Color Nerd Musings

Color Nerd Musings

As has already been established, I can get really nerdy when it comes to color theory. Depending on what mood I’m in, I can also get very witchy when it comes to color. Color Theory and Perception is both art and science. It is something that I have studied and experimented in for many many years, and in my color journey I am constantly running into phenomenons that feel like a surprising and unexplainable trick of physics and perception, and a little bit of magic.

I learn something new every time I mix colors together. My eyes play tricks on me. The art of it feels completely boundless and connected and visually stunning and process-oriented. When mixing color, all roads lead back to the this truth: Anything and everything is possible. I mix intention deeply into my color concoctions because the act of it feels like prayer itself. This feels like Witchcraft.

I remember being a kid and watching the show of color and lights like fireworks behind my eyelids as I tried to fall asleep at night. It would keep me up for hours and I wondered how I was supposed to sleep with such a great show going on. I remember learning about the color wheel in beauty school, and how opposing colors, called complimentary colors, balance each other out.

We were tasked to memorize and understand how to determine which colors were complimentary, and I remember thinking easy! When I look at a color, and close my eyes, its complimentary color is the first color to flash behind my eyelids, clear and bright as the sun. I never had to use the color wheel, really. The knowledge was so intuitive. This knowledge felt like a special power. A super human power. Color vision.

Some of us may have the color vision genes of a bumblebee and see a million shades where another person might just see one. Color is intangible, visual, relative, limitless, ever-changing.


Color Theory with Color Warlock and Fine Art Landscape Painter Dave McGranaghan

 

A few weeks back, ( a particularly gray week ) I walked down to Greenlake with Jonny and the kids. It was a Sunday afternoon, and the sun was breaking through diffused clouds, sending sideways golden early-evening light across the gray-green lake.

As we walked the path around the lake, we stopped to watch a man paint on an easel. I had seen him many times before on walks at the lake, always stopping to admire his work.

I loved how his paintings really capture the color and light of this lake I grew up at. I have seen many painters paint this lake, but his paintings do it the most justice. As I studied his paintings a bit deeper, I marveled at his use of color was so surprising in capturing a scene that is truly green and surrounded by lush greenery all year long.

How was it possible that he used so much yellow and purple and pink and orange to communicate something so green?

His name was David McGranaghan, It turns out. And he is true warlock of color.

As my kids jumped in a pile of sand and Jonny scoped out the gender non-binary brass band playing Madonna songs to a crowd of walkers down the way, I got my mind blown on color theory by this warlock.

 

My brain is as pregnant as my body, so please forgive me for not explaining these lessons in great detail myself……Take these words directly from the artist!  (You may need to be a fellow color nerd to understand the following lessons…….But maybe not. Read on and see what you can learn.)

I will put it simply: First off, the RGB/CMY Color Wheel is the truth, more accurate than the standard Red/Yellow/ Blue primary wheel. Most of us learn the standard R/Y/B but it is only because that standard was made before there was near as much understanding of color as there is today. So shift your color perception 30% if you learned the old standard.

Still with me?


Purple/ Green Mystery

This one has always confused and dazzled me. Why do I sometimes look at the color green and see purple? What is this Witchcraft? Am I colorblind or just so over-color-saturated in my vision that colors start to become each other?

David explains it here. Blew my damn mind to know that there is a explanation for this miracle.

Mind blown yet?

Magenta Mystery

Lastly, magenta. Still largely unsolved. David says the reason I haven’t succeeded in mixing it from primary colors is because (as we just learned) it is itself a primary color. So it’s impossible to mix out of other colors. It is a holy grail color, a Klondike color, a color we can try our whole lives to achieve but never quite reach it.

I believe you David. That by the rules of the modern color wheel, it is impossible to mix magenta.  But, as I have recognized is a fundamental trait of my personality and soul, I cannot accept that as final answer. Because I love magenta and I want to conquer it and I cling to my belief because I want to keep believing that when it comes to color, anything is possible. I will continue to try until I crack the code. And my guess is that the answer lies in some magical rule of perception mixed with a little bit of red, a little blue, a little yellow, a little mystery, and a little witchcraft.

Click over for more lessons from David here, and if you are looking to adorn your home with fine art and support local artists,  buy a painting to illuminate your space. He is a true master.

My lessons with David inspired me to go home and paint hair in layers and layers of different colors.


Environmentally Responsive Hair Color

 

On another color nerd note- Yep. You heard me right. Hair Color that changes with temperature is now a thing, and it is science, art and witchcraft. Stumbled upon this shortly after my color theory lesson. My mind Is blown again. Read on through this link and see videos of the miracle in action. It is called ‘Fire’ and created by The Unseen Alchemist Laura Bouker.

Inspired by occult glamour – a spell cast on somebody to make them see something the spell-caster wishes them to see, T H E U N S E E N have developed the world’s first colour changing hair dye. The F I R E dye is responsive to you and your environment by changing colour to passing temperature fluctuations. Available in multiple colour ranges from bright red to subtle pastels, launching at London Fashion Week in collaboration with Storm Models. The application of the dye is currently semi-permanent lasting over a few washes and the brand are currently looking for commercial partners to help take the innovation to market.


This concludes my monthly musings on color. Oh wait! One more thing. Visited my Grandma Suzi and took this picture that illustrates her eternally pink and green life. 

Sending out love and hope for the true colors to shine in all of us.

xo, HTHG

Free Your Hair Horoscope: Pisces!

coverFriends old and new, thanks for visiting us today for the 3nd edition of the Free Your Hair HOROSCOPE honoring the Pisces.

I offer this series to all as an ever-changing and morphing guide for Hair-Centered Radical Self Care, Ritual and Beauty in honor and tribute to each sign as they enter into their place in the Sun Rotation.

With this Hairoscope, we hope to inspire each sign of the zodiac to take some extra time on their birthday month to really love on and care for themselves. Every month, we will pull a card to share from The Moon Deck to inspire your monthly self-care ritual. With the sage advice of The Moon Deck, we will adapt our monthly mantras to bless and honor our own hair. We invite you to share these monthly Hairoscopes with your friends who are of that month’s astrological sign and help them take some time for self love!


For this series, I worked with artist Madison McClain to create our women of the horoscope, and with intuitive writer and healer Aarona Ganesan, co-creator of The Moon Deck, which is the Tarot Deck I use daily to inspire my own personal self-care rituals.

This month, we honor the Pisces

Moon Deck Ritual:

(Words and Rituals adapted from the Moon Deck Guidebook, changed slightly to speak specifically to our hair.)

Hair Brush Mantra:

We are often more resourceful than we think with abundant support all around us. No matter how big or small, it is empowering to have a circle of like-minded people in our life who are supportive, loving, and active in the world.

Whether you have a strong community of you are craving community, this card has appeared to connect you to the power of your community and your ability to call it in.

‘My Community is supportive, loving, and active in the world ‘


Take 5 minutes today to brush this mantra into your hair, repeating it to yourself with every stroke. Be in a comfortable, calm place without distraction. Close your eyes and breath, centering your body as you brush. If you are not a regular hair brusher, here is why we think you should try it, and here is where to get yourself a beautiful hair brush to work into your hair care ritual. If you are more of the combing type, consider a wooden wide toothed comb or your own fingers for a relaxing scalp massage.

Braid Circle

This is a wonderful way to call your community together for an evening of self care and intention setting. It will bring you all closer and help everyone feel more supported in life.

 

-Invite several friends over for an evening of braiding and brushing each other’s hair. 

-Ask everyone to bring their favorite brush or comb, hair oils and essential oils. 

-Brew some tea or prepare drink fixings. Ask friends to bring snacks.

-Prepare a good playlist

-Spread a blanket out on the floor, and throw some pillows around for easy lounging. Light candles, and consider smudging the room with sage or incense to prepare a fresh space and banish any stagnant energy from the space.

-Once everyone is comfortably gathered on the floor with tea and snacks, take a quiet moment to ask everyone to set an intention for the evening. Folks can share if they want, or keep it to themselves.

-Spend several hours brushing, braiding and styling each other’s hair. See where the night takes you. Be open to conversations getting deeper as your build trust by the loving touch of your community on your crown. 

Optional:

*Use this opportunity to choose a few topics to discuss, and plan some ways to take action together to better your community.

* When you are all done brushing, gather all the fallen hair from each brush, roll them into a ball and take it outside. Take a candle flame to it. Reflect on what you are ready to let go of in life. These hairs can represent what you are collectively ready to leave behind. Watch it burn. Make it so.

 

Hair Advice:

Pisces, you certainly do know how to slip between worlds and access dimensions that many of us don’t even know exist. This is why other’s call you sensitive. I choose to reframe it as a vastly endless and beautiful palate of color that paints the world that you live in, when most of us are stuck in ROYGBIV life. You are receptive to everything. You let it all in, and my advice to you this month is to remember the importance of building your armor to protect yourself when you need to. There is so much happening in the world, and it is very important that you stay on your center point, so maintain strength and perspective. This month, braid your hair. Imagine that you are integrating your own strength with the protection of the universe and the armor of your community to hold you. You are safe, you are loved, you are strong.

Moon Phases in Pisces:

The New Moon and Full Moon are the most potent times for setting new intentions for healthy habits and relationships and creating rituals that are potent in their action. I highly recommend this months Braid Circle be done around both the 25-26th of February  to observe the New Moon, setting an intention of what you are ready to let go of in your life/in your hair/in your relationship to yourself in physical and spiritual form, and around March 12-13th to observe the Full Moon, setting intention for what you are ready to bring in to your life. What do you want to manifest? Now is the time.

And how do you set an intention? for those who haven’t practiced it……Speak a little prayer to yourself. Honor it with the ritual of calling your community together for an evening. Hold the prayer in your heart as you practice self love. Make it so!

Please check out The Moon Deck for more musings. Pisces babes, may we suggest you get your own deck as a birthday gift to yourself and make a vow to love yourself and your hair more in this coming year.

What would you like to see woven into our monthly Hairoscope? I would love to hear your feedback! We are excited to watch this series grow and change with your input.

xo, HTHG and The Moon Deck

 

 

Braids: The Way to Freedom

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

I want to share this incredible braid story and important piece of history, passed to me from my dear friend Sarah Rotterman.

San Basilio de Palenque is the first village freed from slavery in the Americas.  Deep in the jungle it’s located in Bolivar, a northern department in the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

The way to freedom for these slaves was woven in a very particular manner: On their hair, through braids.

The braids were a way of communication between women. As they were not so monitored, they could sneak along the paths and spy on their masters. They could see the landscape, rivers, mountains and the stationed troops of the Spanish army. They wove in their hair what they saw and created maps illustrating the traveled paths.Photo Jose Alberto Mojico

In this way the slaves, led by Benkos Biohó, planned the escape, armed with what would be a compass of hair.

In their tangled hair, women also hid small pieces of gold and seeds that they could later grow in their free villages. This way they guaranteed future food security for the community.

The braids had two points: the starting one that indicated the way out and the other one was the escape route.

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

They’ve been giving names to the hairstyles ever since, some of them are:

“Separate braids” that symbolize the freedom, those that are separated from each other.

“Balay” or “The Edge” is the braid that was used to twist the edges of the baskets for cleaning rice, corn and other grains.

“Puerca Paria” or “Farrow Sow” – The meaning is fertility,  both on the ground and in the belly of a woman.

Photos Camilo Alzate González / Rodrigo Grajéales via Altair Magazine

“The Mesh” indicated that an escape was already planned.

“The hearts” was the sign of respect and love of the woman to her beloved who was absent and the comb was a song of waiting for his return.

The braids for the Palenqueras have been a symbol of resistance, union, freedom and reaffirmation of their origin.

Photo Cristina de la Concha. IG @cristinadelaconcha

Deepest thank you to Sarah Rotterman who compiled and translated this story :

Sources:

http://blogs.elespectador.com/actualidad/cattagena/palenque-y-la-eterna-resistencia

http://www.eltiempo.com/archivo/documento/CMS-10180608

Free Your Hair.

xo, HTHG

 

 

 

Valentine’s Hair Special

Hi babes. In honor of a day to celebrate love, here are two hairstyles to rock and profess your love to yourself and your hair.

The first one is called Flying Hearts, and the second one is called Nameless Braids.

I made small simple videos to show how they are done. Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!

 

xo, HTHG

Radical Love and Braids.

I firmly believe that love is the most radical act there is. As I braided these 3 friends hair together, I reflected love and hearts:

We are all weaving this web together. Threads of love are the strongest.

With love we can honor our own experiences and hold space for the experiences of others, moving forward as individuals who are indivisibly linked together by this land and this moment in time.

Planting seeds and tending plants is a radical and simple expression of love. 

Flowers want to be picked because it helps them multiply and spread their seed. This is revolutionary for those of us who are flower pickers and live with guilt and shame over it. Thankful for friends who remind us of these simple truths.

It is time for those who know how to speak to learn listen with open hearts, and those who know how to listen to learn to speak with open hearts.

Happy Valentines Day.

Love, HTHG

 

 

 

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