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Explore the World of Color


Explore the World of Color

Out with the grays and blacks of winter, in with bolder colors of spring!

Spring is all about new beginnings and transformations. It also signifies the return to warmer and brighter colors, whether in nature, in what we wear, and in everything around us.

“Color is a power which directly influences the soul,” said painter Wassily Kandinsky.

Colors play a vital role in our lives and how we respond to our surroundings. The colors you surround yourself with can influence your perspective and emotions.  We can also associate memories and thoughts with certain colors. Designers have long believed that color can dramatically affect feelings, emotions, and choices we make.

Holi, a popular and significant Hindu festival, also known as the Festival of Colors and Spring, is now celebrated globally, with colored powders and water guns, and this joyous event took place a couple of weeks ago.  

Here are some “color” themed books from varied subject areas–art & craft, interior design, gardening, foods– that show how important a role color plays in different aspects of our lives, and how to harness its power effectively.

blue natures rarest color

Blue : In Search Of Nature’s Rarest Color by Kai Kupferschmidt

A globe-trotting quest to find blue in the natural world–and to understand our collective obsession with this captivating color.  Science journalist Kupferschmidt’s quest to understand the science and nature of his favorite color takes him from a biotech laboratory in Japan and a volcanic lake in Oregon to Brandenburg, Germany–home of the last surviving blue-feathered Spix’s macaws. Whether it’s deep underground where blue crystals grow or miles overhead where astronauts gaze down at our “blue marble” planet, wherever we do find Earth’s rarest color, it always has a story to tell.

century of color in design

A Century Of Color In Design : 250 Innovative Objects And The Stories Behind Them by David Harrison

Color has the power to transform our relationship to an object. The last hundred years have yielded a wealth of new designs celebrating color, and new technologies to make them possible. At once curated anthology and chronological short-form history, this book spotlights 250 iconic pieces spanning furniture, fabric, lighting, and decorative objects–from the Bauhaus F51 armchair to the 3D-printed Chubby teapot–that exemplify color’s ever-evolving role in the modern era of design.

color is home

Color Is Home : A Brave Guide To Designing Classic Interiors by Charlotte Coote

The way interior designer Coote mixes colors, textures, and patterns, reveals a whole new way of approaching design.  She guides readers through the process of designing a space, from creating the original design brief through to the finished room. Using her five principles of design–timelessness, authenticity, lifestyle, scale, and quality–Coote shows how to balance comfort and style, light and shadow, color and neutrals, old and new.

color knitting the easy way

Color Knitting The Easy Way : Essential Techniques, Perfect Palettes, And Fresh Designs Using Just One Color At A Time by Melissa Leapman

Embrace color with simple techniques from knitting and colorwork master Leapman.  A cozy hat and scarf set to match a winter coat, mittens in a young child’s favorite colors, a sweater to bring out the blue of a friend’s eyes, a throw pillow that revives the look of a room. Selecting and combining just the right color palette makes any project extra special-and makes our knitting even more fun.  Leapman explores the simplest and most popular ways of knitting with two or more yarn colors–using just one color in each knitted row.

color mixing recipes

Color Mixing Recipes For Watercolor : Mixing Recipes For More Than 450 Color Combinations by William F. Powell

Learn to mix virtually any color using watercolor paints with the recipes and watercolor mixing grid in this guide.

crayola biog

Crayola : A Visual Biography Of The World’s Most Famous Crayon by Lisa Solomon

An authorized, illustrated history of Crayola crayons, from the origins of Binney & Smith as the inventor of carbon black and red oxide pigment to colorful profiles of sky blue, sea green, and the other 118 Crayola colors in circulation today.

crochet colorwork

Crochet Colorwork Made Easy : Simple Techniques To Create Multicolor Sweaters, Accessories And Home Decor by Claire Goodale

Colorwork expert Goodale walks you through three distinctive styles–Tapestry, Intarsia and Fair Isle–introducing each technique through bright, contemporary patterns. With clear step-by-step photos, smart tips and straightforward directions, Claire shatters the myth that impressive colorwork pieces are complicated–or possible only in knitting.

house beautiful live colorfully

House Beautiful: Live Colorfully by Joanna Saltz

Highlights a wide range of colorful homes, each with their own personality, as well as tips for both the novice and expert interior designer, including smart paint pairings, how to read a room’s light before committing to a color, and how to stencil paint onto a wall.

living in color

Living In Color : Color In Contemporary Interior Design

An inspirational visual journey along the color spectrum, brought to life via the best contemporary residential interior design.  Organized by color — from the purest white to the deepest black, from the hottest pinks, oranges, and reds, to the coolest greens and tranquil blues in between — this book explores and celebrates the current trend for vivid accents and vibrant transformations of our domestic spaces, whatever their size and wherever their location.

nonstop color garden

The Nonstop Color Garden : Design Flowering Landscapes And Gardens For Year-Round Enjoyment by Nellie Neal

Ask any gardener and they will tell you, color is the most important (and most fun!) part of garden design.  Author Neal shows how to use color as an exciting element in your garden during all four seasons–and it’s not just flowers! Year-round color is possible by including trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that produce colorful berries and bark, as well as flowers during spring and summer.


Powercolor : Master Color Concepts For All Media by Caroline Jasper

This comprehensive survey of color–its science, psychology, theory, and aesthetics–gives artists the knowledge and power to do more with color. Artists learn what color is; the color wheel; various types of color contrast (temperature, intensity, and value); how a medium’s physical characteristics affect the use and appearance of color; how color has been used by artists throughout history; and how color can be used effectively in a variety of theories, methods of applications, and mediums. 

secret language of color

The Secret Language Of Color : Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty Of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue & Violet by Joan Eckstut

Explores color’s countless manifestations, providing insight into such phenomena as the visible spectrum, light absorption and reflection, how humans see color, how vision evolved, the sky, rainbows, colored gems, animal pigmentation, how animals use color to find mates and to protect themselves, and the use of color in human religion, ritual, design, navigation, communication, and personal identity.

secret lives of color

The Secret Lives Of Color by Kassia St. Clair

The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume telling the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

visual coloring quilts

Visual Coloring : A Foolproof Approach To Color-Rich Quilts by Joen Wolfrom

Do you get stuck when choosing colors and fabrics for your quilts? Joen Wolfrom comes to your rescue with this amazingly simple, practically foolproof technique. Using visual coloring, you’ll learn to select colors you love in nature and duplicate the effect in your work. You’ll find tons of photographs, fabric-swatch examples, and gallery quilts using this color selection technique, plus 5 simple and beautiful quilt projects.

world according to color

The World According To Color : A Cultural History by James Fox

 A kaleidoscopic exploration that traverses history, literature, art, and science to reveal humans’ unique and vibrant relationship with color.  Fox takes seven main colors-black, red, yellow, blue, white, purple, and green-and uncovers behind each a root idea, based on visual resemblances and common symbolism throughout history. Through a series of stories and vignettes, the book then traces these meanings to show how they morphed and multiplied and, ultimately, how they reveal a great deal about the societies that produced them: reflecting and shaping their hopes, fears, prejudices, and preoccupations. 

Archana Chiplunkar,  Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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