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Quotations on Colors, Crayons, Coloring,
Welcome! I have had a shoebox full of crayons and have loved to color since I was a little girl, and I still do — yes, now, even into my 40s. I put together this page about colors and coloring years ago, but now the craziest thing has happened — a trend in adult coloring books. Personally, I still prefer the little kiddie ones, or to simply draw my own wild creations, but it's cool that people are taking the time to add a little creativity into their lives. Grab your favorite colors and de‑stress! Oh, and enjoy the quotes too.
Colors are the smiles of nature. ~Leigh Hunt
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a coloured pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. ~G.K. Chesterton, "On Lying in Bed," 1909
I wish I were a white crayon, that way no one could use me. ~Author Unknown
Certain peer pressures encourage little fingers to learn how to hold a football instead of a crayon. Rumors circulate around the schoolyard: kids who draw or wear white socks and bring violins to school on Wednesdays might have cooties. I confess to having yielded to these pressures. ~Chris Van Allsburg
My childhood smells like a box of Crayola crayons. ~Terri Guillemets
If people want to make war they should make a color war, and paint each others’ cities up in the night in pinks and greens. ~Yoko Ono
The handwriting on the wall means the grandchildren found the crayons. ~Author Unknown
Now, among the heresies that are spoken in this matter is the habit of calling a grey day a "colourless" day. Grey is a colour, and can be a very powerful and pleasing colour.... A grey clouded sky is indeed a canopy between us and the sun; so is a green tree, if it comes to that. But the grey umbrellas differ as much as the green in their style and shape, in their tint and tilt. One day may be grey like steel, and another grey like dove’s plumage. One may seem grey like the deathly frost, and another grey like the smoke of substantial kitchens. ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
Fancy lays down her pencil here:
Her palettes, bright with mortal hues,
To yield immortal tints refuse:
And those who know Truth's glorious face,
Need not an artist's hand to trace
Her beauty, as she rose in light...
~James Hamilton, "The Shipwreck of St. Paul," c.1856
Mauve is just pink trying to be purple. ~James Abbott McNeill Whistler
After eating a very big piece of cake, Desdemona decides she needs some quiet time. She will make magic with color. ~Patty Gannon, Desdemona and the Eggs, 2011 [By the by, in case you were wondering, it's extra-rich double dark chocolate cake!
Life lesson from the nursery: Broken crayons can still color. ~Author unknown
Among these kinds of beauty the eye takes most delight in colours. ~Joseph Addison, The Spectator, June 23rd 1712 (Nº 412) [Quoted Addison by Maturin M. Ballou, 1886: "In the recognition of beauty the eye takes the most delight in color."
I love crayons—especially new crayons with no broken tips. I love how they smell—and how smooth they feel between my fingers. I love imagining what marvelous pictures the crayons will create. But what I love most of all are the colors—so many colors. ~Mary Wince
A colour, no doubt, is a trifle in itself, and only has its full value when it is in contrast or harmony with other colours.... each colour has an expression and a character peculiar to itself, and each is enlivened as it approaches its lightest shade by its mixture with white, just as it is saddened and perishes as it approaches its darkest shade by its mixture with black. ~Auguste Alexandre Philippe Charles Blanc (1813–1882), Art in Ornament and Dress / L'Art dans la Parure et dans le Vêtement, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
Yellow is the eldest daughter of light... ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
Red is a favourite colour with all the nations of the world.... Just as it gives life to the human face by making the circulation of the blood transparent, so it animates all surfaces where it appears, and enlivens all the harmonies in which it plays a part.... Occupying a place between the liveliness of light and the quiet of dark colours, red has an expression of dignity, magnificence, and pomp. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
The expression of blue is one of purity. It.... pleases the poet by its immaterial and celestial character.... It is, moreover, of all colours, that which ascends the highest, and descends the lowest in the scale.... It may be suitable in its light shade for the dress of an innocent maiden, and in its dark for romantic affections and evening thoughts.... solitude, mystery, and silence. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
A mixture of light and heat... orange plays a brilliant part in the decoration of the universe. It gives life to the harmonies of the dawn, and mingling with the dramatic scene of declining day, it adds its numberless vibrations to the endless novelty of spectacle which the sinking sun presents. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
The colour with which nature has tinted the background of all her pictures, green, is the most suitable ground for other colours. It unites wonderfully well with the yellow and blue which have produced it; it heightens red, and there is no flower or ripe fruit which it does not set off to greater advantage.... it is both gay and modest, bright and tender. Green can only awaken amiable and gentle thoughts, remembrances gracious as those of spring, and other promises of nature: green gives repose to the mind, as it does to the sight. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
[V]iolet... inclines to purple, and so seems to conceal under an ashy blue the pride and passion of red. ~Charles Blanc, Art in Ornament and Dress, "Personal Adornment: Colours and Their Expression," 1875, translated from French
Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid. ~Jules Feiffer
Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. ~Claude Monet
Color affects us. Everyone should have a paintbox and a large box of crayons. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2015 tweet, professorsunwolf.com
I never use colors. Black and white are all I need. Most of my clothes are black and white, too. I suppose the most flamboyant color in my wardrobe is dark brown. ~Leonard Baskin (1922–2000)
No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
~Andrew Marvell (1621–1678), "Thoughts in a Garden"
Flowers and flames. And colour.... The last mad throb of red just as it turns green, the ultimate shriek of orange calling upon all the blues of heaven for relief or for support; these Georgia O'Keeffe is able to use. In her canvases each colour almost regains the fun it must have felt, within itself, on forming the first rain‑bow. ~Charles Demuth (1883–1935), letter to Alfred Stieglitz, 1926 December 26th [So cute! — he referred to her elsewhere as G'Keeffe.
I think the names of colors are at the edge, between where language fails and where it’s at its most powerful. ~A.S. Byatt
Wherever men are noble, they love bright colour; and wherever they can live healthily, bright colour is given them—in sky, sea, flowers, and living creatures. ~John Ruskin (1819–1900), Proserpina: Studies of Wayside Flowers, While the Air Was Yet Pure Among the Alps, and in the Scotland and England which My Father Knew, “The Flower,” 1874 [Awesome how well this applies to our modern “eat the rainbow” concept for fruits & veggies!
It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block. ~Paul Gauguin
Biographical sketch, in fugitive crayons, of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford ~John Pinkerton, 1799
Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? No. ~Pablo Picasso
[T]he enemies of grey... are fond of bringing forward the argument that colours suffer in grey weather, and that strong sunlight is necessary to all the hues of heaven and earth.... It is true that sun is needed to burnish and bring into bloom the tertiary and dubious colours; the colour of peat, pea-soup, Impressionist sketches, brown velvet coats, olives, grey and blue slates, the complexions of vegetarians, the tints of volcanic rock, chocolate, cocoa, mud, soot, slime, old boots; the delicate shades of these do need the sunlight to bring out the faint beauty that often clings to them.
But... if you choke your garden with poppies and geraniums, if you paint your house sky-blue and scarlet, if you wear, let us say, a golden top-hat and a crimson frock-coat, you will not only be visible on the greyest day, but you will notice that your costume and environment produce a certain singular effect.... rich colours actually look more luminous on a grey day, because they are seen against a sombre background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own. ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
Poured a cup of hot sepia coffee in a wisteria flowered mug, dandelion sunshine spilling through the periwinkle sky. ~Terri Guillemets, "Morning's crayon colors," 2009
I can tell it's probably not going to be much of a productive day when I spend ten minutes over morning coffee trying to match each color of the sunrise to its corresponding crayon. ~Terri Guillemets, "Carnation pink & atomic tangerine," 2016
I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns. ~Winston Churchill
My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
~Shel Silverstein, "Colors"
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises. ~Pedro Calderón de la Barca
[T]he colored pencil. The day we received our first full box of assorted colors we felt grown-up, the passage from baby status to childhood was complete. The broken wax crayon stubbles were immediately thrown out to make way for the more elegant and "mature" pencils. ~Bernard Aimé Poulin (b.1945), The Complete Colored Pencil Book, 2011
At nightfall, colors disappear. Moon's paintbrush has only a palette of shadows: creamy gray, inky black, illusive indigo. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2013 tweet, professorsunwolf.com
Pink is not just a color, it’s an attitude. ~Author Unknown
Crayons today are more widely used in elementary art programs than any other medium. Indeed, they have become such an accepted part of the classroom scene in the last fifty years that most students are unaware of the part crayons have played in the history of art beginning centuries ago. The was crayon has a distinguished history of use by great artists from Phidias to Picasso, and, today, crayons just like the ones children color with in schools are being used by artists in the fine art and commercial fields in ever increasing numbers. The use of wax as an artist's material goes back to the golden age of Greek art.... Sometime during the fifteenth century, artists began to mold pigments and binders into colored sticks or "crayons." ~Reynolds Girdler, Jr., "Crayons in the History of the Arts," Art Education, January 1967
Red is passion-lit, orange is flowerageous, yellow is suntastic, pink is lipsensual, green is lifebursting, blue is skyful, purple is berrydancing, gray is cloudrainy. ~Terri Guillemets, "Love colours," 2011
All the other colors are just colors, but purple seems to have a soul — when you look at it, it's looking back at you. ~Terri Guillemets
For those who fancy coloring books as certain people do
Here's a new one for you
A most unusual coloring book the kind you never see
Crayons ready, very well begin to color me...
This is the heart that thought he would always be true
Color it blue
These are the arms that held him and touched him then lost him somehow
Color them empty now...
~Fred Ebb and John Kander, "My Coloring Book," 1962
...the ancient roof-tiles — a rose-pink that is unique in the world for me, a color that has never been rendered except in words, that supernatural color needed for a roof-tile. ~François Mauriac (1885–1970), "Man and Nature, and Art, and what it should be," Nouveaux Mémoires Intérieurs, 1965, translated from the French by Herma Briffault, The Inner Presence: Recollections of My Spiritual Life, 1968
Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up. ~Allen Klein