A World Rich In Colour

September Agenda Continued….

5. I have been blessed with an eye for colours.

When we were living in Quebec I took an evening art course and my teacher told me I have a good sense of colour, tones, and blending.  And many people have remarked about how good I am at putting together jigsaw puzzles.  I believe this is because I can pick up on minute differences in shading.  When it comes to piecing quilt tops, I can visualize what will look together with what.

I have a theory about this.  Scientists know we all have colour rods in our eyes that distinguish between the various colours.  Maybe some folks have more and some have less–and I’m just one of the extra-blessed in this regard?

My drawing skills are limited, though; the grandchildren like my simple pictures of cats and birds but most of my artwork these days involves doodling flowers on page margins.  Someday maybe I’ll quit blogging and work at improving my artistic talent. 🙂

I remember when I first seriously got interested in art.  A local Community College in Ontario sent out catalogues twice a year, describing the various courses they were offering, including evening classes.  I usually scanned the catalogue when it came, curious to see what evening classes they were offering: was there some interesting self-improvement class I could take?

A class on drawing caught my eye.  It was cartooning, though; I definitely wasn’t into that.  Neither could I “draw” – except for stick men and little circles with ears and tails that I called pigs and cats.  But back in Grade Six our class was supposed to make Christmas cards, using oil pastels for the artwork on the front.  I drew a picture of two birds in a tree, an evening sky and white snow; the oil pastels blended so well that it came out really nice.

Maybe buried somewhere deep in my gray matter there was a little talent for drawing?  And cartooning is drawing, so why not try it?  Encouraged by one pleasant memory I signed up for the class.

As the date approached I grew more enthused.  I was in my 30’s already; at this point I’d never find fame as an artist, but if I could produce something nice, why not go for it?  Alas! A week before the starting date I got a notice in the mail: “This course has been cancelled for lack of interest.”

I was a bit disappointed, but my mind was made up: I was going to learn to draw.  I’d just go to the Public Library and study some books on real-life drawings.

I’ll never forget that day!  I arrived at the Library in the afternoon, chose a few “simple basics” type books from the shelves and began to study.  The various aspects of light & shadows, perspectives and vanishing points, were intriguing.  I read about pencils, leads hard and soft, which work for what, how to sharpen them at an angle for use in shading, which erasers work the best.  Fascinated, I absorbed it all, never dreaming what this would do to me.

Time to head home.  I checked out a few of the books and headed for my car.  When I stepped out the library door I looked around–and suddenly I could SEE.  Of course I saw things before, but never in such detail!  Never through the eyes of an artist who would like to capture the details on paper.  It was like waking up in a different world, full of dazzling colour tones, shades & shadows, curves, lines and angles.

All the way home I was like someone who’d been blind and just left the hospital with new eyes.  I saw the trees along the road–marvelled at their different shapes.  I took note of the bark: the various textures, the tones of brown and grey with dabs or streaks of other colours.  That evening we had a service at church and I sat there observing the highs of light-touched brightness and valleys of shade in the draping of various fabrics; the grain of the woodwork on our benches was fascinating.

And to think that God created all this diversity for us!  He could have made bark, leaves, tree shapes and wood-grain all the same colour and texture, but He has created infinite variation in our world–all so that we could see it.

What colours make up a sunset?  How many sparkling diamonds on a hoar-frosted tree?  Why is an pear shiny and a peach fuzzy?  How many tones of green and red are on each apple? Why does a rainbow arc while Northern Lights dance?  How can each cloud and each snowflake be different?  Happy the person whose eyes are open to the diversity of our wonderful world.


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