print this

12/07/2011

My dear friend Sam Garriott visited us in May and, while our time together was short, we did manage to have some fairly epic conversations about art and, in particular, colour.  Sam is a book artist, as well as a “tiny artist”;  she makes one-off books of marvellous intricacy, both in form and content.  In order to support this nefarious habit, she works as a colour specialist in high-quality printing, so our wine-fueled talks inevitably wandered to the language of colour.

One thing we discovered that we both do is habitually parse the world around us into its various colour combinations;  me with the standard oil paint colours and Sam with the colour combinations she uses in her printing work, as well as paint colours.  It becomes almost a tic, you might say, one I’m certain is shared by other artists who work with colour.  For example, I look at a gorgeous sunset with light-limned clouds and while part of my mind is reacting to the utter fugitive beauty of the moment, another part of my mind is thinking “cadmium yellow light mixed with alizarin crimson, titanium white, just a touch, possibly a wee dollop of naples yellow for that sky area” and so on.

I imagine every trade changes the way one looks at the world, creating deeper dimensions within things that others take at face value.

cyan

magenta

yellow

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2 Responses to “print this”

  1. gigi said

    i’d’ve loved that conversation.
    like a writer collecting phrases or a composer hearing tunes and notes in birds and passing cars, a painter constantly sees in color combinations and composition. it’s a wonderful way to live.

  2. dart said

    yes, the heightened sensitivity makes the world come alive in a different way… like 3, 4, 5-dimensional snapshots. Sometimes I wish a sunset were just a sunset, though, and I could switch the technical stuff off. But how fortunate, I think, that I’m not a dentist, for example, hehe.

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