Be a Color Detective

April 22nd, 2009

color yellowballoon

Late last week, I was taking a walk and started to notice bits of color on the ground. Scraps of plastic, a tag, a bit of paper, a ribbon, a child's barrette, and the yellow balloon pictured above. Suddenly, my walk transformed from something ordinary into a magical color detective adventure!

color arrows

I was listening to an audio book on my iPhone which also has a camera, which I used to snap pictures of color for the rest of my walk. The colorful arrows spray painted on the sidewalk were giving me clues about which way to go next.

color brickstripe

Texture and color began to pop for me. The bright yellow stripe against the the colors and textures of street and brick were so juicy! How often do you stop and notice the texture and color combos on your street? Just having a camera will open your eyes to all sorts of everyday beauty.

color rust

Ooo, rust, how gorgeous are you? Especially against that dusty blue paint. Yum. Little snapshots like this could inspire a color palette for a future piece of art or they could be transformed into a painting, piece of jewelry, or color scheme for an outfit.

color shadow

Shadows are fantastic too. Now that Spring has arrived (this works in all seasons, but is more fun for me when the weather is warmer), get outside with your camera and focus on capturing shadows on colorful backgrounds. Plants make great shapes, but you can also get great shadows from your own body against a background of grass, reflected in water, or against a colorful building.

Taking a color detective walk was so much fun and I found that by the time I got home I was in a fabulous mood. Give it at try and let me know how it goes for you!

Is the Creative Every Day Challenge theme of color making you notice color more than usual? I know it is for me!

14 Responses

Great idea. I love them all but especially the rust.

What a fun idea… and inspiring!

Your post reminds me of a game I play when I think everything around me looks gray, like on a rainy day.

I think about each color of the rainbow and I look for anything that appears to be that color: I start looking for red, then orange… It always amazes me that I can almost always find something in every color. I think it’s helped me to have a more critical eye, and it’s also pretty entertaining.

This is such a good idea! I love the sidewalks you found!

Oh, Leah…I DO like this game of like an “I spy..” with color. And..what Linda has mentioned above..too. I love it. It’s inspiring me to shift my thinking in re: to my mood. Seek…and ye shall find. Thank you! I will venture out on my Art in Every Day walk this week, with a Color theme in mind. Our season is ripe for it!

Leah that is a great idea! How fun to do with your kids…and then to use that as a springboard for some other art. You are fantastic! Enjoy the day! Erin

I love the way youa re always having so much fun and encouraging us to, too! YAY! Thank you!

Leah I have to so agree with you. It is so much fun to find colourful or unusual shots while out walking. For me, it is often cloud or rock formations or sunsets, especially when we are driving. I have hundreds of these kinds of shots – just because I loved the pattern or colour. Thanks for sharing these great shots!

I too love observing color in nature. When I lived in Arizona was usually the skies or the sage green of the cactus against the earth tones or the blue sky. Here on the east coast, it is wonderful to see all the green everywhere – so many shades of green and of course the beauty of the first spring flowers that are popping up everywhere.

I love the way you you are seeing color in normal, everyday objects. Wonderful. I always learn so much from you, Leah. Thanks for all you do – you have opened up my creative inspiration immensely and I am having so much more fun now than I ever have before.

Loveliest Leah ~
You totally and utterly
always delight me with what you do,
how you see
and what you share.

Big love! :)

I wanted to say, Yes I am noticing colour in my everyday activities. I am also noticing other good changes in my life. Thank you for this site and challenge to be creative everyday. I know it has helped me.


I’m totally a rust hound and (unfortuneately maybe) always pick-up rusty treasures I find on my walks. It would be cool to combine a painting with actual rusty elements added on. It might also be dangerous though, so make sure your tetanus is up to date!

Ha! You are awesome, I love the way you look at the world…

I love love love this game!!!

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