Stories from my Sketchbook . . .
The Oxford English Dictionary defines colour as ‘the property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light’.
The human eye can only see light within specific wavelengths so, by this definition, colour is the range of visible light that humans can actually see. For us, the visible spectrum begins with the wavelengths we call violet. This then moves on to blue, green, yellow, orange, and ends with what we call red. The trouble with this approach is that there are some very noticeable exceptions—like black and white. In science black and white are not considered colours because they do not have specific wavelengths. White light contains all wavelengths of visible light while black is the absence of visible light.
But you know what? That doesn’t really work for me. I need to see black and white as colours because, in spite of my love of all the other colours of the rainbow, my day-to-day life is a vision in monochrome.
My home decor is mostly black and white. I admit there are a few (quite a few actually) vibrant pops of colour here and there, but the fact remains—I have white walls, white cupboards, black lounge, black chairs, black and white rugs, black and white prints and black and white quilts and pillows. (All serving to beautifully accentuate all those other lovely colours I might add).
I also have three little dogs, two black-and-white, and one all black. Now, I hasten to add that I absolutely did not choose these little dogs so they would match my furniture. That was more of a happy accident . . .
Many of my clothes are black and white—just because I really like wearing black and white. It works in any season, it’s easy to mix and match (and add to—no more vacillating about whether it is quite the right shade when buying something new for my already far too substantial wardrobe) and I can also easily pep it up with any other colour on a whim (fuschia pink shoes!!) while still looking tidy and presentable when out and about in the world.
(Wearing mostly black and white is also exceedingly helpful when you are the owner of aforesaid three hairy (and prone to frequent shedding) little dogs. The ever-constant dog-hairs on my clothes are at least evenly distributed . . . )
So, scientific or not, I think I need to continue to see black and white as colours—otherwise I might be forced to rethink my whole take on my world and everything in it.
I’m not sure I’m entirely ready for that . . .