Thursday, January 3, 2008

Color Theory - Goethe's Triangle

Desert Spring
7 x 11 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
In my ongoing quest to understand more about color, I came across Goethe's Triangle. Rather than place colors on a wheel as did Newton, Goethe placed them in a triangular matrix to better group them for emotional content. Each apex holds a primary - Goethe chose red, blue, and yellow. The secondaries are placed in the grid along with tertiaries that are a mix of the color next to and opposite their place in the grid. I like the understanding he developed for attaching emotion to color, however it is a bit different than designers have been telling us today. For instance, Goethe held that the red, orange, purple, and green colors created serenity. He believed that red evoked intelligence and creativity. Take a look at the page I have linked above and see what you think.
Today's painting is from a very old photo I took in the California poppy fields in the Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles. When I was a child, the fields went on forever. Twenty years ago, when I took the photo, the fields were much diminished in size. We had to drive much farther to find them. I haven't been back for fear they would all be gone. Since one of my goals is to use more reds and oranges in my paintings, I thought I would jump right in.


Willa said...

The link didn't work for me - does it still work for you? As always you make my day with your explorations.

Katherine said...

This is simply stunning - and, in the context of your later posts, is also rather 'abstract'! ;)

Interesting note about Goethe as well.

Miki Willa said...

Thank you both for your kind comments. I really appreciate knowing that you are visiting.