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vermillion isn’t just a river

December 4, 2009

There’s a Vermil(l)ion River in Illinois and Indiana, part of the Wabash River watershed. Likely it gave its name to the county in central-western Indiana (part of my IDEM territory). It’s also a shade of red-orange, so a tertiary color on a color wheel. And currently my favorite color.

It feels like a color for intensity, drama, and passionate engagement; a color of vitality and robustness.

From 1980-2004, my favorite colors were shades of green and blue-green, purple, and brown. I didn’t even really like orange, except in its pinker shades (like coral). But in 2004, I woke up from hibernation, or was it cocooning, and what seemed like suddenly, I found myself drawn to warmer, richer, more complex colors. Colors that didn’t blend into the background unobtrusively, but boldly took center stage.

I’ve taken a ton of photographs of fall foliage precisely because warm, rich, complex colors are the stars, and I love looking at them.

I still like greens and blue-greens, purples, and browns. And they can be very cozy in colder seasons, like we are in now. But now that I’m “awake” emotionally and spiritually, I don’t want to go back to sleep color-wise. I look forward to engaging further with vermillion, clay, cerise, persimmon, pumpkin, goldenrod, mustard …

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