What’s Your Favorite Color?

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What’s your favorite color? Why do you like it?

Mine is blue. It soothes me.

Favorite Color

Not that blue is the only color I like. Red excites me – especially those deep maroon shades. In winter, I crave the deep lush green of midsummer.

There really aren’t many colors I don’t like. But always I come back to blue.

Many people think blue is a sad color. When we’re sad, we’ve “got the blues”, we “feel blue”.

I tend more to associate blue with gladness. There’s that “bluebird of happiness”. Remember “ blue skies, smiling at me”? What about “my blue heaven”?

Blue is the only color of the rainbow to have a one-syllable anagram: “lube”. Green has “genre” and purple has “pulper”, but these anagrams have two syllables each.

(Some might argue that “der” is an anagram of “red”. But that’s a slang term of sarcasm, meaning more or less the same thing as “duh”. I refuse to count it as a real word. Sue me!)

The bluest and possibly happiest blue Cheri and I can remember is that of the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Grenada. Its own natural blueness is of course enhanced by reflecting some of the planet’s bluest skies.

Please note – the opening question isn’t just rhetorical. What’s your favorite color, and why? Let’s talk about this!

(This article is part of my series on words that are #worth1000pictures.)


What’s Your Favorite Color? — 7 Comments

  1. I am an artist. Color is my means of expression; consequently, I have familiarity with choosing and changing color to communicate feelings. Given that I have created colors by adding and subtracting light to them, I’ve had experience in finding the moods colors can express.

    From this perspective, I have to say my favorite color is orange. This in no way takes the thunder out of the beauty of other colors to me. Orange, however, expresses feelings I like to have: warmth, joy, hope, friendliness, satisfaction, openness, and fun. The walls of my home contain a palette of soft orange tones, yet when you walk in the word “orange” would never enter your consciousness. Instead you enter an environment colored like inside of a piece of cut ginger, or a sun-faded terra cotta pot, or the petals of copper purslane, depending upon which room you’re in. There are several oranges all around, but the subtle orange-ness of them calms instead of shocks the senses.

    Ironically, when I do a painting in my studio, orange is seldom a color I choose. I just realized that, and now I wonder why that is. My best guess is that the cheerful emotions I put into paintings have required yellows, whites, and light purples. Now that I am thinking about it, though, I feel motivated to go try out some orange on a canvas to see what happens.

    • Beautifully expressed, Lynne. You are an artist with words as well as with paints.

      In addition to the examples you list, I associate orange with soft sunrise (or sunset), monarch butterflies, and of course — oranges! I love oranges, along with orange glaze on a cake, orange-colored caramelized coating on baked fish, and the like. (Okay, my foodie slip is showing.)

      I do, however, have a gripe with orange: Cheri and I live in Knoxville, the heart of “Big Orange Country”, referring to the University of Tennessee (UT) Volunteers. The school colors and uniforms are orange and white; it’s a shade of orange I find particularly garish; and it’s everywhere! People here paint their roofs, houses, and fences orange. They plant orange day-lilies and marigolds. They drive orange cars.

      Applying your excellent distinctions: Here in Knoxville, the word “orange” continually forces its way into one’s consciousness. It does so in such a way as to shock, rather than calm, the senses. As much as I love orange in principle (and honestly, I do!), this environment leaves me with the feeling of being overdosed.

      Ironic that the University of Texas (also UT) also takes orange and white as its school and uniform colors. I remember a football game between our UT and the Texas UT. The orange shades were different, so one could tell the teams apart. But still disorienting!

      Thanks for the reminder of how deeply, richly, soothingly beautiful orange can truly be. I needed that. ≧◔◡◔≦

  2. I often ask myself this question. My son asks me too. But funnily I have no answer. When I was younger, a lot younger, about 9 or 10, one of my teachers had said that he loves all shades of blue. So, when I asked myself that question and couldn’t find a suitable (or any) answer, I co-opted for my teacher’s answer. I used to say, for the longest time, that I like all shades of blue. When I first met my wife and she asked me, I used that same answer. This was as recent as 2005. But the truth is, I don’t know if I have any favorite color. I have preferences for color combinations. Certain combinations are more pleasant than others.

    • Dev, what are some of the color combinations you particularly like?

      That’s interesting about “all shades of blue”. I’ve heard several other folks say the same thing. Probably I’ve said it myself. But Now I think that a more accurate statement (for me) would be “certain shades” of blue — not really all.

      Blues that are grayish in cast, or too dark or too light, don’t do much for me. The same is true of blues with a greenish tint. Ironically, my car is just such a blue! I see other, similar cars that are “true blue” (as I think of it), and wish mine were that color.

      That said, there are lots of blue shades I love, along with combinations. I probably could not specify too much: It’s an “I know it when I see it” thing.

      • Well, hmm.. how to describe the color combinations that I like. This is one area where my being a non-native English language speaker comes out as I don’t know names of all colors. No matter…
        One combination that works for me is a blue with a faded red, reddish orange. This blue isn’t the azure of the sky or a teal, but a darker blue that has a bit of gray, or charcoal mixed in with it. The other is like a burnt earth kind reddish orange. Arrghh… what are the names of these colors?
        I also like the red that is kind the color of dried blood (sorry about the macabre visual) and white. A slightly brighter red and black. In fact I have been looking for a red-black neck tie for a good 15 years! I saw our doctor wear it, back in India, in 2002-ish and have been looking for that ever since, both in India and the US. Found something close enough at JoS A Banks once, but wasn’t the same, it had a stripe of white to ruin it.
        Also like chrome yellow and black… etc. ust to give you a few examples.

        • Thanks for these details. I was able to follow you right up to “chrome yellow”. Not sure what that looks like.

          As to color names — trust me, no one knows very many color names, relative to the ones available. I get mixed up very quickly when people talk about puce and chartreuse and mauve and taupe. Don’t ask me the difference between maroon and burgundy!

          Google “HTML color names” and you’ll get long charts of shades with names like bisque and blanched almond and burlywood. (That’s just scanning down the first few lines.) The Pantone company publishes color guides with thousands upon thousands of shades, mostly with numbers instead of names — many adjacent ones being indistinguishable to my eye. A typical JPG file can have more than 16.7 million distinct colors, while other image encoding methods display many more than that!

          So let’s none of us feel bad about remembering all the names of color shades. We. Just. Can’t. No one can.

          • haha, mauve, taupe, chartreuse…. I have never heard those names but I asked my wife and she knows all these and some more.
            There is a color test you can take: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge
            I did reasonably well, or so I thought, I scored 11. But then my wife beat me to by scoring 7. Since then she has decreed that I should have no say in picking colors of fabrics and furniture in the house…
            A chrome yellow is well, a bright yellow with ever so slight orange-ish tinge. It’s unlike a lemon yellow which is also bright but has no orange-ish tinge, or an ochre yellow which is like dried hay/straw yellow.

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