Sunday, 15 August 2010

My Colour Stories ~Periwinkle, Azure & Orange~

Continuing on from the theme of my last post, here are three more personal 'colour stories': Periwinkle, Azure and Orange are all colours which each mean different things to me, and which I have been using in my work too.

When I was a teenager my older female relatives were all into ‘Color Me Beautiful’ ~ and had all ‘had their colours done’, I thought this was a great concept, and the idea of a session being draped in lots of different colours to find out which look the best was fabulous. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the idea is to categorise you into one of the four seasons, with a corresponding colour palette that best suits your skin tones (Spring – warm and clear colours, Summer – cool and soft, Autumn – warm and dark/muted and Winter – cool and dramatic). So my aunt arranged for me to have my own colours done and as I had already thought, I was officially confirmed a ‘Summer’. While I certainly don’t stick to this system rigidly (I still wear lots of black, even though it’s strictly a winter colour), it has still informed my clothes buying choices ever since, and I think on the whole it has probably done me more favours than not ~ I am never tempted to buy tops in acid lime green, which just make me look sick! And happily the Summer palette is the one I would probably gravitate to anyway… So periwinkle blue ~ which I consider an almost-but-not-quite purple ~ is apparently one of the best colours for me, and I do feel fab when I wear it too. Seven summers ago, I splashed out on a simple, strappy, bias cut dress by Ghost in this exact colour, to wear for a friend’s wedding. Then I got the news my Dad had died suddenly and the next day I was on a plane to Minneapolis to be with my family and make the arrangements. I was very clear that I didn’t want to wear black for my Dad’s funeral~ he was always so supportive of me and my sister, not least boosting our confidence and telling us how lovely we looked when we got dressed up for an occasion ~ and I knew this bright, happy coloured blue-purple dress was the one to wear to do him proud at his final send-off. It was understandably a difficult day, but when I got up to read at the service, I felt right in that colour.

This colour, really a shade that sits between Azure and Turquoise, has come to represent creativity, communication and specifically my jewellery business. When I was thinking about a signature colour theme for my banners, card, packaging etc, I played around with purple, but it just didn’t look right. I have always loved aqua-blue-turquoise shades, blue-green is another colour that’s more complex than the primaries, and, like purple, seems to m e to have substance and depth. For me, as for a lot of people I imagine, it brings up memories of happy holidays by turquoise seas, blue swimming pools and bright summery exotic fabrics. So I settled on azure-turquoise for my business colour. I wear a lot of turquoise too ;)

~ The rocks and blue sea at Kalamitsi - Halkidiki, Greece~
(Photo taken on holiday there in July 2004)

Orange is not a favourite of mine, I certainly wouldn’t generally consider wearing it, but it does still have some happy associations for me. When I was younger, my best friend and I used to discuss what we thought of different colours, and we were both in agreement that orange was our least favourite to look at. Still we conceded that although the colour may have been in our bad books, as a flavour we liked orange very much. And actually, orange seems to be a very happy, joyful colour, and I have to say it has grown on me, particularly since I have been designing jewellery. There are some beautiful orange gemstones; good carnelian seems to have a deep inner glow, and sunstone a fantastic glittery schiller, and I have really enjoyed making pieces with these stones.

I'm fascinated by the way different people react to colour, so if you have your own colour stories please feel free to share them ;)


artybecca said...

I love those colors too, and I love them together.
what I've noticed about orange... when I list items in my etsy shop and call them "orange" they don't sell. After I changed the name to coral, sunny gold, melon, tangerine, etc...the things sold! Maybe people have a dislike of the word orange, but not really the color?

Ali P said...

Hi Becca,
Thanks for commenting ~ certainly food for thought, I've never considered the word itself but perhaps you have hit the nail on the head. I'm going to add some more creative colour tags to my orange listings too and see what happens ;)