Moving on… literally

So I’ve come to a decision about my Colour Diary… I’m going to stop.

Basically, it’s time to move on. I have been keeping my colour diary for nearly 2 years now. Every day. 9 colours. That’s approx 5,500 colours. But now, I am finding that there just aren’t enough colours that differ this far down the line to those that have gone before. Most of my entries now are a snapshot of something where I see an impactful colour in situ.

When I had my tutorial with Les we talked about the colour journey I had made from St Paul’s to Tate Modern. We discussed how moving outside into ‘journeys’ is a way to extend, expand and refresh my colour diary. This could be an entire body of work in itself. Hockney did work over and over again in a given location – watching how the light changed the colours in the environment.

The colour diary needs to move on because I was pointing out that, after 2 years, the colours are becoming rather ‘samey’ as nothing much happens or changes. But on a day out, the colours change dramatically because my environment changes. Emotions will still play a part in the colours I note, but I am looking at an expanded environment through which to express those emotions.

Another body of work would be pixelating such images – such as into a 3×3 pixels image. p.s. I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work how I think Les and I hoped it would. What happens when you condense the image into 9 pixels (and therefore 9 colours) is the pixels are the ‘sum of the parts’ and the colours all become muddied. They don’t look the way you ‘read’ the image – from the highlights and shadows and punctuations of colours. They are an average of an area. They were a disappointing outcome. Particularly in images such as tree bark – where there are similar colours with small areas of brighter colours – these smaller areas of colour disappear and the 3×3 grid appears virtually the same colour.

Les thought my colour journeys were like a story – like a book. The story of a journey, through time and emotions expressed through colour.

I told Les the London trip was good for me because I found new sources of colour. He thought journey was a nice way of dealing with abstraction and it was a nice way into the work – i.e. St Paul’s to Tate Modern – it gives a grounding to the work.

I discussed with Les about the ‘missing’ colours in some of the photos I took – I could SEE purple, but at no point could I get the eyedropper to pick that colour, despite it ‘appearing’ to be present. I said I was very interested in the physiological response to colours that aren’t there – that your eye and brain mix the colours that are really there to make something that isn’t.

Les suggested throwing 2 darts at a map and every 30 secs or 10 steps etc. I look left or right or up or down and take a photograph. The lengths of the pieces will be dictated by the rules I set up. I am using my graphic skills to make fine art. This feels much more rounded for me.

It should not be a random series of photos or where I see something of interest only (although I will continue to capture these things, as I do now), but a journey where I actively do something with a set of rules. (I went to London the Sat after the tutorial and set up walk parameters for the journeys between the places I was to visit – this included step and time photographs on foot, tube and train. I now have several hundred images to organise and develop into sampled colours for journeys).

I set rules, such as 3x round my garden – on the hour, for 3 consecutive hours.

From Kings X to Trafalgar Square – where I took a photo every 50 steps – or count of 50 when I was on the tube.

From Trafalgar Square to the Southbank where I took 4 photos at each 100 step interval (a choice from up/down/behind/left/right).

I could also do journeys in other places you find stripes – such as in the library doing colours A-Z etc.

I intend to try these new colour journeys as small intimate books as well as my thin panel paintings.



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