Orange you trendy

Orange was first recorded as a colour in English in 1512. It is named after the fruit and is the most under-valued and rejected colour on the colour chart. Some people find orange superficial if not overbearing.

Andy Goldworthy

Like many people, I’m sure, I personally associate orange with Autumn and the gradual changing of leaves from amber to burnt orange, reddish purple and russet brown, marking the end of the summer. There is nothing more inviting and mesmerizing than this recurring colourful spectacle come September. Another natural association is the sun setting when the sky turns into dramatic and beautiful shades of golden oranges and copper reds. Finally, the soothing and comforting glow of embers and flickering flames of a fire in the middle of winter.
Orange is one of my favorite colours as I find it uplifting and warm both as a colour to wear and as a colour to live with.

Pale: Buff, almond, peach, apricot, salmon, melon, pastel orange

Art reference: Alphonse Mucha, F. Chamenois, France 1898; Pablo Picasso, Les demoiselles d’Avignon*, 1906.

Moderate: Amber, tangerine, carrot orange, coral, saffron, fawn, pumpkin, ginger, tan, Bronze, cinnamon

Art reference: Edward Hopper, Pennsylvania coal town, 1947.

Dark: Rust, mahogany, burnt sienna, sinopia, burnt orange, ochre, Persian orange, copper, terracotta

Georgia O’Keefe, Canna, red and orange, 1922

In the world of interiors

The Victorian palette was dominated by warm strong colours such as terracotta and ochre. Three-part colour schemes were favored for wall treatment: the colour from the floor to the dado rail could be fawn, then from the dado rail to the picture rail, ochre and from the picture rail to the coving, buff. This popular treatment would add richness and drama to the room.

During the 1960s vibrant colours were much in vogue and particularly orange, which was seen as a fun colour.The Finnish furniture maker and designer Eero Aarnio exemplified the style of that era the best with his Ball armchair *(1963).

Recommended paint shades: ‘Charlotte’s Locks’ by Farrow & Ball for a daring orange and ‘Ballet Shoe’ by Earthborn for a gentle shade.

Out there now

• Scottish fashion designer Jonathan Saunders’ spring 2011 and 2012 collection• Irish candle maker Larry Kinsella’s crakle glaze and glow-globe candles
• The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, an art deco building painted in international orange.

In the natural world

The following plants contain natural dyes that will give various shades of orange:
Henna: the leaves of this small tree which grows in hot and dry areas of the Middle East and North Africa have been used as a dye substance for centuries. Madder: A plant native to Asia and Eastern Mediterranean countries which can produce colours ranging from apricot to dark red. Onion skins as well as sycamore seeds will give rusty shades and subtle skin colour.

The earth pigment ochre is the oldest known natural pigment. It can be found in the Provencal village of Roussillon in the South of France. It comes in about 25 shades ranging from delicate yellow to bright orange and deep red and has been used as a paint or dye material since prehistoric times. The Romans produced pottery glazes with ochre. Ochre can also be found elsewhere: The Aborigines as well as the Maori use it for their artwork, body decoration and mixed with oil it can be used as a sealant for wooden boats.

A type of Polynesian fish iihi, close to the red mullet is of a luminous orange shade.

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