Monday 18 February 2008

Greek Blue

I'm currently feeling a little sorry for myself as I'm on antibiotics for an infection in empty socket following wisdom tooth extraction. 3 visits to the dentist last week didn't do the trick despite cleaning out the site (without anaesthetic) and the continual taste of iodine. No alcohol allowed so to cheer myself up, I've been fishing out quilts and pictures and deciding on places to hang them . It's given an opportunity to reappraise and look what direction I'm going in.
'Sea Stars' has been hung in our bedroom - this dates from 2002 and my first experiments printing using the computer, combined with Thai silk 'wacky stars'. At that time I was using iron-on transfer sheets ( I soon moved onto Bubblejet set as I don't like the plasticy feel and the difficulty of hand stitching ) and I hadn't yet learnt about increasing colour saturation. That said I rather like the subdued blue-green, it's a colour I keep coming back to, being part of the colour palette of Greek Doors. I have so many photos and sketches of the infinite variations of peeling blue/green/turquoise paint, collected over several years and trips.

Also out of storage now are my travel sketch books including this watercolour from April 1998 on a Ramblers walking holiday in the Peloponnese. It was 15 minutes snatched during a coffee break in a village high in Taygetos mountains near Sparti before a walk down the Anavriti gorge with flowers everywhere. It's not my usual strength of colour - probably as it was near the start of the holiday and the pans were a bit dry ( and cold - there was snow around)

I did the same trip with Ian in 2006 and I was delighted to find that the same crumbly set up of doors and stairs was still there and hadn't been restored as I feared. This time we walked up the Gorge at our own pace ( botanising is a slow process) with spectacular views and lots of orchids and had a Taverna lunch overlooking this gem. I didn't sketch it this time but looked for a long time absorbing the colours ( while stuffing myself with courgette fritters).
I've driven by colour ( I'm afraid I tend to skimp on drawing ) and can 'carry' a colour in my head - a knack that a friend who shares it equates to having perfect pitch in music.
I wonder what you'd call it and how common it is?


Olga Norris said...

I carry colours myself, and was delighted when I learned that this is how Howard Hodgkin works. He does not use sketchbooks, but gazes until he has memorised what he wants.

I have not personally met anyone else who does this. I never had any lessons with a colour wheel until quite late in my life and I found that it started messing with my existing relationship with colours. So I leave my brain to sort things out for itself now.

Julie said...

Poor you. I hope you're soon feeling much better.
Unfortunately I can't carry a colour in my head, wish I could. I have done a lot of work on colour mixing in painting but I'm probably a bit rusty at that too as I haven't painted much lately.

jude said...

i hope you are feeling better.
your work is beautiful. i love the watery quality of sea stars.
i carry colors too but in no definite or constant state. it is a feeling or memory. i did have a lot of color training but it has had no effect whatsoever on what i see in my head.

Helen said...

I really like the sea star quilt - It's "that" blue green colour isn't it Mags - I think we could go as far as to call it a fetish. I do the colour pitch thing too and it never leaves my head. I still remember the perfect colour of tiles I found in the garden as a child. It's such an interesting thing as I didn't realise that other people don't hold colours - I just thought some folks didn't know how to look - fascinating.

Deb said...

Your sea star quilt is beautiful. I also have the ability to carry colors in my head. Like Helen Suzanne I can still remmember the color of some tiles from my childhood--a very distinct shade of turquoise that is currently back in style.
I haven't met many people who can do this, either.

Featheronawire Sally Bramald said...

Google 'dry socket' I had that once after an extraction and ended up on heavy dose painkillers for ages. I do hope this isn't what you have.
Nice work

Deb Lacativa said...

Hate it for you on the tooth front.That's the only dream I ever qualify as nightmare...teeth grief.

I love the last's just waiting to come to fiberlife. Do you know the work of artquilter Elizabeth Barton?