The color wheel is an exceptional find because it expresses the vast span of beauty inherent in nature while concentrating the effect in a precise circle that perfectly relates each color to one another. I enjoy the simple artistry expressed in the color wheel itself though it is pretty ordinary at first glance. But when I was younger, I grew to appreciate that vast array of colors by using a prism against the light of the sun and seeing the entire spectrum of colors dance merrily on the walls. I was elated to be able to beckon it anytime I wanted to see it. Such great power in such a non-descript package! I have decided that prisms and color wheels should be given to children as early as possible as soon as they are old enough to know not to try to swallow them!
No, it is not my desire to make an entire generation of interior designers. But, it has occurred to me that there might be something to the simple structure of the color wheel that relays the foundation of relationships not only to the colors, but to people as well. For instance, you cannot have the color green if you do not understand its relationship to the colors blue and yellow. You see, without blue and yellow, you could not have green. Further, green would not be so green if you could not readily see that it was not purple or red or pink. The identity that green lays claim to is enhanced by the knowledge of the identity of other colors even beyond the simple recognition of the colors of which it is made. After all, it is just as good for yellow to be recognized apart from green as it is any other color, even while being a large part of green itself.
White sparks my curiosity since it is equated with purity but does not appear to be comprised of any other colors. I guess the impression of being unencumbered by ‘other’ colors would make it seem logical to conclude that the absence of all colors is where white derives it’s association with purity. Yet, it is from a clear white prism that reveals the presence of the full spectrum of colors. Obviously, it contains much more than appears to the naked eye. Black, though really associated with darkness, can actually be a conglomeration of all color. Look at a kid’s palette at the end of playtime and the whole thing looks black because of the mixing of all of the colors, too. They are both a paradox to me.
Something else that I find unique about a color wheel is that it recognizes opposites as complements. This is very counterintuitive to modern thought. Just as colors opposite each other on the color wheel become complimentary, those that lie next to each other are called analogous. Yet, both types work in harmony to support and bring out the best in the others whether they are ‘standing’ side by side or completely across on the opposite side of the wheel.
Of course, in life, you would not even dream of asking your opposites to promote your best characteristics nor would you expect that they would do it willingly. And, it is hardly even feasible to make that request of people who you might expect to stand by you because they are friends. Yet, this happens naturally on the color wheel.
If only people could become more like color wheels.