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Island Color: the Intoxicating Hues of Greece

January 13, 2015

Island Color. Why does it intoxicate us with its vivid marine blues and deep sunny yellows? There must be something in the human psyche or soul that longs for such exuberant, live-affirming tones. Whether you're on a Caribbean island getaway, or cruising the islands of Greece, the tints of houses, doorways, and window sills brighten the moment.

 

Today we're celebrating the colorful glory of the islands with some images Zickie took on Hydra, one of the Argo-Saronic isles in Greece. Even a simple entrance might greet you like this:

 

The green of the door, the red of the roof tiles, and the burnt yellow of the church tower create an improbable visual harmony. Wandering around the small island of Hydra -- or one of the other picturesque Greek islands -- makes even the most indifferent photographer want to start snapping pictures.

Greeks have a long history with color, a love affair some might say. The temples which today appear as pristine white marble? They were once painted in bold, almost shocking hues.

The blues in Greece seem particularly gorgeous. Maybe because so much of this historic land fronts the sea, and the ancient Greeks were accomplished, legendary sailors...

You see the tones that occur in nature, whether it's a tempestuous wine dark sea, as Homer described, or a pale aqua that appears in the shallows near a sandy beach.

Crumbling paint on an old wooden door can look so alluring and romantic, when spotted on a narrow pathway through a centuries-old village.

 

We know the ancient Greeks first imported indigo dye from India. Can you imagine a world before human beings could replicate blue? Without blue walls, or ceilings? Without blue shirts? Without blue paint to recall the sea? It's hard to picture, particularly if you -- like Zickie and I -- love to be reminded of the ocean, even when you're really and truly landlocked.

Do you have photographs of island color -- whether it's Florida Keys gingerbread trim or a Barbadian chattel house? If so, considering sharing them with us! There's nothing like a burst of hot pink or royal purple to cheer us all up during January.

 

 

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