What Is the Right Color?

6 Mar

by Stella De Genova

What’s it like to be a visually impaired artist whose color differentiation is fading?  Frustrating may be the first word that comes to mind but I’m not going to be that hard on myself.  I take this as a new opportunity to break the rules and color outside of the lines. Depending the time of day or lighting, colors change and may or may not be so apparent.  And that’s for people with good vision.  If you look at something long enough, you’ll see more than one color in just about anything.  And you can paint white snow or a white vase without even using white paint.  So try as I may, I don’t always get it right, which is OK because it makes for new interpretations of everyday life.  It makes me smile when the art instructor critiques my piece and says “Green usually works better in skin tones than blue but that really worked for you.”  Little does she know that I thought I did use green!  Of course, if I start out really wanting something to be accurate, I’ll ask someone for the correct colors but as the picture takes its own shape and I keep adding new layers, the colors tend to change.  Yes, when this new aspect of my vision loss started, it was frustrating but I’m learning to be less of a perfectionist and ultimately, that means I have the freedom to have more fun.

This is an excerpt I wrote for Maribel Steel’s blog, At the Gateway to Blindness, and a piece of Part 2 of her series called The Art of Being Blind.  You can read Maribel’s full post and and Parts 1 and 3 at:  http://www.gatewaytoblindness.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-art-of-being-blind-part-2-what.html .

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2 Responses to “What Is the Right Color?”

  1. Micky Holdsworth March 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

    Well said Stella! Losing color vision has been the biggest surprise and disappointment with RP. It is hard to overstate the joy I experienced and took for granted in color. It is not just a matter of mistaking blue from green, but losing the definition of form when adjacent colors have the same value. I used to perceive them as separate spaces and now they blend into each other. Still the joy of color returns in unexpected ways. I still gaze out of habit at the cubist body parts on the television which has reverted to 1960s grayscale. And suddenly a splash of red on the TV screen feels like finding an easter egg. It is a treat that draws me back into the joy of the here and now. My determination to take RP as it comes is reinforced and I am content once again with life as it is.

    Thanks for keeping up the blog Stella. It also feeds my contentment. Micky Holdsworth

    • visionthroughwords March 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM #

      Mickey, I’ve experienced exactly what you describe as well. The world is becoming more abstract. And good to hear you’re enjoying the blog!

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