It seems that the colour green will feature prominently this year. Emerald is the Pantone Colour of 2013, and it is accompanied by two other green hues, Tender Shoots and Grayed Jade.
|Bulbs in my garden already well on their way at Christmas-time!|
|My Honeysuckle sprouting new leaves at Christmas-time!|
But on the other hand, I find Dulux’s ‘Castle Mount’easy to live with. In my previous house, the dining room, living room and cloakroom were all painted in that colour and my bedroom and stair carpets were a slightly darker shade of green! Even now, the tablecloth in my dining room, where I often work, is green, as are the walls of my shower room (below)-
So I turned to my really big book on colour to see what it said about green -
The section on green begins, ‘Green is an ambivalent hue. The colour of mould and decay, it is, none the less, the colour of life itself.’
So I’ve picked out a few points from the book that I hope you will find interesting and maybe a springboard from which to do your own research into the colour green –
- Green was the colour associated with the Ancient Egyption god, Osiris, the god of both Vegetation and Death.
- Green is a restful colour to the eyes – hence the Green Room where actors can relax when offstage. But, gruesomely, the Roman Emperor, Nero ‘peered through an emerald to enjoy the spectacle of lions devouring Christians.’
- Although there is plenty of green to be found in Nature, there are very few minerals available to make green pigments and even fewer to make green dyes. My own attempts to make a dye from the bright green water that I’d cooked broccoli in, resulted in a dirty beige colour and this is, apparently, typical.
- The human body is never green unless there is sickness present. And many people are repulsed by slithery, green creatures such as lizards, snakes and even frogs, perhaps because green is usually the colour of ‘slime’. Green is associated with poison because of the colour of arsenic and in general, ‘Green is the colour of creepiness’.
- Green is said to be the colour of emotional balance, being a mixture of happy yellow and tranquil blue. But it is also the colour of jealousy!
- We say that a good gardener has ‘green fingers’ but in terms of building materials, it describes timber that is not ready for use and it has similar connotations of ‘unreadiness’ or naivety in relation to people, particularly in situations involving new recruits. Do you know why surgeons and their assistants in the operating room usually wear green, and the walls and covers they use are also green. I didn’t until I read about in my ‘Colour’ book. It’s because green is the complementary colour to red so it helps to prevent unpleasant after-images when the surgeon looks away from the wound!
- On a personal note, I grew up with the belief that green was an unlucky colour, particularly for weddings and for cars. A google search revealed that this superstition is a British one – but how many green cars do you see on the roads these days?
- Green is associated with Robin Hood and his followers who wore Lincoln green (probably as camouflage in Sherwood Forest) and with Ireland, the Emerald Isle, where Leprechauns always wear green!
But I also have a lot of houseplants and they are green, of course. Without them my house would look rather barren, lifeless.
So I finally have to conclude that I need the colour green for its life-giving qualities.
How about you? How do you feel about the colour green?