19 August 2010


Shots of rainbow colors as they morph, seamlessly, from one to the next, on the Missoni website

I have always been fascinated by rainbows - not as much the ones in the sky as ones that exist on paper or fabric. When I was in grade school, I gathered paint sample cards from a local hardware store, and taped them onto my wall in chromatic order. I still love looking at the array of paint color cards in stores like Lowe's, where there are whole walls devoted to the stuff. I will never weary of the joy colors in order bring to me.
Pratt & Lambert paint sample cards in my studio

The color wheel is similar to a rainbow, in that it contains all the visible colors in the light spectrum, but is presented as a circle, where the beginning of the rainbow connects with the end, which works perfectly.
From Fotolia online

I love these charming old prints of color wheels, spheres and pyramid: 

This is an antique representation of color as it represents musical notes: (Don't ask me to explain it, as I can't.)

Here's a more modern version. I adore how the colors pop on the black background!

The following picture is the Munsell color wheel, which shows the complementary colors exactly across from each other, exactly as they should be.
Maybe it's because I'm a Virgo, so I am a perfectionist about things like this, but I just love organizing many of my possessions in rainbow order. As an artist, this process is actually imperative if I am to find the colors I need, quickly (or at all). 
Therefore, my colored pencils, oil paints, pastels and watercolors have always been lined up this way. If I am away from my studio, the first thing I do when setting up to work elsewhere, is to arrange my media in order from reds through to purples, then browns and into blacks. White is supposed to be at the beginning, but usually it just kind of hangs out wherever I last put it down!
My oil paints

What else do I arrange by color, for practical reasons as much as because I like to look at them that way?
My embroidery floss

My fabric samples (above and in the mirror, below)

Colored crystal (in my former shop)

Here's some more rainbow eye candy:
Hmm...interesting, but I wouldn't want to live here.

 A festive and pretty cake from Martha Stewart

Heirloom tomatoes from Patricia Wells's garden

Beachy pastel versions of the rainbow colors

I have occasionally seen, in decorating magazines, a look that always greatly appeals to my visual sense, and yet I can't get myself to emulate it - that of organizing books on shelves in rainbow order. 

Much as I am attracted to these pictures, the Virgo in me can't bear to organize things like books or CD's in any order other than by style/author/content category. [When I used to have hundreds of records (just got rid of them all in our move), the only way I could organize them was by type of music; ie, jazz, classical, opera, folk, rock, etc. Then within each of these categories, they were ordered by group alphabetically, and then the music of each group or composer was filed in chronological order. It was the only way I could find anything!] I arrange my books by category, and then by author or subcategory, so I'm showing the photos above, just for fun. (Here is an interesting article on the opposite point of view.)

Books aside, my favorite way to line things up is and will always be in rainbow order - it just plain makes me happy!

What's my favorite iPod ad?
And for Apple fans, you can customize your Mac keyboard like this:

And, what's my favorite song? The Rainbow Connection, by Kermit the Frog. Click here to listen to another version, which I just adore, by Sarah McLaughlin.

Finally, I can't finish without putting one in for my many gay friends. The rainbow flag represents equality and acceptance of all colors, religions and types of people... in other words, inclusiveness for all human beings. Just beautiful!


1 comment:

  1. Great post! I also love things organized in rainbow colors, especially in my closet. My thread and embroidery floss collections look like yours. I tried my books -- just in the living room -- once, but I couldn't find anything! Still love the look, but it's just not practical for books, alas.


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