How do we see?
When you look at a beautiful painting or witness a gorgeous sunset, dont you ever wonder, “How is it that I am able to see that?”

What enables us to see the light and experience such wonderful shades of color during the course of our everyday lives? Some may take seeing for granted, but if the process is looked at closely, you can see what a wonder it really is.

I have borrowed some  of this information from The Franklin Institute, and this is purely from a scientific view on colors, but notice the words they use here.

“Before the topics of light and color can be explored, there must first be an understanding of waves. Waves have high and low points, and the distance between one of those highs and lows and the next is called a wavelength. Just how long that wave is will determine the amount of energy that it has. For example, a long wave has a low amount of energy or low frequency, and a short wave has a high amount of energy or high frequency. What we see in a rainbow, are the wavelengths of the visible colors. You see, our sun emits its radiation in this visible range, which our eyes interpret as the colors of the rainbow. These colors are identified as the visible spectrum and are often times remembered as ROY G. BIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.”



When we look at the visible colors in this scale we dont give it much more attention then that. But what puzzles me is if you look outside the visible colors, ultraviolet and infrared is pretty close to the visible waves, and move even further out, x-rays and microwaves?? Hmmm. We have learned about those different kind of waves and we actually tend to behave accordingly to our knowledge about them too.

So basically we react and take precautions when it comes to the non-visible rays, but when it comes to the visible rays=colors, it shouldnt affect us at all?

Well that answer isnt enough for me, and my experiences with colors tells me otherwise. When I use colors in my paintings I have an idea about how I want to use the colors to understate the motive, or I try to use the colors to hopefully touch something in the viewer. Of course you can choose to use the colors in a more subconscious way, based on the mood you are in. For me thats a painting I want to hang on my wall and not put out for sale, but thats just me.

Another thing is how the color itself affects us but more importantly, what happens to the color when adding other colors up against the one color. The right color combinations will highten the vibrations while other combinations will work the other way.

You can draw parallels to sound waves and how they affect us, with the right combination of tones we can feel happy, energetic, sad, thoughful and even aggresive. Although both are forms of wave motion, sound requires a solid, liquid, or gaseous medium; whereas light travels through empty space. The denser the medium, the greater the speed of sound. The opposite is true of light. Light travels approximately one-third slower in water than in air. Sound travels through all substances, but light cannot pass through opaque materials.

And at least but not last, I have to add a comment from a student in psychology in the US; “When I was studying psychology I came across a fascinating study where a school repainted their walls in vibrant colors. From the dull boring colors that we associate with schools this school choose bright vibrant colors. Something very interesting happened as a result. The student’s behavior changed. Class attendance increased, grades improved, lateness to class was reduced and much, much more.

This is all very impressive. However it gets 100 times more impressive when you learn that that this school was a school for the blind. Did you get goose bumps when you read that? I know I did.”

Have a colorfilled day, and enjoy.




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