I am a certified color junkie. Ever since I can remember colors were never bright enough for me. There were never enough in my environment to satisfy me. The world was boring and I’ve always wanted more. It’s why you just don’t see muted pastels in my art (or maybe you do). I use the brightest and most vibrant colors I can find and mix, but you may not see all of them. And now there may be a scientific explanation for my extreme color cravings. An unknown number of women may perceive millions of colors invisible to the rest of us. These women have four cones in their eye for detecting colors. The vast majority of people only have three. I am not a scientist, so I will just post a link (some text in this blog is referenced from this article):
Scientists have dubbed these people tetrachromats. An average human can perceive a million different colors. But the tetrachromats see a hundred million colors, with each familiar hue fracturing into a hundred more subtle shades for which there are no names, no paint swatches. Dr. Gabriele Jordan is one scientist who has been studying this phenomenon for years. She estimates tetrachromats make up as many as 12 percent of women, but only a small percentage of these women actually use that fourth cone.
It is suspected that the natural world may not have enough variation in color for the brain to learn to use a fourth cone in those who have them. Tetrachromats might never need to draw on their full capacity. They may be trapped in a world tailored to those with three cones. Perhaps if these women regularly visited a lab where they had to learn to tell extremely subtle shades apart, they would awaken in themselves the latent abilities of their fourth cone. Then they could begin to see things they had never tried to see before, a kaleidoscope of colors beyond our imagining.
A lab or my studio?
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