Thursday, April 05, 2012

Colors: Black, White, Red -- #PHOTOADAYAPRIL

I thought it would be fun to try another photo challenge.  Suzanne at Darza Go Irikoy Gaa
also started doing this....neither of us knew the other one was planning on doing it.  We'll see how it goes since recently we have been having a lot of power cuts and a lot of internet cuts.  At this moment we have both power and internet!  I thought it would be a fun month to do it since I'll be on three continents this month!


I've been making quilts for Suz and Theo and for Daniel and Kelly.  Suz and Theo's is brown and purple and Daniel's and Kelly's is brown and green. As I've been working with these colors, I've been amazed at how different shades of color are hard to identify.  Is it brown or is it maroon?  Is it maroon or is it purple?  Is it purple or is it almost black?  

The more I work with these colors the more I can understand why the Songhai/Zarma language traditionally only had three words for colors...black, white, and red.  Because black could include black and all its shades, blue (if blue is dark enough it looks black), green (again, if dark enough it can look black), and purple (which could also look black).  White would include yellow and other pastel colors.  Red would include brown and certain shades of purple.

I think also, Niger is a pretty drab country color-wise.  Nine months of the year it's mostly brown.  So you don't need a lot of words to describe color.  Here it's all about survival, not about describing colors.

Most Songhai now make more distinctions between colors, but they use French or words they borrowed from English.  Yellow is yoley or jaune; green is vert; blue is buley or bleu; purple is violet; and of course, there are still black, white, and red.

There's a great web site called Design Seeds.  There you can play with a sliding button to get exactly the color you want and then it will show you a palette of other colors that would go well with that.  As you play with the slider you can see that with just a little more blue an eggplant color turns into brown and so on.  It's a fun web site to visit. 


I just realized the first photo is reflection, not color.  I'll catch that one tomorrow, I guess!

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