Monday, July 28, 2008

Where Do You Get Your Colors?

I'm often asked that impossible to answer question, "Where do you get your ideas?" (Impossible to answer, that is, with anything other than "Um, everywhere?"). But only slightly less often I'm asked about the colors I use; "I like the colors" being the comment I receive most often on my books (to which I always want to respond a bit snarkily, "well... thanks for reading the colors?").

So I was thinking recently about palettes to which I'm repeatedly drawn. Why are these colors more pleasing to me than those? And I realized it stems from a combining of two worlds.

There are the muted colors of southern Ohio, particularly those of the autumn, but then there were the colors of television (which, highly regulated by my parents, were always a thing to be revered and awed). In reality's palette, there were the dying fields, fading paint of barns, sun-bleached signs having long since outlived the advertised product. And in television there was a pulsing madness that made me want too run out of my own skin. Frightening and infinitely inviting, a chromatic siren's song. In particular the products and aftermath of psychedelia, such as the above bit (unbelievably from Sesame Street) and below, The Yellow Submarine, which I recall watching slack-jawed at my grandmother's house while downing excessive amounts of ginger ale.

In my mind those colors print on top of each other, fading each other, warming each other, subdued on a piece of newsprint that's warm to the touch, glowing a little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Or, from the collator of "The Anthology of American Folk Music":

Who needs drugs when you have the interwebs.