I got my first lesson in color from this prism, and although I could not then have drawn a color wheel, I understood intrinsically that the colors in my Crayola crayon box should be ordered:
And they always were. My personal mantra encompassed these colors. Others might pray with a rosary, but my prayer beads were wax cylinders placed in perfect order in a small gold and green box. Honestly, I could rattle off these color names faster and easier than my home address.
Now, you might wonder what about all those really cool colors like Magenta, Raw Umber, and Carnation Pink. I never got those colors, dammit. My mother insisted on buying me the mega-cheap, eight-pack Crayola crayons. My best friend, Janice, however always had a fresh 64-color Crayola crayons box. I was perpetually Pine Green with envy. (Or was it Sea Green???)
The 60s Crayola tagline was "They work on brains, not batteries." What a message for today's kids! Watch this Crayola ad from back in the day.
According to Wikipedia, the original color line up for Crayola's 1960's 64-color box was: BLACK, ORANGE, APRICOT, AQUAMARINE, BITTERSWEET, BLUE, BLUE GRAY, BLUE GREEN, BLUE VIOLET, BRICK RED, BRILLIANT ROSE, BROWN, BURNT ORANGE, BURNT SIENNA, CADET BLUE, CARNATION PINK, COPPER, CORNFLOWER, FLESH, FOREST GREEN, GOLD, GOLDENROD, GRAY, GREEN, GREEN BLUE, GREEN YELLOW, INDIAN RED, LAVENDER, LEMON YELLOW, LIGHT BLUE, MAHOGANY, MAIZE, MAROON, MAUVELOUS, MELON, MIDNIGHT BLUE, MULBERRY, NAVY BLUE, OLIVE GREEN, ORANGE-RED, ORANGE-YELLOW, ORCHID, PERIWINKLE, PINE GREEN, PLUM, RAW SIENNA, RAW UMBER, RED, RED ORANGE, RED VIOLET, SALMON, SEA GREEN, SEPIA, SKY BLUE, SILVER, SPRING GREEN, TAN, THISTLE, VIOLET, VIOLET BLUE, VIOLET RED, WHITE, YELLOW, YELLOW GREEN, YELLOW ORANGE.
My whole life would have been different if I could have had another 56 colors. I swear it.
And then there's this: British artist Jamie Shovlin's whirling dervish of a Crayola color wheel. According to David Rainbird, Slovin has sorted his crayons by "hue in an attempt to form tetrads - combinations of colours from four equidistant points around the circle that when combined create perfect greys. There are 720 possible tetrad combinations with this many Crayolas and although Shovlin started the combinations, he gave up after trying out about twenty or so."
What a wonder! I'd love to have this hanging in my office offering daily inspiration. I couldn't find a better mandala if I tried.
So thank heaven for Crayola crayons. But most of all, thank God for color - all 64 of them in the elusive box set - and every other hue besides.