Empowered by Colors!

by Madalina Dragos,

illustrated by works of participants published in BAV Power of Color 2021 book

The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.

Color in theory:

Colors are those seven rays observed when light suffers the phenomenon called dispersion.

The light represent the visible range, which includes only those electromagnetic waves that impress the eye, from red to purple light (with wavelengths between 760 and 380 nm).

Color is a sensation without existence in itself, not being a property of bodies but it is a reality generated by three factors: light, the surface of the object that reflects the observed color and the eye.

In artistic practice:

In a more or less monochrome world we can say that we are empowered by color!

We can describe any color by its basic characters: tint (wavelength), value (brightness) and saturation (purity). Also, we can talk about color in many ways: colours as/ impression, local, memorized, primary, binary, tertiary, warm-cold, complementary, pure, significant and their effects.

In this article we will look at colors not as radiant energies, but as plastic expressions.

by Monika Kokošková

As a means of plastic expression, color through its significance rises to the inner plane of existence of each artist, impressing our senses and significantly producing psycho-physiological effects (emotional-action consequence induced by the inherent color). Examples of real changes can be: variations in heart rate or mood induction: comfort, discomfort, peace-anxiety, aesthetics, the intensities of these changes being varied and individualized.

The colors have the force of evocation and create sensations, respectively different and individualized moods, intensifying the artist’s creative power through the relationships between them (modern expressionism being here a good example in which the artist’s feeling is captured).

The symbolism of colors remains universal at all levels of being (cosmological, psychological, mystical).

Starting from the seven colors, the human eye can distinguish approximately 700 shades, which have been put in correspondence with the seven musical notes, the seven days of the week, the seven heavens, planets, etc.

“Colors are the music of the eyes, they combine like musical notes!”

Eugen Delacroix (1798-1863)

Colors can symbolize items such as:

  • red and orange – fire;
  • white – air; black – earth;
  • green – water;
  • blue – atmosphere but also spatial dimensions such as: vertical dimension blue light at the top / dark at the base; horizontal dimension;
  • red lighter at sunrise and darker at sunset;
  • temporal dimensions such as black-time; white-temporal / alternating.

From a biological and ethical point of view we find the following symbolism: black-posthumous rebirth and eternal life (symbols found in Egyptian works of art, for example the book of death).

Anubis (the god who guides the dead) and Min (the god of crops) are colored black to gray; Osiris – green , Amon – blue; Seth – red. Also yellow-for gold; white – for fast / cheerfulness; red – violence / harmful.

In the Christian tradition the color symbolizes ascending forces: white-Father; blue – Son; red – Holy Spirit; green – hope / water; white – faith / earth; red – love / fire; black – repentance; white – chastity; purple – the air.

In psychology, warm colors have a stimulating force favoring the adaptation processes (exciting), the cold ones – the fall processes (calming).  Both the tone and the intensity of the colors are important, being able to produce, positive effects or internalized effects.

In psychoanalysis (C.G. Jung) colors express the main psychic functions of man (thinking – blue; feeling – red; intuition – yellow; feeling – green) and so the unconscious attracts the attention of the conscious through colors.

Colors are radiant energies that influence us positively or negatively, whether we realize it or not.


Just as colors arise from the variety of light ripples, so the quality of emotion varies according to the color tone.


On the post cover works of Power of Color 2021 book participants: Rica Nemtanu, Filipe Mendes and Ivone Segade

In this article appear:

  • images with works based on Egyptian mythology – death book
  • images of orthodox icons based on the Byzantine school and the Russian school

More by Madalina Dragos:

Art endures and the artist visits and revisits it!

Art is made to stand out!

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