Creative Inspirations

Merry Christmas color theory


This was our Christmas tree two years ago.  David was inspired by its quirky shape so, wanting to keep it in the window (where the piano was!), he cut it in half giving the illusion that the tree was growing out of the piano!  This was arguably the best tree we have ever had.

Christmas always looks good in this room because of the existing decorative color scheme of red and green.  It is not “Christmas Red” or “Christmas Green” but the tones are distinctive chosen because I love the excitement of using complimentary colors together.  Colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel are called Complimentary because of what they do to each other when placed in close proximity.  The effect is called Simultaneous Contrast – a trick of the eye – when the optical nerve is stimulated, vibration occurs giving the colors life; literally.

There are many stories of how the colors red and green came to symbolize Christmas – evergreens, everlasting love, red berries, Mary’s blood – but then I like to think that we all need a little jolt in the darker winter months that complimentary color gives us.

Here is a little exercise for you or your Christmas guests to try.  This demonstrates how Simultaneous Contrast works.  Stare at one of the Christmas trees below without blinking for as long as you can up to 5 minutes.  Then close your eyes and you will see the other tree although you did not look at it.  The eye inherently recognizes Complimentary tones.  Merry Christmas!

green christmas tree
red christmas tree

9 thoughts on “Merry Christmas color theory”

  1. Merry Christmas Jane!

    I enjoyed the pictures and the story of the tree that grew out of the piano. A good lesson in trying new things.

    Love, Jacquie

  2. Merry Christmas to you on David. I love that tree of two years ago. How unusual! I looked and looked at it; and figured that it had to bew sut in two….how clever!! I hope you have a wonderful day and holiday season. Our best wishes for healthy New Year. Love, Rhoda & Ken


  3. I was trying to figure out the Christmas tree and piano picture🌲…….had to put my cheaters on👀……very cool idea👍🏼😉

Leave a Reply