Color’s illusions…

August 13, 2018


Ancient European 9, circa 12th century illustrates the illusion of transparence when color mixture leads to a loss of opacity so that it appears transparent or translucent. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.


Greek 10 shows that transparent illusions occur as color gains light only in direct color.


Roman 11 illustrates color boundaries and plastic action, a space-illusion employed by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

lucky spirit

Lucky Spirit design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018. Notecard

This summer I have decided to take a break and play with color using Josef Albers Interaction with Color. Though I am not using colored papers, as he recommended, I am exploring his exercises, and in the coming weeks I will share some results.


Rosehip design by Meredith Eliassen, 2018.

Even in comparing these to designs employing the same colors, the colors show that they have different interactions.

British politician and orator William Gladstone (1809-1898) studied The Iliad and The Odyssey by the Greek writer Homer who was active during the eighth century BC, and came to the conclusion that Homer must have been colorblind. However more recently, scholars have come to believe that color perception must be evolving and that perhaps, the world saw in black and white until a human consciousness reached for the perception of additional colors over many generations; that our ancestors could see first black and white, followed by red, yellow, green and then blue.


Consider “boo” for blue… is the sky blue? Alma responds, “Blue, eh no, white, um no blue…” Design by Meredith, 2016.

My friend Ella turned me on to this program by Radio Lab…

Radio Lab: Why Isn’t the Sky Blue? Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

The program asserted that colors entered the human consciousness as they were manufactured, and the earliest manufactured blue pigment was created in ancient Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Beads

Some ancient beads from Egypt.