Valentine's Day and Musings on the Color Red

Valentines’ Day is synonymous with RED - red roses, red hearts and red carnations.
Red, the hottest of the warm colors, is the color of love, romance, passion and energy.... (and of Target Brides wear red in China, India and the Islamic countries. Audrey Hepburn wore it in Funny Face.

Red arouses, excites and evokes strong emotions. In fact, studies show that seeing red can stimulate your body to pump out more adrenaline and increases blood pressure, respiration and pulse rate.

I remember the first time I saw how powerful red could be - it was in the movie GiGi by Vincente Minelli. I was very young and I sat in the movie theater looking at the magnifent red salon in Paris, thinking how dull our little rooms in my Queens, NY apartment were.  

Minelli, a film director, was a master of color, saying, 

 "I use colors to bring fine points of story and character. " - Vincente Minnelli

I think Minelli got the red room idea from the French artist, Henri Matisse, another master of color. Here is why:

The Red Room by Matisse

The Red Studio by Matisse

Red dining rooms are popular - maybe because red is emblematic of vitality and hgh spirits:

I painted one dining room red and I must say, the conversation became very heated in that room.

Amanda Pays

And then there is the most amazing book I ever saw, 'The Red Book' by Carl Jung:

And so if there one idea for using RED in the garden, then, to paraphrase Derek Jarman, use it like spice:

Painters use red like spice. - Derek Jarman

Here are some ways to spice up a garden with red:

Red Fence by Viking Fence

Red New Guinea Impatiens in one of my gardens

Poppies at Jim's  by Jan Johnsen

A great book for Kids on RED


  1. Love your post... happy valentines!

  2. love the red in the garden and all around....wonderful

  3. thanks! we need more red in our lives...look how brilliantly Coke, Target and Macy's use red...

  4. Red its really a wonderful colour. I like it almost on everything.

  5. Red is a power color!! Happy belated V-Day!!


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