My OCD tendencies towards color go back as far as I can remember.
If I were to draw a picture, I would have to include all 6 colors of the rainbow, no matter what. Even if it meant having to throw in a last minute purple flower, or to make the stick-figure girl have little emerald-green dots for eyes (my eyes are brown, so that often meant changing stick-figure girl’s identity as well). And it always astounded me when a fellow classmate didn’t know the proper order of the color spectrum when they drew a rainbow. Redorangeyellowgreenbluepurple, of course!
To this day, in my room, I literally cannot have something sitting on my nightstand that is a clashing color with everything else that happen to be sitting there. It bothers me to the point that I have to move the stand-out object someplace else. The books on my shelf are turned around with the pages facing outward if the book’s spine color does not “mesh” with the others. Call it crazy, but to me color is the biggest part of my feng shui, which I think helps me to 1) be at peace and 2) to encourage creativity: that realness that comes with being comfortable, at ease.
The first student film I ever made was a story about color: a guy would open a package of m&ms and find that they were all the same color (blue, for instance). Then, his next sight would be a girl completely surrounded by blue: cerulean swimsuit by the sparkling pale blue swimming pool, painting her nails a shade of navy). The same thing would happen with red, and so on, each of the girls displaying very different personality traits corresponding to their assigned color (the “red” girl was a bit of a temptress, etc). Now, the only reason I’m describing a random student film I made in the context of this article is because color is so much more mood-altering than most people think. A sort of aromatherapy for the eyes, I would call it. There is power in color, and I don’t think enough of us know how to use it as such. Artists are and have always been exceedingly aware of this.
Picasso’s “Blue” and “Red” (or “Rose”) periods come to mind immediately. This is some of his most well-known work, because he was able to capture the depths and intricacies of his emotion through the subtle infiltration of a certain color until it became completely dominant in his work. I imagine him being able to see only these colors, even when he closed his eyes. That being said, there is no greater use of color than that found in nature: a yellow moon against the deep indigo night sky glistening with tiny, infinite glowing stars, the beautiful compatibility of the orange and green peppered with little white blossoms in an orange grove. And yes, orange and green are complimentary (green being in the blue family) as are yellow and indigo, purple. Complimentary colors exist in this way in nature, which to me is no accident.
These colors belong together, they are soulmates. And there is no sight, no miracle more celebrated in the world of color than the rainbow, the prism of the beautiful full spectrum of light in all it’s perfection. I think the more we can bring these miraculous colors into our lives, the better. Color can enhance every form of expression: literature, art, film, music (think of the gorgeous bursts of colored light on stage at a concert). But they can also enhance our daily lives. So, notice color. And make use of the power it has. As my favorite artist in Venice would say, it will make your life beautiful.