Sunday, September 6, 2009


I am fascinated with colors. They play an important part in our world and in our lives.

Arts and crafts make careful use of color combinations. Fashion revolves largely on the play of colors. Even black and white television slowly turned technicolor. Just look around you; Mother Nature surely do a great job of making sure mankind is bathe in its brilliant hues.

The color fever eventually got to me. When I was a little kid, a box of eight colors simply wasn't enough:

Crayola crayons have come in a number of different colors over the years. When Binney & Smith first produced Crayola crayons in 1903, there were just eight colors. By 1949 there were 48 colors. In 1958 the number of colors increased to 64. Eight fluorescent colors were introduced in 1972, increasing the total number of colors to 72. In 1990 the total increased to 80 colors with the introduction of 16 new colors and the discontinuation of eight colors. The number of available colors was increased to 96 in 1993 and to 120 in 1998, though with thirteen crayons being retired along the way, the grand total of colors is 133. Along with the regular packs of crayons, there have been many specialty sets, including Silver Swirls, Gem Tones, Pearl Brite, Metallic FX, Magic Scent, Silly Scents, and more...

Besides the fact that they are vibrant eye candy, colors are very closely associated with human expressions, feelings and behavior: Black is used as a sign of mourning, red can mean anger or war or boldness, yellow can indicate happiness and zest, blue exhibits calmness and relaxation, and so on.

Lately, I've been doing much coloring on birthday banners for kids at the center where I work, which led me to do a bit more pondering than usual. I've come to a conclusion that life is very much like having a palette of colors...

* We may have been handed only three colors but it is upto us if we stick to just three or to try and mix them to come up with more.

* The way we understand life is like a child coloring a fantastic drawing - we start coloring using only one crayon and go beyond the lines. However, when we grow up, we soon learn that we must use more than one kind of crayon and color within the boundaries to make the picture more beautiful.

* There is balance among colors. Green comes between warm and cold hues. (See P.S. of my Green Generation post)

* Color is for everybody although some may prefer crayons over watercolor, paint, colored pens/pencils, or oil pastels. People use different ways to express themselves.

* Black, like sin, absorbs other colors - the lovely things in life.

* Color derives from a spectrum of light interacting in the eye. To make an analogy, what becomes of life is like the interaction between God and man.

* People color with different intensities, just like the way they approach life.

"The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it."
- Leonardo da Vinci

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