Red…. It conjures up so many things.

Today I’m “Seeing Red” because I’m pretty dang unhappy about the Orphan Works bill that was unanimously passed by the Senate and is now flowing through the house… I’ve discussed this before and since this blog is about the color red, I’ll refrain from hopping back on the soap box — but if you want a refresher, here is a great site to see what is going on:  ORPHAN WORKS INFO

If you have kids in your life, you may be familiar with Clifford the Big Red Dog
Ever see a red dog?  I think Clifford is red so he is easy for kids to find in the story books and tv show.

And what do you do at a red light?  STOP

Red… if you realize it or not, connects to certain emotions or reactions in your brain.
(These can vary by culture of course — assume we are talking American Color Psycholoy)

RED IS… exciting, high energy, provocative, stimulating, sexy

Red grabs attention — for better or for worse.  As a caution for safety or or a symbol of questionable morality.

©MGM Studios, Gone With the Wind

Looking at one of my favorite movie heroines — why do you think Rhett Butler made Scarlett O’Hara wear the red dress to Melanie’s party after she was the cause of dear Ashley’s misfortune? So she would stand out and no one could miss her of course!

The Police sang about the color red in the song “Roxanne” — remember?
you don’t have to put on the red light
those days are over

you don’t have to sell you body to the night

Ever heard of the the book “The Scarlet Letter”?  Yup! Scarlet is red and it’s a warning to beware of the woman with loose morals.

Statistically, what color car gets pulled over for speeding more than any other?  You guessed it –Red.  Maybe people who buy red cars like to drive faster or maybe they are just easier to see!

Want to stand out at a cocktail party?  Wear red.  You will probably be one of the few bits of color in a sea of black.

So how do you use this information to your advantage as an artist?

Playing with color allows you to direct a person’s eye — add using red for whatever you want to stand out the most — be it a dog, a shirt or a shoe — is a great way to make the viewer take notice.

Which shoes do you notice first?  It is 2 of the same thing… but I’m guessing you saw the red shoes first.

Our brain gets so much input that it finds ways to sort and prioritize, and we are trained to take notice of the color red first and foremost.

Enough said for now — go forth and “Paint the Town Red”!

~ Tara