What I'm Reading: Interaction of Color

As I wrote in my Gallery post last week and my This is Awesome post yesterday, my theme for February is color. I'm trying to learn more about color combinations, how colors affect each other, and what I like to see together. Each Friday of this month, I'll post a color study of curated items from Etsy Shops, and I have some other resources, ideas, and posts on color up my sleeve as well.

When I set out to learn about color this month, my friend Emmy recommended reading "Interaction of Color" by Josef Albers. Apparently, he is THE color guy.

What I expected from this book:
- set rules for combining colors, what works, what does work

What I'm finding out:
- there aren't really any rules

The book includes narrative text with exercises and color studies to illustrate each point. I'm almost finished, and instead of hard and fast rules and science, these are my takeaways:
  • There are no "right" combinations
  • Colors are like notes in music - they are heard in sequence and played at the same time as others in a chord
  • And just like music, colors are subjective - perception depends on the sequence of colors, the context, the quantity of each color, your own eyes, and your own (changing) tastes
  • The best way to learn about color is to PLAY with it
Here's a nugget:
"We change, correct, or reverse our opinions about colors, and this change of opinion may shift forth and back. Therefore, we try to recognize our preferences and our aversions - what colors dominate in our work; what colors, on the other hand, are rejected, disliked, or of no appeal. Usually a special effort in using disliked colors ends with our falling in love with them." (17).

It's true - over time, my favorite color has changed from blue to green to purple, and now I'm moving into a orange phase. I never would have thought!

So I'll be playing with color lots these next few weeks (there are some quilts on the way!), and I'll be trying to notice it in my everyday life, and share those observations here.


1 comment:

  1. this is so interesting! really enjoying following your color segment - will need to pick up a copy of the book. thanks for sharing ca!


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