Red is the featured color in this week’s Exploring Rainbows course for the Renaissance Institute, Notre Dame University of Maryland. We’re immersing ourselves in the color red - exploring how it is used in art, advertising, language, songs, fragrances and flavors, sports, superheroes, cartoons and characters, legend and lore and more! How fortuitous that both Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day fall in this week’s calendar! Join us if you’d like and make red your focus for the week.
Put on your rose colored glasses and consider looking at the world in a different perspective this week. In our rainbow course, Exploring Rainbows, I've encouraged the class participants to seek out red.
Red is the color of extremes. It stimulates, excites and inspires action. It is associated with love and joy, passion, sex, anger and rage. Spending some time to learn more about the color can unfold in a variety of ways. I'm calling their homework "Homeplay". There are a number of ways to play. Join us!
1. The first is by simply being observant. Look for red in advertising logos, clothes, foods, in movies and television, internet posts, sports teams. Notice super heroes, cartoons and mascots dressed in red. Listen for references to the color red in songs and in phrases and quotes. Look for references to red in other cultures, fairy tales and fables, religious and spiritual association. Be aware of how red is used in art - fine art, crafts, mandalas, mosaics, stained glass.
2. The next level of participation is becoming actively involved. Put on your favorite red sweater and the ruby ring tucked in the back of the dresser drawer that you haven't thought about for ages. Go to a restaurant (check to see if they are open and practice safe distancing) with a red interior - you can find one by doing a google search on 'restaurants, red and the name of your town'. Order red foods and look around the restaurant for shades of red.
You can go to a museum or gallery website, purposefully looking for red in paintings, collages and sculptures. When was red used? Was red used more often in certain time periods? Not at all in others? Why? Do certain artists use it more than others? Visit sites or blogs featuring light shows, festivals and fairs, seeking out the color. Are you more likely to find red associate with certain cultures? What are they? Do more research and discover how they view red, currently and historically.
3. Another way to play with red is to become immersed by creating something red! Get out the paints, yarn, or fabric. Gather foods in various shades of red, then play with the fragrances and flavors of red. While you're cooking and creating, play songs with red in the title. Explore a catalogue to plan for your garden this spring and see how many flowers and plants (many plants have red in the leaves) in different shades of red.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!