Living Flowers

The art of using colour

Like musical notes, the pigment hues make up the colour wheel, from which the flower artist can select a varying palette of tints and tones.

Flowers are one of nature’s greatest expressions of color – saturated hues or soft, delicate tints, tones and shades. Flowers stimulate all our senses. We see tints, tones and shades of the prism – and the alluring mathematical curve of a petal or a stamen. We smell the fragrance, sweet for spicy. We touch velvety petals and feel prickly leaves. We taste the petals and stems in teas and honey. We hear the breeze as it moves through fields of flowers. Their language goes far deeper than we realize Flowers are also sensual, erotic and evocative. They are a life force. Line, texture, shape and color are all elements of design. The line of a drooping poppy bud, or a lily with petals radiating from the center, forever fascinate flower-loving eyes. Texture is expressed as the velvet surface of a rose petal, or the spines on a prickly cactus. Both round and oblong petal and leaf shapes, repeated in uncountable numbers, enchant the eye and activate the imagination of flower lovers. But what is color? Science says color is the light an object reflects, judged by hue, saturation and value.

The rods and cones of the human retina receive these reflected rays of light, but, strangely, colors do not look the same to all eyes. Some people have trouble seeing color – or certain colors – for various reasons. The use of color theory is an aid to interpretive art.

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