Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The world is what you perceive

We all have three types of color photoreceptive cells in the back of our eyes (the retina) – which are often called the red, green, and blue “cones.” We are trichromats. Each of these ‘flavors’ of cone is sensitive to a particular range of colors of the spectrum. And usually when we perceive a color, it is the result of a combination of signals from more than one flavor of cone. For example, seeing “orange” is the result of a moderate signal from a green cone and a stronger signal from a red cone. And we are able to distinguish the range of orange hues from each other by the different strengths of green and red cone signals that each orange hue generates (darker orange would have a stronger red signal, etc).

Can you see any symbols or letters in these circles?

But how many shades can you see here? Count them!

*If you see less than 20 color nuances, you are a dichromats, like dogs, which means you have 2 types of cones only. You are likely to wear black, beige, and blue. 25% of the population is dichromat.*If you see between 20 and 32 color nuances, you are a trichromat, you have 3 types of cones (in the purple/blue, green and red area). You enjoy different colors as you can appreciate them. 50% of the population is trichromat.
*If you see more than 33 shades, you are a tetrachromat, like bees, and have 4 types of cones (in the purple/blue, green, red plus yellow area). You are irritated by yellow, so this color will be nowhere to be found in your wardrobe. 25% of the population is tetrachromat.*If you see more than 39 color nuances: come on, you are making up things! There are only 39 different colors in the test and probably only 35 are properly translated by your computer screen anyway :)

But eyes change over time. You may have heard that digital cameras can be made sensitive to infrared light by removing the IR filter found inside, but did you now that something similar can be done with the human eye? People who have aphakia, or the absence of the lens on the eye, have reported the ability to see ultraviolet wavelengths. Claude Monet was one such person
"Monet’s cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see–and to paint–in ultraviolet.
[…] With his lens removed, Monet continued to paint. Flowers remained one of his favorite subjects. Only now the flowers were different. When most people look at water lily flowers, they appear white. After his cataract surgery, Monet’s blue-tuned pigments could grab some of the UV light bouncing off of the petals. He started to paint the flowers a whitish-blue."
At this time Concetta Antico is the only authenticated Tetrachromat Artist on earth.
Concetta embodies “The Perfect Storm” for the human realization of Tetrachromatic color vision. Her rare genotype provides for a fourth receptor in her eyes.
Regular human vision may resolve a maximum of 1 million colors.
Concetta’s Tetrachromatic potential reaches up to 100 million colors.

Romeo and Juliet by Concetta Antico

Monday, February 23, 2015

Imagination is the limit of things taking shape

"I drew the duck blue, because I've never seen a blue duck before, 
and to be honest with you, I wanted to see a blue duck."

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. 
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand...
...while imagination embraces the entire world, 
and all there ever will be to know and understand.” 
- A. E.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Precious little purple frogs with curly legs

“Manners do matter, but I’d prefer that she not be too sophisticated at a young age. 
When we’re making art, I try not to show her any techniques.
 If she wants to draw a purple frog with curly legs, I don’t correct her. 
That’s her imagination 
and I don’t want to damage that part 
of her nature.”

Monday, February 16, 2015

Peaches and coconuts

"I thought that after this type of connection, we would be friends for a very long time. When the airplane landed, imagine my surprise when, as I reached for a piece of paper in order to write down my phone number, my new friend stood up and with a friendly wave of his hand said, "Nice to meet you! Have a great trip!" And that was it. I never saw him again. I felt he had purposely tricked me into opening up when he had no intention of following through on the relationship he had instigated."
The difference between American and Russian cultures here can be described as peach and coconut models of personal interaction.
In peach cultures like those in the United States or Brazil, to name a couple, people tend to be friendly ("soft") with others they have just met. They smile frequently at strangers, move quickly to first-name usage, share information about themselves, and ask personal questions of those they hardly know. But after a little friendly interaction with a peach person, you may suddenly get to the hardshell of the pit where the peach protects his real self. In these cultures, friendliness does not equal friendship.
In coconut cultures such as France, Germany, or Russia, people are more closed (like the tough shell of a coconut) with those they don't have friendships with. They rarely smile at strangers, ask casual acquaintances personal questions, or offer personal information to those they don't know intimately. It takes a while to get through the initial hard shell, but as you do, people will become gradually warmer and friendlier. While relationships are built up slowly, they tend to last longer.