The Science of Colour - What Affects Colour?

The Science of Colour - What Affects Colour?

Understanding what influences our perception of color is so interesting, and it's a bit more complex than you might think. It's not just about the light we see; our brains play a pretty big role in identifying colour.

Fun tidbit: Did you know that the word "photo" comes from the Greek term for light? It's the same root that gave us words like photography and photosynthesis. Besides light, there are other factors that come into play. Shadows and the position of the object we're observing can alter our perception of colour. It's like our brain's little way of keeping us on our toes.

As if that weren't enough, the changing seasons also affect how we see the world around us. It's not just about our feelings shifting; our vision adapts to the evolving colours. In summer, yellow might appear more greenish, while in winter, it leans toward the reddish or grayish side. Why? Well, it's all about the increase in greenery and vegetation during the warmer months. Our eyes adapt to the green surroundings, causing our brains to recalibrate how they see yellow.

But here's where it gets even more fascinating. Colours are closely tied to our emotions, capable of evoking feelings and stirring our senses. Just as a melody can bring tears or laughter, colours can elicit a wide range of emotions. A quilt sewn with soft pastels might evoke tranquility, while bold, contrasting colours can spark excitement. The emotional connection we establish through colour choices adds depth and meaning to our quilts.

You've probably heard the saying "I'm feeling blue" many times, right? That's because there's a real connection between emotions and colours. In fact, emotions can influence how we perceive colour. A study found that people who watched emotional films and those who watched funny ones saw the same colour differently. It turns out that the perception of colours on the blue-yellow axis is linked to dopamine, a key hormone produced in our brains. So, our emotions can significantly impact how we see the world around us.

And the influence of colour isn't just personal; it's also cultural. Colour perception varies not only between individuals but across different cultures. While there are universal colour associations, like the sense of security white provides, many colours can take on entirely different meanings in various parts of the world. For example, red represents fortune and money in China but symbolizes love and passion in Western cultures. Yellow can signify optimism and happiness in the West but caution and cowardice in some Eastern cultures. Orange embodies warmth and curiosity in the West but carries sacred meanings in Hinduism. These diverse interpretations remind us of the incredible cultural richness found in our world.


Happy Sewing!


Gingerberry Quilts

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