Saturday, April 21, 2012

Creative Colors

I seem to have a built-in suspicion of studies that come up with definitive answers to the effect a particular color has upon us all.  Anybody remember the nausea green that showed up on the walls of hospitals, schools, and various institutions and even retail stores in the seventies, if I remember the time correctly? That was due to some study that found that that particular shade of green had a calming influence on people.  I can only think that the people in the study got quiet when they saw this color because they thought--If I stay very still, I won't throw up.

Nevertheless, I am finding the report of another color study interesting--even if I am not regarding it as scientific fact.  The study is mentioned in Imagination: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, a fascinating book I am in the process of reading, and involves what colors may make us more creative. The conclusion: doing a task on a red background makes us more attentive to details, while working on a blue background makes us think more creatively. Now this article was published in Science so it did get some rigorous peer review. But unfortunately, it limited itself to only the two colors.  My workroom (I know I should call it my studio, but I wasn't considering myself an artist when I started working in it so workroom just sounds more comfortable) is a lovely shade of yellow (probably my favorite color), which I inherited from my youngest daughter when it was her space. Where does yellow fit in this creativity continuum?

And then there is the question of whether we are more creative when we work on a piece with lots of blues in it, and less creative when we work on one with lots of reds?  Was Picasso more creative during his Blue Period and more detailed and accurate during his Red Period?

On the basis of this one study, I am not about to rush out and buy blue paint for my workroom, but, when I hit my next creative block, perhaps I will drape myself in blue fabric and see if that helps. Couldn't hurt.
And, if you are still reading, thanks for the company!

1 comment:

quilthexle said...

Yellow is such a happy colour - therefore I'm concinced it's just the perfect choice for a studio (yes, mine is yellow, too ...). If you ever decide to wrap yourself in blue fabrics - don't forget to take a picture of it, please ;-)))