Friday, November 2, 2007


When I was little I used to love purple*. I had purple mary-janes, purple curtains, a purple teddy bear and a purple bedroom floor (thanks mom!). Everyone who knew me knew that gifts were most appreciated if they came in purple. If I had had my druthers, crayola would have made me one of those big boxes of 64 crayons filled with an array of PURPLE (each one a slightly different shade of course). I was fiercely loyal to that royal colour.

Almost as much as purple, I loved rainbows. I loved how the colours flowed into each other, how they folded together like a chromatic sky puzzle. I had a fabulous bathing suit in purple, with a rainbow on the front. Imagine how much I adored Ranbow Bright and Punky Brewster.

I still love purple, but I have since come to appreciate the rest of the spectrum as well. Even yellow and orange, which I had trouble with at first. I am also deeply in love with a much wider vision of purple than I used to be. I now thrill to eggplant, plum and wine every bit as much as bluey-violet. I have learned that I really like seeing colours together, watching them change with the amount of light and when they are alone or else paired with complimentary friendly colours and then with wildly clashing enemy colours.

I am still so affected by colour. I sometimes feel like a little kid (in a good way) when I go to someone's place for supper and they are dishing out the dinner plates. I ALWAYS have a preference (please please please pass me the teal plate with the pale blue edges!). Sometimes I ask for the one I want, but other times I just go with the flow, and learn to love the red plate that I am given.

When I was living in Ottawa I picked up a neat book called Colour: Travels Through The Paintbox (AKA Colour: A Natural History of the Palatte) by Victoria Finlay. Even though I've had the book for like three years now, and even though I am drawn to it and know I will enjoy it, I think I have only read up to red so far. Funny how that happens... sometimes it really takes a while to get through or even to get started on a book, even when you know you want to. Anyway, from what I read so far, it is great.

Sometimes, when I am trying to kick start my creative side, I try to imagine a new colour. It is almost impossible to do (nothing is totally impossible... right?). But how crazy would it be to encounter a totally unheard-of colour? What would it be called? Could I make a skirt out of it? Would it look good with Purple?

So... what is YOUR favorite colour?

*It is important to note that the flavour of purple I prefered tended towards indigo. I was not interested in any girly mauves or purples that were overtly pink. I wanted a heavy dose of blue in my violet.

Photos: Salsify flowers by Jutta Klee; sweet peas sitting on a book by Michelle Garrett; grizzly meditating on the rainbow by Johnny Johnson; upside-down sea stars by Fred Hirshmann; radiant red crown of thorns sea creature by Frank and Joyce Burek; beautiful bowl of figs by Yamini Chao; be-jeweled spider web by Ian Shive all found at Getty Images.

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