Amazing Book: Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
October 9, 2012 by Christine Scaman
From the biology of seeing,
to colour theory,
to colour analyzed palettes that are correct,
to draping decisions on human beings,
to the success of an appearance on a given natural colouring type,
is a sacred chain that can’t be broken.
To simply look at a face and decide we know the colours in it requires great caution.
Would someone with much experience never get surprises? The opposite, from what I’ve seen.
This book is unbelievable. My heart rate accelerated when I began looking inside.
I bought it because I’m working on the Training Course for colour analysts. I needed more understanding of the mechanics and physiology of sight to explain how our visual system is comparison based.
The laws that govern colour analysis must be founded on the physics of light and the biology of sight. Deciding to change them up a little isn’t engineered to succeed. We’ve learned to survive in the world based on those laws so it’s how colour speaks to us. And more importantly, whether in Nature, the 12 Tone palettes, or a person who looks complete, everything about colours is about the relationships between the colours. Therein lie the mystery, the theory, the history, and the truth.
Simultaneous contrast, or the effect of one colour on its neighbours is the basis of personal colour analysis. That’s how the colours that harmonize with those already present in you are found so you can buy and wear more of them – it begins at the cellular level, the level of the single photoreceptor in the retina. And like many of Nature’s patterns and geometries, this then repeats on increasingly larger scales because it is so effective, sustainable, and conservative of resources, all the things Nature cares about.
If you’re someone who collects data from light, like a personal colour analyst, you have to work within the bricks and mortar of the structure Nature built. To see what an artist saw, you have to look at the painting under exactly the same lighting conditions because every little thing around it affects colour. We only get to imagine that we know it for a moment.
The last chapter is explains how the brain can get cross-wired – why some people are born so ‘musicially gifted’, the basis of synesthesia, and whether we feel colour.
Well, of course we feel colour. That’s why it can bring us to tears. Colour analysts see people feeling colour every day. A woman whose right colour, whose own colour, descends around her like a mantle, and her expression softens, she feels calm, she smiles and doesn’t know why. Well the analyst knows why. If love is divinity, and it is, this is a moment of sharing and openness we can only reach with those we love. It is a moment in the analysis that we hold very dear.
Expect zero fashion advice.
Get it while the gettin’s good.