Thursday, May 02, 2002

I am a sad, sad irony.

This was apparent to me last night as I was trying to work up the nerve to paint a color wheel, a homework assignment for watercolor class.

I love painting. I love the way the tip of a brush touches the paper, the way velvet color spreads over white. I love watching what I see in my mind's eye flow through the end of the brush and cover a blank space. It's almost as if it all happens on its own, and all the paint needs from me is that image of what it should form for the painting to form itself. And I only have to disengage my conscious mind long enough to let it happen.

It's when I have to think about what I'm doing that's the problem, and this is why the color wheel gives me such grief.

I'm red-green colorstupid.

I'm okay with reds and greens (they just tend to look a little brown). But blue and purple might as well be two shades of the same color. My 6-year-old thinks it's hilarious, but to me purple is nothing more than an annoying technicality. I call something blue and she corrects me, so I say, "Oh, all right, purple, then. What EVER!" I suspect that eventually someone's going to expose the "purple" myth – there really is no such thing, I've been right all along. You people are all just messing with my head.

And no matter what, my color wheel looks like a pile of poo.

Red, okay. Then we have a big, splotchy red-violet-purple-blue-violet-whatever section. Then blue. Okay. Blue is good! Then a mess of greenishness that was supposed to look like either blue-green or yellow-green, but who knows which one went where. But yellow! Now there's a color I can grasp. But then it gets all orange and mushy with some red mixed in for orange... or something. That's the point where I put down my brush and try to stare down the color wheel.

"Look, damn you," I said. "I don't like you, and you don't like me. So let's just finish with this sorry exercise in futility and move on. Agreed?"

And did you know that in this age of modern medicine, where they can suck fat cells out of your ass and re-implant them anywhere else you might like, this is the best they can do for me? Irony, I tell you.

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