Purple Rain, Purple Rain… that’s the tune in my head right now. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s Prince’s Purple Rain. I can picture him in his purple velvet jacket. And then there’s The Colour Purple novel by Alice Walker made into a hollywood feature film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. And of course, who could forget Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix.
Purple was the colour of the sixties; the age of Aquarius. Remember “Hair”? Loved it. It is the term used for all shades between red and blue and when you mix the primary colours, red and blue you get purple. It is considered a secondary or complementary colour on the colour wheel. According to Johannes Itten “violet is the colour of the unconscious – mysterious, impressive, and sometimes oppressive, now menacing , now encouraging, according to contrast”. And “a light of this kind, cast upon a landscape,” says Goethe, “suggests the terrors of the end of the world.” Remember the last real thunderstorm you witnessed? Yeh, real scary.
Purple is associated with royalty and nobility (stemming from classical antiquity when Tyrian Purple was only affordable to the elites). Common connotations suggest royalty, imperialism, nobility, Easter, Mardi Gras, upper class, poison, friendship, sharing, wisdom, homosexuality and sympathy. It is also considered to be a very spiritual colour and is a colour used to describe gifted and intuitive children, as in Indigo Children. Pantone has selected the color Blue Iris (PANTONE 18-3943) as the 2008 Color of the Year telling us: “Combining the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple, Blue Iris satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement.”
In Feng Shui the colour purple should be used sparingly and only as an accent colour in the centre of your home and west area. Use redder purples for a warmer colour scheme or bluer purples to cool down.
Where do you use purple? Send in your pictures and I’ll post them at the end of the week.