Tuesday, March 25, 2014

RED IS MY LANGUAGE: Partly because I speak heart

RED IS MY  LANGUAGE (art by Hallelujah Truth)
RED. Recently this color has become my language. I speak HEART, and RED expresses my nouns, verbs, and objects so very well for me.

In my box of watercolor pencils, my beloved tools, I possess many REDS! Their names dance along their sides singing to me like studious German women visiting Paris cabarets. Here are a few to illustrate:

Karmin Rosa
Kamiumrot Mittel

To begin a drawing, I often pick out a more subtle red to stroke out the draft, to caress an image into being. She might be called Venentian or Indian Red. Or I might invite Sanguine.  Perhaps their cousins may be summoned like Terracotta or Burnt Ochre. Whoever assists me at this stage melts away with water and becomes something more or less as other colors join us. 

If you haven't dabbled in the pages of Color: A Natural History of the Palette, you might enjoy learning about their histories. The chapter on RED that discusses in detail the use of the female cochineal beetle for obtaining a vibrant RED (that is even used in Cherry Coke), also gives broad, general meaning of RED

"For many cultures red is both death and life--a beautiful and terrible paradox. In our modern language or metaphors, red is anger, it is fire, it is stormy feelings of the heart, it is love, it is the god of war, and it is power. These are concepts that the ancient color coders understood very well. In Comanche the same word--ekapi--is used for color, circle, and red. Which suggests that in that Native American culture at least it was seen as something fundamental, encompassing everything."
I SPEAK HEART! (art by Hallelujah Truth, from this blog entry)

Yes, ekapi! COLOR. CIRCLE. RED. Yes! RED is more than my language. It is who I am and it is the realm I inhabit.

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me about your favorite color and why that is so!

Acknowledgment: Thanks go to Jes Gordon for writing the first Monday Funday blog prompt for the Facebook Group, The Daily Creative Practice. Consider joining our group and participating in our Monday Fundays.


  1. Thank you for sharing about the origins of your process. I now look at your works with new appreciation. I relate very strongly to the concept of color in relation to circle. How exciting to know that this is fundamental to certain native cultures. I wonder how this might be embedded in other ancient cultures such as the celts?

    1. Dear Carol I would find it so interesting if you could explore red in the celt culture and share what you find!

  2. I love it: Studious German women visiting Paris cabarets.

  3. I love that you have given your various red pencils feminine names and characteristics..they depict your feminine self so well...I feel the color red shows your character persona so very well...at least as I perceive it virtually..

    "Red: The color of strength, health, and vitality, Red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive..".These are all such positive descriptions of a well rounded artist and are all tempered with the colors surrounding your images...greens and blues..yellows and pinks...

    "... red is anger, it is fire, it is stormy feelings of the heart, it is love, it is the god of war, and it is power." I can see these words for you also...powerful, positive, emotional words that become apparent in your art...

    Then you throw in another meaning for red... "In Comanche the same word--ekapi--is used for color, circle, and red." These also are such good words for you Ruth...and I feel honored to know you and share your ' red circle'...

    Now I need to purchase the book to learn more about the origins of color..

    1. I appreciate your very positive feedback Darlene. There is always something so warm about having another choose one's words and phrases and repeat them back. Thank you.

  4. I admit - I ordered the book after reading this post - I loved reading about the origin and background of the color red. In reading these posts about color it make me realize the color you use should be very conscious decisions. I love red too - and thinking back - when I use red as a dominant color in paintings, i paint more passionately. Thanks for opening my eyes to effects of different colors

    1. Vickie! I am so glad you got the book on history of color. We will have to get together for coffee and have a good chat!