Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Grateful for Colour

Today I am grateful for colour. 

Since starting to paint with  watercolour I have been astonished by how many different hues can be created using just three primaries, a red, a yellow and a blue. 

There's no limit really.

The Australian poet Dorothea McKellar (1885-1968) wrote a poem in 1909 which paints a picture of the strong hues of Australia, expresses gratitude to God for colour and for being able to recall colours in the memory. It was said to be her favourite of the poems she wrote and so was read at her funeral

Here it is:

COLOUR

The lovely things that I have watched unthining,
unknowing, day by day.
That their soft dyes have steeped my soul in colour
that will not pass away.

Great saffron sunset clouds and larkspur mountains,
and fenceless miles of plain.
And hillsides golden-green in that unearthly
clear shining after rain;

And nights of blue and pearl, and long smooth beaches,
yellow as sunburnt wheat.
Edged with a line of foam that creams and hisses,
enticing weary feet.

And emeralds, and sunset-hearted opals,
and asian marble, veined
with scarlet flame, and cool green jade, and moonstones
misty and azure stained.

And almond trees in bloom, and oleanders,
or a wide purple sea.
Of plain-land gorgeous with a lovely poison,
the evil Darling pea.

If I am tired I call on these to help me
to dream - and dawn-lit skies.
Lemon and pink, or faintest, coolest lilac,
float on my soothed eyes.

There is no night so black but you shine through it,
there is no morn so drear.
O Colour of the World, but I can find you,
most tender, pure and clear.

Thanks be to God, Who gave this gift of colour,
which who shall seek shall find;
thanks be to God, Who gives me strength to hold it,
though I were stricken blind.


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