Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Give Up

It's always felt to me that the more years I have under my belt, the more interesting introspection and reflection is, and the more I do of it, and the more interesting (to me) it is how things change. I really enjoy being in my head - not that I'm claiming I'm doing anything especially clever, just that I enjoy it.

I've always been told I'm good at "colour", whatever that means to the person saying it. 

To my mother, it's meant that I was able to look at a colour, say at a shirt or shoes or piece of jewellery, and then some time later, hours or days or weeks, go out and see something else and know that it's the same colour (and then perhaps buy it and bring it home and voilĂ  it's a prefect match).

To my fiber and beading friends it's meant that my items (knitted, beaded) contain a happy collection of colours (I think).

The thing is, it's completely intuitive and it all goes to hell if I try to be conscious and mindful and goal-oriented. Most of the time I'm fooling around with say a super duo, and then I need a size eight so I look at what's on the table under the piles and if it's right (i.e a contrast if that's what I need or a blendy colour if that's what I need) then I take it otherwise I hurriedly open one of of size eight drawers and grab the first tube that looks kind of OK and move on. 

When I'm focused predominantly on size or shape then everything works so very well, but when I'm aiming for colour-ways (like making kits for a design) then either they all end up looking pretty much the same or else I spend a huge amount of time cutting up hideousness until it's not ghastly.

So I need to make a class sample for my class on August 5th. It uses a significant amount of super duos, and I like the effect of an opaque super duo, and the only super duos in my stash that fits the opaque and plentiful criteria happen to be a sort of purplish. Perhaps orchid? Less pink though.

I also have a boatload of a half-coat metallic almost-lime green 6mm fire-polished bead that I bought for something for which they turned out to be unsuitable and ever since then, I've been trying to use them up with little success, and this time was no exception.

I mean, purple and green (the right shades) are perfect together: think olive and eggplant, plum and chartreuse.

I find it interesting to see what the colour wheel says; there's an app on my Mac desktop I've been using for years, and also one here that I've messed around with. The thing is, much as I enjoy the surprises that these tools provide (and somehow, their suggestions almost always are unexpected to me), I look at them and something's missing from their colour schemes. The intensities are too close, they don't take accents like black or grey or finishes like metallic into account and they always look both flat and garish, but the damn colour wheel has been drilled into me for years and years and years and so I sort of think okay maybe but hmmm, not really sure.

So this happened (those shiny seed beads at the end aren't blue; they're really very purple but my camera skills blah blah blah):

That green zig-zag in the middle is both dull and screaming but without any authority or gravitas. It needs deeper intensity, right?
Wrong again. It's just not happy-making. I hate all those greens with all those purples, there's altogether too much colour but not enough zing.

Disgusted, I put the green beads aside, and prepared to think, and then it came to me: black grey silver charcoal matte shiny opaque transparent picasso gold-luster.


I swear, I'm not wasting time with the colour wheel any more because it clearly doesn't work for me.

I'm also not going to overthink colours any more. No intense planning, just pick ONE BEAD, and then quickly grab the others and I'm convinced I'll do better that way.

But I have to say, there's a part of me that's disappointed that I can't have better success through mindful and conscious planning, and that my ability to pick colours that work well together is an effort more closely related to not really paying attention than the inverse.

And I'm still going to have to find something which will use up half a mass of green beads.

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