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Re: Color questions-long


Greetings, Linda, and any other interested parties,

The RHS fans exist chiefly to facilitate precise communications among
horticulturalists. The Pantone system is used chiefly to facilitate precise
communication among those involved in graphic arts prduction. Either may be
used profitably by anyone else requiring a consistent and readily available
reference to widely recognized color standards. These resources are expensive
because of the technology involved in producing them and ensuring their
uniformity.

Paint and ink pigments may be highly variable. Whereas the artificial
pigments will be fairly consistent, natural pigments may be expected to vary
from batch to batch. A good standard professional source of information about
traditional paint pigments is Ralph Meyer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials
and Techniques, which is also widely available.

Color names generally may refer to pigments, to natural phenomena, to
subjective states, or anything else. Communication is achieved by reference
to a mutually agreed upon or commonly understood standard. There is no
absolute authority. All issues of color also necessarily involve questions of
optics, and thus of physiology and of light. The standard color wheel is not
about pigments, but about light. There are also, of course, numerous theories
about the psychological effects of color on individuals and groups. Color
names may also have an associative psychological aspect. Puce, for instance. 

Perceptions of color, optical and psychological, and thus preferences, are
complex and highly variable from indiviual to individual, or group to group.
It has been noted that the English gardeners as a general rule dislike
earthtones and strident or insistent colors. Their climate, natural light,
and surroundings favor clear and pastel tones. In the midddle east, or our
southwest, or India, people tend to prefer colors or color combinations which
their natural surroundings involve, or favor. However, it is to be expected
that individual opinions will differ about what Violet is, and whether it is
attractive, and whether it looks good with chartreuse, or on redheads, or in
Calcutta--- and whether an iris is violet, or grape soda, or  periwinkle, or
purple.   

But everyone should have a set of crayons on general principles.  

Anner Whitehead, Richmond, VA 





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