Color Illusiveness- A contest with prizes

gallery 2 August 2012 ASV

Beginning our first year of owning the Cyrus Allen Building and converting it into the gallery Art Space Vincennes LLC, we have been thinking that nothing needed to be done to the the gallery spaces, except to add lighting. This was completed last fall. Since then our gallery spaces have been used as storage space until we readied our studios. This gave us additional time to think about the gallery spaces for the entire year. This last week we have made some big decisions, which we will not disclose, yet!

But I thought I would blog about some interesting phenomena about color and see how many people out there, artists or not, might know about color like many artists do. As many of you might have experienced, paint often lightens or darkens as it dries. That’s almost common knowledge. Rarely is it the same color that an artist or a contractor thinks it is when he paints it. Anticipation and disappointments are common challenges of the artist.

There are other problems working with color: Amy and I deliberated at length about the color, looking at the samples in our new artificial lights, natural light on both the sunny and shady sides of the building, during both cloudy and sunny days. We narrowed them down to five or six colors, considering how effectively they would show off the art, the Greek Revival style of the building, and the other architectural surroundings. That however is not all!

Applying the paint to the ocean grayish green walls threw us for a loop! As we covered the green, seeing the color next to the green made the color we chose seem pinkish, violet or magenta. Sometimes it even looked green, depending on the angle from which we viewed it and the type of light illuminating the room. Most of the time we could not distinguish between the new paint and the old paint, discovering many missed spots, even after knowing missed spots existed and trying hard to avoid them.

From the information that I have given above, can you answer any of these following questions?

1. What color is the new color?

2. What phenomenon caused our eyes to see the new color as completely different colors, from what we chose?

Why, when the new color plainly seemed reddish and the old color was green, could I have trouble distinguishing between the two colors right before my eyes?

If you are the first person to email us with the correct answer to all three questions by 12:00 noon on Friday, August 9, 2013, New York time, proven by the date stamp on your email, Amy and I will take you out for dinner – or if you live outside of Vincennes, Indiana, we will buy you a gift certificate. (That might be difficult for those outside the country, but we will do something equivalent).

If you are the first person to answer two of these questions, we will take you out for ice cream or arrange something equivalent if you live far away.

If you can answer just one correctly, we will buy you a candy bar with the most artistic wrapper of your choice, if we can find it around here. Otherwise, we will provide an alternate with a wrapper of our choice.

Email your answers to with your name, email and location.

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