I know people who dismiss art works out of hand. They say things like ‘but I could do that!’ or ‘it’s just colours’, or ‘why is that any good?’. I walked with someone through an art shop yesterday, for example. I pointed out some Rothko cards, saying ‘I love these colours!’ And my friend gave me the bemused expression – the ‘are you mad’ look. They didn’t like Rothko’s work, obviously.
I do not consider myself an artist, but I have worked obsessively at photographing soap bubbles. I love the colours and textures. It’s as simple as just looking at bubbles and wanting to swear how rich the colours are. I get so I want to say the names of the colours out loud to someone: ‘look at the GREENS, the PURPLES, the BLUES, the ORANGES!!!!’
I love colours. It’s that simple. I love coloured pencils, rainbows, soap bubbles, stained glass windows, flowers, paint samples. I get a kick from the greens in a William Eggleston photograph! I love Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks! I live near to Salts Mill, where there are many beautiful art books laid out on tables. I spend a lot of time looking at the covers of books, absorbing the shapes and colours into my being. One book is particularly lovely – Colour Deconstructed.
And can it be that lots of people are just not interested in colours, or do not like colours?
Or is it that these people just expect more from ‘art’ somehow? Do they expect to be catered to in a complex way? Do they need a bit of realism, need to be sold an idea in some detailed kind of a way? Do they need to be led by the hand, entertained, pampered, influenced, be provided for? Is colour too simple for them? Is it somehow not enough?
Just some thoughts! Perhaps I just know too many people who are just not roused by colour. Perhaps appreciating and absorbing colour is something that takes time. Perhaps I’m developing into a colour connoisseur.
I’ll leave you with another of my bubble photos, Entwined: