Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bad Language - seeing Red! Tomatoes on cloth, Oil 8in x 10in

The way we speak and the limitations of our language, seriously hinders our progression in both our willingness to Observe as well as in our ability to understand or recognise the colours we See. This time, I'm referring to Colour, and the limited number of words we have to describe the endless, ENDLESS, colour we see all around us, everywhere, every day.

Tomatoes on Cloth - my first painting on Board, (as opposed to canvas) a few months ago. Oils 8in x 10 in. Not the best pic, but you get the idea. (note the bits of 'Red' in the 'White' cloth) 

Take Red, for example. If you imagine in your mind what Red looks like, everyone will have a different red in mind. If I say maroon, or burgundy or cerise, or crimson or scarlet, that focuses your imagination a bit more - but not much. If I say think of a  Red-Head - the variety of different reds goes from deep coppery-red to light bright gold... How about a Red Pepper? Red Onion? Red Tomaoto? Pomegranate? Rose? Which one is red? And which PART of each thing is the reddest red? Our Language, our lack of labels for colours,  seriously restricts our ability, or our Desire to really Look, and then See, it blocks our mind to the concept of colours within each colour-label. But really, deep down, we KNOW - its just that language has so over simplified it, that we forget. We do know how many colours are mixed together to produce other colours. For example. if you have ever ordered paint and watched it being mixed up, there is a huge tub of white, and the machine drops in small amounts of other colours - a squirt of yellow, a smigde of red and maybe a droplet of black, then lid on, and the tub goes into the Shaker Machine and is juggled to death (yup, I LOVE that..), and your new peachy-plumy-paint is ready...

                     This is  a photo of a real apple - I LOVE this! I was about to eat it, when I spotted the reflections, and gave it a polish - reflections top AND bottom,  how DELICIOUS. But, er, what colour is it....?? Don't say R**..!

Here's your quick-dictionary... Hue: Another word for Colour 
Value: how light or dark a colour is
Saturation: NOT light or dark, but pale or weak, and pure or strong. 
Confused? That's ok, all you have to do is LOOK!

Next up - Big Drawing Day in Belfast (and I'm making LUNCH!!)
Email for info.
Also - my weekly classes continue through most of summer, and I have had some local teenagers join in. Great time to get some drawing in now that school is done.


  1. Oh Julie, I look forward to the day I can do one of your classes!!!

  2. ha ha Emily, that made me laugh loudly!! You don't need any lessons... you just want the craic! (and the tea....)
    I also look forward to you coming to my classes!!! xxx