They Call Me Mellow Yellow

12/15/2021   Quite Rightly…

You remember that song Mellow Yellow and can't forget, Yellow Submarine? Two songs that need little introduction for some; both include "yellow.”  I love color references in music, in writing. 

We are creatures of light; light and perception of colors in the visible spectrum. It’s a miracle we humans have entrance into that spectrum!

For me yellow is light itself. When fully saturated, cadmium yellow lemon or Indian yellow seem to be light sources of their own; are luminous, glowing and breathe light. Yellow ochre by contrast, a darker less saturated yellow, is an exception though still a beautiful color. 

Yellow effortlessly emanates light. In contrast think of the color indigo blue of the night sky; its very own experience of light. 

The history of Indian Yellow, a color originally from India in the 1500’s, may be mysterious but a well known origin story is based on cows who were fed mango leaves and turmeric, their bright yellow urine collected to produce the color. The color from India disappeared from the market in the early 1800’s.  

Today’s Indian Yellow is a beautiful transparent yellow-orange-gold color used in glazing and is stunning when white is added. Now a synthetic color, its ingredients are made up of nickel azo, Hansa yellow and quinacridone burnt orange. 


P.S.  Stay tuned! Next week I write about yellow in a painting.

P.P.S.   ...please share this with a friend. Thank you!


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