The best way I can describe color is through music. You know how when you're listening to a piece of music, just a couple of notes change
and all of a sudden you're instantly in a new mood which has nothing to do with the words if there are even any in it? And that if you think of it, you can fit more emotions into a piece of music than life itself can in equivalent amounts of time?* Well, that's sort of how colour works. Colour is sort of like instant emotion, you walk into a 'red
' room, and immediately you might feel a little excited and a bit scared. A 'green
' room on the other hand might calm you down. So the visual world is saturated by bits of music
, some good, some bad, most indifferent, and you can fast-forward through these 'pieces of music' and get all of it in micro-fractions of a second just by turning towards it. In the natural world, colours are used to give you a sense of the energy of a place - red things are exciting and often dangerous, green things are calming
and generally don't move about much
. But Mother Nature
got bored and evolution had to keep things interesting for her, so you have things like red flowers
and green stick insects
for instance. Human beings have even shorter attention spans, and so have more varied arrangements of colours for all sorts of purposes. Some functional
, other recreational, others art. But as it is with music, in the world of colour you can tune in or tune out, understand or dismiss. And how sad we sighted folk so often only do the latter...
So yeah, I think that's about the size of things. If someone asked me now how I'd describe colours to someone who was blind I'd say colours are like instant music.
But then as it goes, colour is all of these things, but also none of it.
* Proof: Debussy's Minuet from Suite Bergamesque. Scriabin's Sonata # 5. Much Rachmaninoff. And much more out there I can't think of now or even know of. Pop music doesn have many good examples for reasons I won't get into here, but sharp emotional transitions I can remember in contemporary music are things like Yann Tiersen's "Le Jour d'Avant", The Chemical Brothers' "The State We're In", and Franz Ferdinard's "Fade Together". If you know any others you think are good examples, feel free to message me.