“Colour is Life”*

There are many things in life we tend to take for granted.  For those of us with full sight capacity, including the ability to see colour, it is hard to imagine what life must be like without access to the full spectrum.

This video gives some insight to this, however.  I love the reactions of the people who are able to see colour for the first time, with the use of special glasses:

Being colorblind is not life threatening.  But I would think that the beauty of life must be significantly enhanced by being able to see colours, especially if someone has not previously had this experience.

The artist Monet famously painted very differently before and after cataract operations on both eyes.  This article gives a clear comparison of his work over time.  How amazing it must have been for him to see everything so differently with new vision.

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment.
― Claude Monet

I am very grateful to be able to see all colours in all their glory.  Here’s a fairly trivial, but relevant reason why…

I was sorry to miss this summer’s Missoni exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum.  But I have the next best thing – the catalogue:


It fizzes and sings with vibrant images like these:

image image

And I was intrigued to see this entry…


….which looks very much like the Soumak shawl I am currently knitting.

As well as this shawl, I am wallowing in colour with my Japanese Flower Shawl, which is gradually expanding:

image image

As I add more flowers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to decide which combination of colours to use – I am striving to avoid any repeats.  But this process is part of the joy of seeing this project unfold.

Having watched the video above, along with various other similar clips on YouTube, I will be sure to enjoy these two projects and my Missoni book even more now. 🙂


* title quote ~ Johannes Itten, quoted in Missoni Art Colour


25 thoughts on ““Colour is Life”*

  1. I am looking forward very much to seeing your Missoni catalogue VERY soon and to seeing you and Steve in full colour. The video certainly reinforces the fact that we shouldn’t take being able to see the beautiful colours of the world for granted. Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  2. For many years, I chose white or off white for the colours of my home. After all, every architecture and home decor magazine gave the impression that colour should be restricted to accent. Even now, with the return to vibrant colours, white seems to maintain its dominance in the background. After many years, I decided that I would chose colour for my entire home. It has made all of the difference in how I see the world. Now, white is my accent colour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very interesting link Ann! This makes me think of our bird the Robin – Robin Redbreast as it is also know – whose breast isn’t red at all but orange. The colour orange hadn’t been ‘discovered’ when the Robin was named.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gosh Clare thanks for alerting me to the history of orange. Yesterday my daughter was trying to explain hex colour codes to me…….hmmmm…..not sure I have got my head around them but it added to the discussion on the complexity of colour. Orange with blue is one of my favourite colour combinations by the way.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I haven’t heard of hex colour codes – I think I might have difficulty with this one! I do know about the colour wheel
        http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-theory and blue and orange are opposite each other. It’s a favourite colour combination of mine too and I tried it out in a flower border once with Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’
        and some gorgeous orange dahlias (I’ve forgotten which ones sadly) I found this wiki link interesting

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      3. I am not sure I have met Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue but I am sure the border was a heavenly sight. I have planted baskets of orange pansies to offset the blues in the garden this year but…. BUT I noticed last week that aphids have destroyed two of the pansies. The wiki link is great.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Thank-you Ann. Last year we had so many aphids in the garden and they wreaked havoc everywhere. This year I don’t believe I have seen any! I do not recall ever having an aphid free year before. Very strange.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Utterly fascinating, thanks so much for this brilliant addition to the conversation. It has inspired me to research more about this fascinating topic. Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Accurate or not, it still raises some really interesting questions particularly, as you highlighted in one of your other comments, this idea that no-one sees the same colour even though we have similar names, and vice-versa.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And then there’s the fact that my husband always says brown when I would say blue. His first language is Amharic.’The Blue Nile is so-called because floods during the summer monsoon erode a vast amount of fertile soil from the Ethiopian Highlands and carry it downstream as silt, turning the water dark brown or almost black.[2] In the local Sudanese language, the word for black is also used for the colour blue.’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Nile

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love those reactions, I suffer from partial colour blindness, it is darker colours that I struggle with though which isn’t so bad, I prefer assuming more things are black than not being able to see blues and reds. I can’t imagine losing that gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We humans are fascinating beings, aren’t we. Maybe there will one day be a version of the glasses which can help with your form of colour blindness, but I can see that it helps in the meantime to be able to separate vibrant colours.

      Liked by 1 person

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