Compelling color

Writer / Peter J. Blackburn

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Like Monet, Peter J. Blackburn is inspired by color.

Maybe it’s from viewing outdoor Texas living through my polarized Bolle sunglasses, although I don’t think so. I remember buying those sunglasses to enhance what was already important to me, to help intensify a decades-long fixation. I’m referring to color, of course. More than any other aspect of my art and photography, I am drawn to color. It is the foremost factor that drives, or rather, compels me to photograph and render my prints in tricolor dichromate. Monet exclaimed more than a century ago, “Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Thank you, Claude. I couldn’t have expressed it better.

Associated with color is light. They go together like Romeo and Juliet, paper and pencil, or pepperoni and pizza. Hold the anchovies, please. A beam of light conveys information from one place to another. Color is only one of the many revealing tidings it carries. Call it enlightenment, if you will. Whether reflecting off a painted red barn or filtering through a translucent rose petal, the interaction of light and color, and color and light, is for me tantalizingly, excruciatingly compelling.

Wildflower season has just begun in Texas. Color is everywhere to see, experience—and photograph. For years, I have grabbed the photo gear, donned my hiking boots, and trekked through many a field and glen in search of color-coated firewheel, buttercups, and bluebonnets. This spring will be no exception. Where there is color, I am compelled.

1 thought on “Compelling color”

  1. I couldn’t relate more. I love color in its most saturated form. Add translucence to the mix to make it glow with the sunlight filtering through and I can feel a sense of energy emanating from the subject.

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