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About Moriarty Colour

The world of colour is now accessible to everybody who loves and works with colour, thanks to the Moriarty Colour Wheel.

Perfect colour mixing and matching and harmonious colour combinations are only a few steps away.


The Moriarty Colour Wheel comes from artist, educator and author, Merv Moriarty and fashion designer, colour consultant, artist and environmentalist, Prue Acton.


Looking back

Merv Moriarty and Prue Acton met in Melbourne in 1990. Prue had recently closed her fashion business to concentrate on her love of painting. Looking for the best art educator in Australia, if not the world, she was told she had to meet Merv Moriarty.

Merv was the founder of the Flying Art School (now Flying Arts) that saw Merv obtain his pilot's licence and fly himself and tutors out to groups isolated in the vast outback and regions of North Eastern Australia.

In 1990 Merv was ready to write a second art course: Form, Mark & Colour based on principles he had developed over decades as a painter and twelve years working with hundreds of Flying Art School students.

Over the next decades Merv and Prue were to run art and colour workshops, test theories of colour, based on Merv's developing theory of colour relationships and in particular, analyse the colours of natural plants and landscapes.

They self-published Form, Mark & Colour and two more books: COLOUR BOOK and in 2011, COLOUR – the definitive guide. The Merv Moriarty Colour Mixing System was also published and used by hundreds of artists and students.


It's easy to create your perfect colour from the Moriarty Colour Wheel

These experiences led to the new edition - the Moriarty Colour Wheel – a definitive guide. Adding simple instructions for the three-section colour wheel and guide, die cutting the wheel, adding a tonal colour wheel, pigment codes and presenting a guide for colour relationship - all without using black - and the result is beautiful.


Looking forward

Prue and Merv's interest lies in bringing the principles of the Moriarty Colour Wheel to the next generation of artists, designers and educators and the colour industry, nationally and internationally.

Prue's vision is broadening the reach of the colour wheel and other Moriarty Colour tools/products, investigating the new offset and digital printing opportunities for colour accuracy. And to digitalizing the Moriarty Colour space.

Merv and Prue are now working on a new document, draft title: COLOUR Relationship – for artists, designers and everyone who loves colour.

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About Merv Moriarty

In 2011, Merv Moriarty, artist and educator, launched his new book COLOUR – the definitive guide outlining a system of colour mixing, colour matching and analysing colour combinations based on a new three-section colour wheel and colour cylinder. This builds on Munsell's and Itten's colour theories, and beyond - moving inline with 20-21st Century mathematics and digital spaces.

This new innovative system allows designers, artists and photographers to mix and match and use colour in perfect pitch and harmony. Moriarty had developed his original ideas and template for colour innovation through research, experience and insight based on decades working as an art educator, art philosopher and artist.

Moriarty is well-known and holds a position of reverence and respect within the art world as an educator and a mentor. His own works are represented in major Australian collections; he has won numerous Awards as a artist.

Book Talk at the Wheeler Centre

Merv Moriarty was at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, in October 2013. Watch the video below as Moriarty explains his original theories and discoveries contained within COLOUR – the definitive guide. Moriarty's work with thousands of students, and his own findings as an artist and art educator, have resulted in his theories, proving that ''right colour'' is objective, not subjective.

In the video below, Moriarty is providing an understanding of colour and how we see it, explaining his innovative theories on interval and linkage, mixing colour as pigment and how his Three-Section Colour wheel system underpins the principles of colour mixing. Essential for everyone interested in or working with colour.

More about Merv Moriarty

In 1971, Moriarty, after qualifying for his pilot's license, founded the Flying Art School (now Flying Arts), along with hundreds of students over eastern and outback Queensland, tested current colour theories, and found them wanting. He began to formulate and test what would later become his 'theory of colour relationship' outlined his book, COLOUR – the definitive guide.

Here Moriarty set out to change the way designers, artists and photographers - anyone working with colour - understands and uses colour.

The book was officially launched at the National Library of Australia, as was the first printed edition of his Colour Mixing System - a three-section Colour Wheel and guide, enabling us to 'plot' the pathway of any two colours when mixed together. This book and colour wheel is based on analysing his own artistic practices, principles and teaching experience, manifested into an amazing colour wheel.

This innovative system that's easy to use, allows designers and artists to create perfect colour combinations with ease. Moriarty says the system is a designer and artists' dream.

''It has been devised for working with colour in painting, printing and computers'', Moriarty says. COLOUR – the definitive guide goes beyond anything that's been done before and makes huge changes to the way we are able to think about colour as designers and artists, including graphic and web designers, textile artists, interior designers and photographers.

There is so much new thought in this book that will allow us to think and work in different ways. The feeling of empowerment and complete control at being able to produce such brilliant and resonating colour combinations will be revolutionary for everyone working with colour!

''The book and the Moriarty Colour Wheel - a definitive guide proves beyond any doubt that colours as we see them in nature are never random, they are mathematically determinable and are so mathematically perfect in relationship to one another. This completely contradicts the possibility these colours can be random, because a random combination of colours is rarely attractive.

''Understanding the interval ratios through the colour guide we can then transfer the perfect harmony between the colours of nature to the colours we want to use, and they will be in perfect pitch, as exists in nature.

''No one has fully explored the interval relationships with colour as they exist in nature or where they exist in a beautiful relationship in art or design and – and this book and the Moriarty Colour Wheel does that.

''As we use the Moriarty Colour Wheel, it gives you an opportunity to look and identify where the colours are by giving them a mathematical ratio of intervals.''

Contact Merv Moriarty

02 6494 5144

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About Prue Acton

Prue Acton is one of Australia's most respected fashion names. A cultural change agent, Prue achieved early success in Japan and the USA junior markets. In 1969 Prue Acton Cosmetics was launched; the fashion house enjoyed national and international success until Prue closed her doors in the early 90s to focus on her remarkable talent as a painter.

A colour consultant and corporate designer, Prue introduced Yellow as Australia's sporting colour at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1973, and she is known as a painter who loves Yellow, and any colour relationships that are beautiful and inspired by Nature.

Her reputation as a designer, a colourist, environmentalist and successful entrepreneur opens doors and continues to interest the media; plus the many who loved her fashion, design and cosmetics and are inspired by her beautiful paintings and wide-ranging views on culture – past, present and future.

Now Prue is putting her considerable design ability: to bring innovation and aesthetics together in the Moriarty Colour project.

''I need to know, 'Why?' and working with Merv Moriarty from the 1990s meant I had found the one person who understood the 'Why' of colour, and the potential of the colour wheel to explain colour. Together we are changing the way colour is presented so it's easy to understand, easy to use and to create beautiful colour in pigment and in light.

''The greatest colourists, artists and scientists have recognised order, pattern, mathematics, aesthetics and Nature as beauty.

''We break the laws of colour, of light, of Nature, at our peril. And we push our understanding of colour and we push colour relationships - as hard and as far as we can.

''From a letter by Vincent Van Gogh to Emile Bernard, June 1888... There is no blue without yellow and without orange, and if you put in blue, then you must put in yellow, and orange too, mustn't you?''

Contact Prue Acton

02 6494 5144

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