Thursday, October 13, 2011

Celebrating the Color Red




I love to drop what I'm doing and sit down at Meanderings and Muses to write about things I love and rant about things I don't.


This is about one of the things I love.

Pottery by Boyd Owens

The color red.


I've written about it before in one of my favorite pieces about needing some red in my life,  but I just happened to run across this wonderful poem and decided it was time to do it again.

My Red Poem (written with my pink pen)



Here I write a red poem,
Sophie Tucker red,
'The last of the red hot mama's red'
It is a hard Tap Dancing Red,
St. Valentine's red...
Cinnamon Apple scented red...
Georgio sweet smelling red,
Victoria Secret Red
Morning sunrise red,
Red Hot lipstick red
The blush on your cheeks red,
Happy Go Lucky Red,
Written with my flaming Pink Craylo Pen
On this October day...
Oh you kid!

12: 36 a.m.

Oh, That Poet Who Loves..... 



There's a lot to the color red.  Many feel it's a stimulant and related to our energy level. And an attention getter.


How the color red affects us physically

  • Increases enthusiasm
  • Stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate
  • Encourages action and confidence
  • Provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety

Meaning, symbolism and psychology of color: All About the Color red

Red around the world

  • Red represents beauty in many languages and cultures, including Russia.
  • In Chinese culture, colors corresponded with the five primary elements, the directions and the four seasons. Red was associated with fire, south, and summer.
  • In Japan, the color red is associated closely with a few deities in Shinto and Buddhist traditions, so statues of these deities are often decked in red clothing or painted red.
  • In Sweden, Falun red (red based on the pigment from the Falun mine) was reserved for the privileged class.
  • In China, red is associated with good luck and fortune.
  • In Greece, Easter eggs are dyed red and the Greek expression "piase kokkino" ("touch red") is said when two people say the same thing at the same time. It is believed that such an occurrence is an omen that the two will have an argument in the future, which can only be broken when the two touch the closest thing that is red.
  • In Jamaica, a popular slang term for someone who is under the influence or drunk is "red."
  • In England, red phone booths and red double decker buses are national icons. Standard British pillar boxes (mail boxes) have been painted red since 1874.
  • Source:
  • In India, a red mark on the forehead is said to bring good luck.
  • To the Hindu, red symbolizes joy, life, energy, and creativity.
  • Islamic, Hindu, and Chinese brides traditionally wear red.
  • Cochineal red, discovered by the Aztecs, was made using the female cochineal beetle. A pound of water-soluble extract required about a million insects. For the Aztecs, Indian red dye was considered more valuable than gold! However, it was the Spaniards who introduced the crimson color of Cochineal red to Europe in the 1500s.
  • In Aztec culture, red was connected with blood.
  • Red amulets were worn in many cultures to prolong life.
  • In Singapore, the color red traditionally symbolizes joy.
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated by wearing red clothing and decorating the house with red. Red envelopes with "luck money" are given to unmarried children to bring good fortune to them for the rest of the year.
  • Red symbolizes feast days of martyrs in the Catholic church.
  • In Israel, kosher clothing stores banned the color red and sell only loose-fitting apparel for women.
  • The belief in the protective power of the color red can be traced back to the old Chinese folklore of the Nian, a man-eating beast of ancient China who used to feed on human flesh. Discovering that the creature abhorred loud noises and the color red, the people made liberal use of the color not only in their firecrackers, but also in home decorations and clothing to protect themselves from the Nian.



Interesting and fun stuff about red

  • Red is the highest arc of the rainbow.
  • Red is the first color you lose sight of at twilight.
  • The longest wavelength of light is red.
  • In the financial arena, red symbolizes a negative direction.
  • Eric the Red is the Norwegian Viking credited for colonizing Greenland...he earned his nickname from his bright red hair and beard.
  • According to "The Language of Stained Glass" at Armstrong Browing Library at Baylor University: When Dante spoke of the Seraphim - the first of the nine choirs of Angels - the color that "glows" was the pure orange vermilion which his fellow citizens and brothers-in-spirit (the painters, illuminators, and glassmen) knew as red. So, it may be said that pure red is the color of divine love, the Holy Spirit, courage, self-sacrifice, martyrdom, and all the warm impulses that belong to the great-hearted everywhere.
  • Bees can't see the color red, but they can see all other bright colors. Red flowers are usually pollinated by birds, butterflies, bats, and wind, rather than bees.
  • Red is the color that means "severe" in the color-coded threat system established by presidential order in March 2002. This system quickly informs law enforcement agencies when intelligence indicates a change in the terrorist threat facing the United States.




Popular phrases that include red

  • Red carpet treatment: giving privileged treatment to an important person
  • Caught red-handed: clearly guilty
  • Red in the face: to become embarrassed
  • Seeing red: to be angered
  • Red flag: a warning of danger
  • Not worth a red cent: having no value
  • Red letter day: a memorable, joyful day
  • Red tape: excessive formalities in governmental process
  • In the red: a term to describe an economic loss
  • Scarlet letter: a punitive mark of adultery that originated with the novel (1850) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.


Red in the garden

  • Red is considered a warm color in landscape design. Its appearance in the garden has an energetic effect.
  • Red plants attract the eye and are a good choice for areas you want to draw attention to.
  • Red's complimentary color in the garden is green.
  • out our back door
  • Write mystery into your garden plots by combining deep reds, such as burgundy, maroon, and russet, with equally dark purple and chocolate brown. Such sultry combinations create the illusion of depth and hidden distances. --Better Homes and Garden


 Red and our sense of taste

Red fruits are flavorful and nutritious. Although not seen as frequently, there are also red vegetables. A few of my favorite red foods are listed below.
  • The warm scent and flavor of baking apples is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner.
  • The fragrant, sweet juiciness and deep red color of strawberries can brighten up both the taste and aesthetics of any meal; it is no wonder they are the most popular berry fruit in the world.
  • Fresh cranberries, which contain the highest levels of beneficial nutrients, are at their peak from October through December, just in time to add their festive hue, tart, tangy flavor, and numerous health protective effects to your holiday meals.





Red and our sense of smell

  • "Red is a color associated with poison, passion and seduction" -- Aromascope
  • "Gallica Roses come in crimsons, deep pinks, mauves, and stripes and splashes. They are most often described as having Old Rose fragrances, which can be intense and spicy." -- American Rose Association
  • AromaPod, a scented lifestyle tool, uses the color red with the scent that provides energy.
  • "Cherry" was the original scent of the red colored Magic Scents Crayons from Binney & Smith Inc., introduced in 1994 with mostly food scents. However, there were numerous reports that children were eating the food-scented crayons, so the food scents were retired and replaced with non-food scents. The scent for the color red became "cedar chest."

And since I love the power of images - here are some I wanted to share - - -  just 'cause.  Enjoy!  And embrace the power of red.

Harley loves red too



Pottery by Boyd Owens




Source: liquidpaper.typepad








Celebrate it with music - - -

Whatever your favorite shade might be - 

fire engine red
persian red
terra cotta

Sing about it !

Dance to it !


Shake a Tail Feather, Honeys !

AND - 
ending with one of my all time favorite poems, ever -

The Red Dress (or What do Women Want)
by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.


    Bobbi Mumm said...

    What a fantastic, creative blog! I saw a dozen red things in your photos that I love. The shoes with red soles, the red doors. A couple of years ago we painted our front door red and I feel happy every time I walk up to our house. Thanks, Kaye!

    le0pard13 said...

    I so with you on this, Kaye. The male in me is glad you mentioned, "Red Hot lipstick red", too. Great post! Thanks for this.

    LJ Roberts said...

    I know it's not a proper ode, but it read to me wonderful ode to a magnificent color. And you're looking great, by the way.

    Jill said...

    Great post Kaye! Don't forget your foxy red dog...Harley.

    Lesa said...

    Love it. I don't have much red around the house, but, at Christmas I break out the red. And, that color is what I miss when the holidays are over. I think you're right. I need more red in my life.

    Absolutely beautiful, Kaye. Thank you.

    Anonymous said...

    What a gorgeous post! Just brimming with interesting things and all that red. Lovely.

    Made me want to get up and dance with the Blues Brothers. LOL

    Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

    Hi, Guys!! I'm so glad everyone's enjoying this - I had fun putting it together.

    Bobbi - I love that you have a red door!!! (want!).

    le0 - I came across a sign a couple years ago that said "life's too short to not wear red lipstick." TRUE!!!

    LJ - Thanks, cutie! I remember the first picture I saw of you (when I was posting pix to DorothyL), and remember thinking that (1) how gorgeous you are (truth), and (2) how I wish I could wear that shade of vibrant red lipstick!

    Jill - EEK!!!!!! (Don't tell him I forgot him, O.K.?!) I've gone back and added a fun picture of him. Whew - Thanks!!

    Lesa - I started with a few red accent pieces and when I realized they were making me smile, I started adding to it. Do it, girl! And keep me posted.

    Kay - you made me laugh. Get Down, honey! Turn those brothers on and dance away!

    Beth Hoffman said...

    I absolutely LOVED this!

    Mason Canyon said...

    A wonderful and inspiring post. Red does do wonders for us. We all need more red in our lives. Great photos and poems.

    Thoughts in Progress
    Freelance Editing By Mason

    Bobbie said...

    I've loved, no have LOVED, yelling it, RED!!!!!!!!!!!! all my life. Still one of my first choices ever in clothes, coats, everything. Kaye, this is a super-great blog today, you are truly lifting me up with your fervor for this great color! Great photos, great words!

    Beth Anderson said...

    OH, Kaye, this is the BEST BLOG EVER! I felt like that about a red dress when I was very young, and I did find it and wore it until it was worn out. I wish I had it all over again. But at least I had one once.

    Beth Anderson said...

    PS, Even if I hadn't had a gorgeous red dress long ago, you would have had me at the Louboutin photo. Are they not beautiful???

    Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

    Beth - Hi, Cutie! Thank you for dropping by!!

    Hi Mason!!! We DO! (that's what I say everytime I buy a new red "something!")

    Bobbie - Now WHY am I not surprised that you also love the color red!?! (I owe you a long, newsy email. Bear with me, please!).

    Beth, you know what. "The Little Red Dress" is about to catch up to "The Little Black Dress" in popularity right now. I think it's time for you to replace that red dress you once loved with a new red dress that you'll love just as much. And oh how I wish I could afford to spring for a pair of those Louboutins!!!!!! Aren't they just to die for?! (Think anyone would notice if they were "knock-offs?")