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Midsummer Flowers

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine"

~ A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare, 1605

This tartan celebrates the soft colours of summer on the Summer Solstice - the cloudless blue skies, the faded flowers of a high summer meadow, and the soft pastels of summer clothes and old-fashioned ice cream flavours. From strange and often dangerous herbal "cures" to spells of black magic and love potions, the real medicinal and sometimes poisonous properties of wildflowers are often convolved with romantic legends, histories and wild superstitions which appear in all cultures. Apart from more common summer blooms, one special mythical flower is the so-called “fern flower” of Slavic and Baltic lore, even though ferns are not flowering plants. According to the tales, these mystical flowers bloom only for a very fleeting time during the Summer solstice, and will bring wealth, luck, and the ability to understand animal speech to anyone who manages to find one, but only if they are able to get past the evil spirits that supposedly guard them! Keep a floral eye open, just in case! 🌻 🌷 🥀 🏵️ 🌸

This tartan, by Carol A.L. Martin, visually speaks to the soft colours of summer - cloudless blue skies, faded flowers of high summer, and the soft pastels of summer clothes and old-fashioned ice cream flavours.

The colours of summer are defined in part by centuries of color theory, beginning in the 19th century in the form of colour psychology and has reached new heights in the infinite amount of colours that can be generated and identified now through digital analysis and the wide variety of processes to produce colours.

From the Color Me Pretty website:

The seed of color analysis was planted when German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) realized the connections between different colors and created “color psychology”. But that was just a beginning, there was no mention yet of the connection and reaction between the color of clothes and skin tone.

Between 1919 and 1933, Johannes Itten (Swiss painter and professor at the Bauhaus University in Germany) took things a step further when he concluded that portraits look better when certain colors were used in conjunction with specific hair and skin tones. He then created four different color palettes corresponding to the four seasons, each of which included four different complexions. These made it much easier for students to paint more attractive portraits.

California-based color theorist Suzanne Caygill (1911-1994) took the next step by combining Itten’s “season theory” with Goethe’s “color psychology”. Her own theory asserted that humans carry information about their personality and style in their natural coloration, and that through personal traits such as skin, hair, and eyes we can relate personal colors to those found in nature. This theory proved to be extremely popular and became the foundation for many color professionals.

Finally, psychologist Carole Jackson wrote the book “Color Me Beautiful”, which became wildly popular in the 1980’s. In it, she simplified Caygill’s seasonal system (which used sixteen different personalities per season), and reduced it to a single personality per color season. This made it vastly more straightforward for everyday women to shop for appropriate clothes, accessories, and makeup.

If you fall into the "Summer" category, you may favor soft tones such as 

  • Light and cool colors

  • Pastels and soft neutrals with pink and blue undertones

  • Sky blues,  aqua, powder pink and light greys

Have you determined your seasonal colour?  If not, click the flowers to visit a website and find out!

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