Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A journey into colour as expression.

 I recently made an image of some weedy plants growing against a red painted wooden fence down by the docks in Fulford Harbour. White trumpet blossoms, green vines and red fence. Not much really, except for me it was evidence of my recent interest in colour relationships.

Ever since my artwork last winter doing studies of the painters Cezanne and Gauguin I have been seeing the world through their eyes, their sense of colour and form, and recently I rediscovered a set of colour cards I had bought in art school, - tints and shades of all colours. Being partially colour blind, I had not found much use for them, preferring then to play to my strengths in graphic black and white. Time now to work with the increased colour sense I have been experiencing lately and the emotional impact that is possible when colour is used with intent.

I reread Johannas Itten`s book, ‘The Elements of Colour’, on his studies in colour theory and began to place blossoms against different coloured backgrounds. Orange/red flower backed by a cool blue/green, pink blossom upon a matching pink, green leaf on a yellow ocher. What I noticed was that each photo carried its own emotion in its colour relationships that had little to do with the subject itself.

Now, when I see white sails against blue sky I actually see that they too are blue, reverberating in the intense blueness of the air. Yellow flowers at dusk are shades already, have lost the warm cast of sunset, and are sliding into the blue of the night. And what I cannot report as true colour in a scientific way I am free to create in an intimate personal expression of what I see regardless of what more colour-sighted might think. I am lucky after all not to be constrained by ‘reality’, that agreed upon understanding of what the world is like, and to be free to play with colour relationships as a musician must play with sound.

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