Rods and Cones
As an artist, I’ve had a lifetime love affair with color. Color amazes, heals, informs, makes me think.
Every color in the rainbow beams down to earth from the sun in the form of white light. Though it appears to be pure white, it’s actually a perfect mix of: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
X-rays, radio waves, UV waves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum but to us, invisible. We humans only see certain colored wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Color perception happens via our retina located in the back of the eye. Millions of light sensitive cells known as cones and rods detect the light and send signals to the brain. These cells have different responses to every color. Those combinations of responses are the mechanisms through which we see each color. The brain is capable of differentiating millions of colors.
In fact, it is through this decoding of optic nerve signals that creates any given image we see. The brain analyzes color, shape, movement, location and voila! A conscious perception is created.
But what makes the sky blue? Why not red? Why are leaves green?
What’s so wild to me is that the color we perceive an object to be is actually the color that it IS NOT. The color we see is the color that reflects OFF of an object. All other colors in the spectrum absorb into the object as heat.
So when sunlight hits the trees or shines in the sky, we see the light that bounces off of them. Only the color that is not absorbed by an object is the color we see.
So in a way, it is more accurate to say a color is more of an expression rather than a state of being.
It’s no wonder humans are so passionate about color and use it to express all kinds of creative ideas. Whether bright and bold or subtle and subdued, we all communicate through color.
Colors as Messengers
Recently, while driving near the ocean in Mexico, I had to stop the car to take in the beauty surrounding us. I could feel the shades of green emanating from the tropical forest. I could sense its healing energy. It was obvious that through witnessing that green-ness ... more interconnectedness awakened in me. I could feel a strengthening in the heart. A centeredness.
And it’s the heart chakra that happens to align with the color green. It’s easy to understand why. The greens in nature reminds us of life, renewal and balance.
Each color frequency is unique. Green brings us back into our hearts. Red can ground us. Orange helps us connect with others. Yellow brings us confidence. Blue aids in peaceful communication. Indigo gives us insight. Purple connects with spirit.
In the coming blogs I will be deep diving into individual colors and their significance.
I'd love to know how certain colors affect you?