What do mango eating cows and turquoise have in common?

Myth and Stone rainbow of stones blog post   

 Have you ever come across a color (in a sunset, a flower, a work of art) that really drew you in? I sometimes find that perfect hue in just the right moment; my eyes drinking in the beauty and filling my spirit. This happened with a sapphire I picked up recently, it literally made me gasp and I knew it was mine. 

I’m not sure if it’s just the artist in me but I’ve been pondering this rainbow palette that is our reality. My recent trip to India offered such a rich visual feast at every glance. Buildings were painted with ornate patterns made from gem or vegetable pigments, men and women alike adorned in hot pinks, reds, lavender. Here in New Orleans we just had Mardi Gras…floats, beads, costumes, vibrant shades painting the whole town. 

And then I went to the Tucson gem show where it is possible to find every pantone color captured in gemstone form. Maybe this is part of my love of stones–just as a painter chooses her paints I can tell the right (color) story with a tourmaline or an opal. And to think they formed in the darkness of the earth in such vivid tones–nature is amazing.

While I most often reach for coral, rose, blush, orchid, cerulean–I also find it fascinating how and why our tastes change over time. More recently I’ve allowed in mints, limes, and even tangerine. I used to sell jewelry to a woman with a shop in Tokyo whose main focus was color therapy–chromotherapy. She could determine what colors you might need more of in your life–it’s possible my jewelry was sold as remedies! I think she once told me I needed more yellow. (I still haven’t listened)

What colors are you loving lately?  Have you noticed how color affects your mood or how your tastes have changed over time? If you love this topic as much as I do I will leave you with a couple resources…a book Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay (in which you’ll learn “Indian yellow” may have been made from the urine of mango eating cows!) and one of my all time fave podcasts from Radiolab called Colors in which you find out which animal can see the most variety of shades of any animal. 

PS If you hadn’t put it together on what mango eating cows and turquoise have in common, they have both been used to make pigments! Well cow pee at least. Also the cochineal beetle….it’s all in the book!

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