tell you why.
When I was in grade school, each child in my family had his or her own color for their dishes and towels. My color was red because I was the first-born alpha child, AKA guinea pig.
I’ve always liked red, but as I grew older my favorite red grew more and more blue… until it became fuchsia, magenta, or bright pink… depending on the color trends of the season.
Yet, once again, my happy color is changing. It’s still a type of red, but it’s more of a hot orangey-red. I don’t know if the color looks as good on me as bluish, purple-ish reds, but my brain seems to be more attracted to “orange red” as I get older.
I wonder if the color trends are going more orange… or if it’s because I’ve moved to the high desert and my sense of color has changed.
Weird. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and I’m seeing color differently... or maybe older women look better in red with a tinge of orange. Is that even possible?
I don’t think I would paint a room magenta/fuchsia or orange, but I would certainly buy or make a painting with those hot colors. And, I would certainly wear those colors… probably together in a wild, boho combo.
I Love All Colors
The only problem I have is that I like all colors. I have to hold myself back to keep my outfit – or my house – from looking like a circus. I love all colors and I want them all.
So, what happens? I end up with beige walls, brown floors, and boring rooms. I’m afraid to make things too bright. I’m afraid to really make my rooms my own.
Fortunately, I’m not afraid to wear color. If I buy a red couch and it looks like crap, I’ll never hear the end of it… true story. (It ended up on Craiglist.) If I buy a bright yellow sweater that looks hideous, I can hide it in the back of the closet... or wear it under my deep pink cape.
4. I Love to Paint (with bright colors)
I may be timid about the carpet and the wall colors, but I am able to make up for it with paintings. And, for the past few months, the thought of playing with my watercolors is the only thing that has forced me out of bed. I really mean that.
If you don’t have something other than the Oprah channel to put a little spirit in your life, you might try some kind of art or craft where you can play with color.
Knitting: I would love to see someone knit a long scarf of jewel-toned rainbow colors. Make it long enough that you can loop it around your neck several times and still have a lot of “scarf” left over.
Hats: Take a millinery class. If nothing else, you’ll meet a lot of great people. I would love to see a hat in sunny yellow and orange (with blue or green or brown to ground it).
Painting on Yupo: I’ve been trying to learn to paint with alcohol inks and watercolors on Yupo (plastic paper). It is not easy. Every now and then I get something I like, but I’m probably giving it up. I learned a lot about composition and serendipity, but... even though I see hundreds of great Yupo and ink paintings… I’m not coming up with the types of paintings I had hoped for. On the other hand, I did get out of bed this morning, even though my whole body was in pain, because I wanted to play on Yupo with my colors.
Painting with Acrylics: After two months of watercoloring to my heart’s content, my husband finally told me my “real” paintings were better. He may be right, but I’m not sure. Mr. Boomerina doesn’t like abstracts and he’s colorblind. I think I’ll switch to acrylics. Then, when I’ve relearned how to paint in a more “normal” style, I’ll move on to oils.
Do you have a way to play with color? Do you make cards? Do you finger-paint with your kids or grandkids? Do you have feel-good “color” boards on Pinterest?
Color is My Cure
Color is my cure. It’s non-narcotic but it is addictive. Color makes me feel better when I’m down or I’m in pain. My pain relievers are brightly colored pigments and colorful boho clothes. What do you like to play with? What are your favorite colors?
[I'm not even sure what I've written, but now that I've finished telling you how colors saved my life this month, I can go see what kind of magic the paints did on my latest Yupo painting (the colors flow around on their own as they dry). Oh joy! And, I promise to be a famous artist when I'm dead... it may take me a while to remember how to paint.]
More Articles for Bored Older Women Looking for Something Fun to Speed Read:
Trendy Color of the Year: Yellow Green Chartreuse Clothing - I'm Digging It (The article is from two years ago, but I'm still digging this hip color.)
Photo Credits: Prshots.com.
- Main Photo: East Clothing UK.
- Designer Teddy Bear: Taunina.com. (Expensive designer teddy bears from South Africa... you probably have to be a Saudi princess to get one. I want hubby to cheer me up with colorful bear for my birthday! I'm worth it.)
- Happy Yellow Dress: River Island (only a few left).
- Wear Red for Love: Pretty Eccentric.
- Confident Blue Dress: La Redoute.
- Lucky Green Coat: La Redoute.
- Royal Purple Skirt: La Redoute.
- Exciting Orange Coat: La Redoute.
- I Love Turquoise: Very UK.
- Red Orange for Older Women: La Redoute.
- I Want it All: House of Hud UK party designers, Blooming Bryony Designs.
Leave a comment and tell me your favorite color(s). Your comment won't show up right away. God only knows when I'll get around to approving comments. Hopefully, it will be while we're both still alive. Have a happy, sunny, yellow kind of day.