I was never any good at art when I was a child: I think I stopped actually looking at things and relied on too many pre-conceptions about what I expected to see. For example, shadows were black. Well, I suppose I thought they might be different shades of grey, but they certainly weren’t blue, pink and orange.I suspect painting black shadows is a beginner’s mistake, like using clichés in poems instead of trying to look beyond the expectations and see things anew. Continue reading “shadow play”
When I told a friend that I’d been looking through old poems trying to find one to send to a competition with the theme darkness, he laughed and said I should find that easy: after all, I write lots of dark poems.
In fact he was wrong. The subject matter isn’t always the most cheerful, but I do tend to find a bright twist to things. Like the owl in the photo – the Midnight Moths owl from Birmingham’s Big Hoot Art Trail – I can’t help but see the stars.
Coincidentally, yesterday I came across the word eigengrau: the colour that we see when there is zero light.
It seems that even in perfect darkness we don’t actually see black: our optic nerves make us see a dark grey instead. Perhaps we should re-name them optimistic nerves. Perhaps I should write a poem about that.