Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tainted colors . . .

I've had several arguments about the color of things:

Years ago
Olive: The stripe in your shirt is green.
Tree-hugger: No it isn't, it's gray!
Olive: Green.
Tree-hugger: It's gray!

This year
Olive: Your shirt is lavender.
Betty: No, it's pink.
Olive: It's not pink at all; it's purplish.

Olive: What color is that?
Amb: It's blue.
Olive: It's blue? Are you sure it isn't purple?
Amb: It's blue.
Olive: I see it as purple. Maybe I am color challenged . . . but don't let Tree-hugger know that.

Today, while talking to Amb, I came up with my theory of color. We have three primary pigment colors--blue, red, and yellow--and when any one of those primary colors gets tainted by another primary color, I see it as becoming a secondary color: purple, orange, or green. Most people that I've met, I now realize, are more generous about how long they'll let a color be called by its primary name. For me, once blue has a hint of red in it, it's purple (or purplish); once yellow has a drop of blue in it, it's green (sure it's a light green, maybe a lemon-lime green with the emphasis on the lemon part, but it's still green).

I learned once that some people see more colors due to the number of cones in their eyes. I used to tease Tree-hugger that I could see more color, that I physically had more capacity. Now, I wonder if it's more a philosophical difference--a way of seeing the world--that makes me see color the way that I do.

But hey, wouldn't it be great if I turned out to be a tetrachromat? I think I'd like that very much.


Magic said...

i love yr blog. it's the way a blog should be. it's so introspective. rather than a bunch of self involved ramblings. that's how i see it at least.

Betty Edit said...

I do believe you can see more colors than other people. And your theory makes sense too. You are incredibly visually gifted--that surely has a huge impact on how you interpret colors. It's like when I listen to a symphony: I can pick out the individual voices and follow each line. You can do the same thing with colors.

Oriana said...

I think you see more colors too. You see more layers to life in general. More detail that most of us miss.

Sheila said...

Does a tetrachromat see four primary colors? That would be very cool.

Olive Kite said...
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