Lavender is a flower, a scent, a color and a taste. With so many attributes you might call lavender a phenomena more than a thing, a color, a taste or a scent. It gives us sensual experiences.
The smell is calming as the sight of the flower that brings us closer to nature. It is a strong and fierce plant that will survive the most. The taste is subtle and a little sensually perfumed. The color is a mix of blue and red and a little perplexing.
Lavender is a color we often either love or hate. There is no in-between, or the in-between might feel indifferent to lavender or to any other color for that matter.
Some might say they like lavender in nature but not on walls or in the clothes they wear. The same often goes for yellow or orange as well. Why is that?
There might be several reasons for that. We do have preferences in color that might regard temperature, past experience, context, combination or even personality. Some colors demand attention and if you don’t like attention, you are likely to dislike wearing such colors in your outfit. You might love the color in another context.
The past experience has impact on our color preferences and our sensing of the color to some extend. There is little research in the field, but my conversations regarding color with others show that ‘dislikes’ and ‘likes’ of specific colors might have to do with past experience. Often also with intense experiences that might have involved other senses such as smell or taste.
Yellow and orange are often strong and vivid colors used to create attention. They are noticeable colors to be seen and stand out – also in nature where flowers attract attention to make sure the bees will find them and find them attractive and sweet.
Lavender is much more subtle, pale and a bit cold compared to the warmer tones like orange and red. The warm colors seems to be at a closer distance and the cold colors seems to be at a more distant distance. Also the warm colors tend to make us feel warmer and the colder colors tend to make us feel like the temperature is a little more cold.
Some years ago a color consultant visited my apartment and suggested that I should paint my walls lavender. I did not agree. The colors I had chosen for my walls were my picks from a creative angle but she made me curious as to why she suggested lavender. She answered that according to her chart of the apartment, the color should be lavender. The idea puzzled me, because I would not approach color in such a way. The very idea of mapping color into a chart is a great idea, but does it invite color dynamics? I have my doubts.
However I like the idea of having some guidelines for the use of color to control creativity. Choosing colors randomly and without some sort of control, charts or knowledge, is not the way to go about color. I painted my wall magenta and it did not work out for me at all. In the end I chose a much more earthy color and made some strong accents on the surroundings.
If we map the colors into rooms, directions and levels in a very strict chart, I would fear that the most important issue regarding color is left out; that is context. Exactly the context is a main part of color consulting, as I learned at the ‘Color/design class’ in Los Angeles held by Leatrice Eisemann. We might have knowledge about colors and their effect on us but have to remember that the context might make us choose other colors. We have to at least be open to change and also be open to the wonders of color. Color might still puzzle you and show sides and effects you never knew they had. According to temperature, geography, culture and lighting the colors context might change.
This is why colors are so interesting.
Where does color sense come from if not charts and maps? Does color sense sometimes involve the color synesthesia phenomena?
Have you ever considered that the colors you dislike just might be colors you associate with an experience that made you feel unpleasant at some point?
Those are questions I am considering at the moment.