Every so often a colour will cruise alongside me for a while, and then accost, assault and mug me. It will take up residence and refuse to budge until something (who knows what) has been worked through.Some years ago it was ultramarine blue. You know the one I mean – that saturated, dense colour which is only itself and nothing else. It seemed to de-laminate from the internal murk and rise slowly to the surface until it had lodged itself behind my retina. It needed to be mirrored by objects in the external world. I sought it out everywhere, looking for it out of the corner of my eye, restless until I found it. I bought little bits of it to strew about the place – dishes, glasses, plates. But that wasn’t enough and so I painted a room in it (well, actually two) and it was a strange thing -the walls seemed to pack flat and fall clean away into space so that I found myself sitting in some humming, velvety place in the upper firmament.
And then it all died away and left me in peace. When I see the colour now – in bits of detritus from that time, a chipped bowl, a stained dish – I look sideways at it with oblique glances, the way people look at past lovers.
And then for a few years there were no grand passions. There was (and still is) black and all its attendant courtiers. Bathrooms, studies and bedrooms have worn ebony, charcoal and blackberry garb, but those are undemanding, calming colours and so it has been more of a peaceful co-habitation than a full-scale invasion.
But recently a surprising development has been taking shape. Pink – a soft powdery pink, a thing of no outline, no more than a murmur or a haze really – this has been creeping up on me steathily, like a cat with buttered paws. It thinks I haven’t noticed, but I have. My eyes seek it out and when I find it I am soothed by it, as if it brushes my internal organs softly, in a downwards motion. If you knew me away from this blog you would know how distinctly un-pink I am, but there it is. We don’t seem able to choose our invaders, but I am sure we can get something from them.
So anyway I’m putting it here, a flag in the sand, so that when I return from my travels I’ll find it and be oriented (or maybe not, but I hope so). I can see it in the Regency Wreck – in the first floor room, a gesture of something other in a plain grey room. A powdered brush maybe, in the hand of a Quaker. A rustle of silk. A blush of the fanciful (does you good).
(I do, for once, have the references for these last three pictures, but I’m buggered if I can find them. Underneath the suitcases, lists of instructions to Ms Pimp, dogs-who-sense-something-is-afoot, passports, thermal underwear, trousers which need mending, cameras which need charging, canvases which need painting, books which need writing, camels which need watering, rivers which need fording, houses which need building, and elephants which need grooming. Ets which need cettering. So I will post at some later, calmer date).