Green: when Irish eyes are smiling

“He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament, and in nations is said to denote a laxity, if not a decadence of morals.” — Oscar Wilde

IACW - TomFor me certain colors hold associations with people I love and the color green, reminds me most of my husband. From the first time he asked me out in army green cargos and matching T-shirt, to St. Patrick’s Day in 2007 when we tied the knot. It is the color of the rural area of Virginia where he grew up, the mountains he loves, and the color of his alma mater William & Mary.

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Green is the second most visible color in the world next to blue and it is no wonder that the origins of the word comes from the Germanic words for “grass” and “grow”. It evokes the concepts of nature, health, organic, recycling, and political parties. Funny, that describes my mother in law too, another lover of the color.

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The various shades of green can be found in flora and fauna, rocks and minerals like emerald, jade, turquoise, oxidized copper, and malachite, and an array of man made materials.

As a portrait photographer I’d be remiss to not mention eyes, the range of green eye colors is complex and breathtaking.

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Ancient pigments of green have been found to have been browner than green and used in clothing, paintings depicting nature, and in hieroglyphics of the Egyptian god of the underworld, Osiris. (source: Wikipedia)

Green is a secondary color created by combining the primary colors of yellow and blue. For wall paintings, ancient civilizations used Malachite to create the pigments or more cheaply by mixing azurite(blue) and yellow ochre. To dye fabrics they used saffron for yellow first and then added blue dye from the woad plant. Although it was not cheap, the process was not as expensive as the reds and purples, thus was used by the middle class in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.(source: Wikipedia)

Green is connected to many religions and cultures throughout the world as well. I’m specifically partial to the connection between the color and the celebration of the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s day, which is a rather American tradition of the holiday, but originates from the country’s flag and also has roots in the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants.

In addition to the feelings of nostalgia that it holds for some, the color has physical effects on a body. “Your pituitary gland is stimulated. Your muscles are more relaxed, and your blood histamine levels increase, which leads to a decrease in allergy symptoms and dilated blood vessels, aiding in smoother muscle contractions. In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and – a bit paradoxically – invigorating. It’s been shown to improve reading ability and creativity.” (source: Sensational Color)

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There’s nothing better than visiting the hills of the Galilee in the spring, seeing them covered in fresh grass and clover, and finding a moment to relax (and energize!).

How does green make you feel? What color says the most to you? Let us know!



2 thoughts on “Green: when Irish eyes are smiling

  1. So what I really appreciate about this assignment is the fact that it has made me aware of all the textures in which green comes. At first I only saw leaves and grass, but the closer I look I notice the different textures of the natural objects. I hope to capture some of this in my photos this week.

    Liked by 1 person

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