Sunday, January 30, 2011


Favorite Color? My first thought is for brown. My father has beautiful deep brown eyes. I had brown hair (and brown eyes) and for years brown was my basic wardrobe color, shoes, purses, tops and coats. Brown was my neutral. 

Of course there are many shades of the lovely earth tone: cool browns, red browns, greenish browns, yellow browns, but my favorite is and always will be chocolate brown. Dark chocolate that is. I’m not sure which came first, my love of brown or my love of chocolate. I suspect chocolate, nevertheless brown is not the color I settled upon.

Then I think of green. My mother has lovely green eyes. I love the outdoors and all things that grow. Green is so amazingly used in nature. Blue greens next to yellow greens and everything in between living side by side in amazing harmony. In my Dutch Bible, it says that on the third day God said: "there be much green on the land". I love that. Yet green is not the color I chose either.

No, I settled on the most intangible color I know. I chose grey. It’s my new brown. You know grey is an amazing color. Just look up at (any northern) sky. I love the endless cloud formations: the deep, dark purplish grey gathering overhead for a winter storm, the lightest palest transparent puff in a blue sky, the bright and breezy billows of a spring day.

Did you know that when you mix any two colors which are opposite each other on the color wheel, you will obtain a shade of grey? Quick lesson. There are three primary colors: blue, yellow and red. These are not made up of any other color, hence the name, primary. Mix any two of those and add it to the third primary and you will get, yes, grey (by the way if you mix all three you’ll get brown). So for instance blue and red make purple, mix that with yellow and you’ll be a rich mauvish grey and so on. You can imagine how many different shades of grey, how many tints, how many hues there can be... That is a quality I crave, endless possiblities.

Some say grey hair is dead hair and should be colored. I beg to differ. Grey does an amazing job of softening the lines on our faces, it’s much more forgiving that any so called true color. You might say it’s the silver lining for our advancing years.

Out of doors, grey acts as a go between: whether it be silvery leaves or tree bark, glorious grey is the unsung hero of any garden, it acts as the tie that binds all those strong personalities, reds, purples, oranges, yellows, blues, and even the many greens of a well watered garden.

Perhaps the one element I love most about grey is its exquisite delicacy: any particular grey is almost impossible to define in terms of hue or tint and is loveliest in my eyes, next to other shades of grey. Unlike all the other gorgeous colors, grey never draws attention to itself, it never calls dibs on the front row, let alone the stage. No, grey is generally found somewhere in the background,  yet I could not imagine life without it.

So in honor of grey, here is an oil painting I did while I was still *blissfully* unaware they were the cause of my many headaches, it's called Grey Day....

No comments:

Post a Comment