Today’s blog is brought to you by the very emotionally intense color, red. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure-a temporary reaction that might only last as long as it takes a feather to fall to the ground. It has very high visibility, which is why stop signs, stoplights, and fire equipment are usually painted red. In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. One of my favorite books as a child was The Red Badge of Courage, and became enamored of the symbolism of words-colors. It is a color found in many national flags. Restaraunts use the color red strategically to increase appetites, and therefore, increase the tab. In fact, take a minute today to look around and appreciate the bold intensity of this fabulous color.
As an account executive for Estee Lauder years ago, I learned the subtle differences in the color red when used in lipstick, gloss and nail color. Undertones of blue or gold changed the product entirely, so I encouraged ladies to keep trying-fully believing that every woman needs a good red lipstick/gloss/liner as part of her basic make up kit-contrary to the long held prejudice that only loose women would do such a thing.
Red demands attention whether on you in your home, person, your lips, a stop sign, or my favorite, a clearance rack-which could be why brides in other cultures (India & Nepal) wear red on their wedding day. In East Asia the color red is held in such high esteem, it is used to denote a RISE in stock prices. Those red barns that dot the countryside of America-no subtle context here-red paint was the cheapest to use for such a big space.
This painting by Mattise is a most unusual color creation, with a history just as fascinating and complex. Created in 1908, the piece originally started out as Harmony in Green, and then Harmony in Blue. The predominantly blue canvas was then painted over in the bold red seen now. Throughout the ages the color red has been used in paintings to draw attention to an object, a person, a certain angle. Henri Matisse was one of the first 20th century artists to make color the central element of this paintings-done to evoke a feeling. He said, “My choice of colors is not based on scientific theory; it is based on observation, upon feelings up the real nature of each experience. I just try to find a color which corresponds to my feelings.”
So, what has you “seeing red?” Do you have a favorite red dress-I’m all over the red thing-I have 2 pairs of red shoes!! And an enthusiastic collection of “would you look at me” red accessories! My dining room really must make people hungry, because it is Chinese Red w/streaks of gold just to be a little more outrageous. Take a quick photo with your phone and share. Would love to see how this intense color shows up in your life.