The Color White
White is often seen as a new beginning so it actually aids in mental clarity and even encourages people to clear out the clutter or obstacles standing in their way.
Hello everyone! Welcome to another article on the world of color. I decided to take things in a little bit of a different direction this month and actually focus on the color white, which is a color without a hue. White is a very popular color and can be seen everywhere even in nature in the form of clouds, flowers and, my personal favorite and the inspiration for the color choice this month, snow! We had fifteen inches of snow last month and I just loved spending the day watching the snow fall outside my window as I drank hot chocolate.
White is actually one of, if not, the oldest and first color used in the world of art and dates back all the way to prehistoric times. The first use of the color white can be found in the famous Lascaux Caverns in France which contains some of the oldest cave drawings in the world. In prehistoric times, white was available through either chalk, lime powder or gesso, which is a type of liquid used for coating. The Greeks were next to add more white into the art world through the creation of the color Lead White which became a very popular color that was used for centuries! The major downside of Lead White was the fact that it was highly toxic so chemists and artists were eventually asked to find replacements for the color Lead White. The famous Chemist Guyton de Morveau was asked to find a replacement in the 18th century and it was one of his lab technicians, Courtis, who succeeded in synthesizing a new white that was referred to as Zinc White but, sadly, it was not received very well because it was very brittle, tended to crack and was four times more expensive than Lead White. Finally, the color Titanium White was successfully created in 1916 and it took the place of Lead White, which was later banned in the 20th century due to the toxicity issue. Titanium White is now used everywhere and found not only in the world or art, but also in everything else from things such as tennis courts, pills and even toothpaste.
White has a variety of meanings for different cultures around the world. The majority of cultures view white as a representation of purity, goodness and spirituality. The Greeks and Egyptians gods and goddess are often depicted wearing the color white and most ritual objects, such as bowls, used by Ancient Egyptians were made to be white. Even today, white is still seen as being a color of purity, especially in Western cultures, where many brides wear a white dress for their wedding. On the opposite spectrum, some other cultures, such as China and parts of Africa, actually associate white with the color of death and illness. In medieval times, especially throughout Europe, queens would often wear white during times of mourning because white was considered the color of deepest mourning.
What does the color white mean psychological? As I mentioned earlier, white is often associated with goodness so it should come as no surprise that the color white has a positive affect on people. White is often seen as a new beginning so it actually aids in mental clarity and even encourages people to clear out the clutter or obstacles standing in their way. The fact that white is seen as clean is why you often see hospitals and doctors dressed in the color white. Although white is usually associated with positivity, it can be viewed as being cold and bland so there are those who find the color white to be isolating and unfriendly. In the world of marketing, white used to convey a sense of safety and is also used as a way to create contrast.
So, what does the color white mean to you?
The Secret Life of Colors by Kassia St. Clair
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Vanessa Tilley is an extremely talented eagle, particularly when it comes to all things artistic.