Before I was married to an artist, I saw the world in simple colors.
Green was green. Whether it was your run-of-the-mill fescue grass you find on suburban Canadian prairie lawns or the coarse baize covering a billiard table, the color was simply green.
Same for blue. Whether it was the crystal-clear sky on a cloudless day or the inimitable, googly-eyed Cookie Monster, the color was simply blue.
In those days, I couldn’t even tell you all the colors of the rainbow, let alone the correct order.
I never really cared enough to pay attention during art class in elementary school. Consequently, hitting junior high where I could choose which elective classes I would take — or wouldn’t take; goodbye art class — was next-level awesome.
Truly, the world was simple for me back then.
Enter my future artist wife.
It started slowly. You remember those early days of a relationship. You’re courting each other, being careful to share “safe” thoughts until you build and develop trust to share the deeper thoughts.
While color theory isn’t exactly deep thinking, it also wasn’t the first thing someone discusses with a potential partner on a first date.
Over time, I came to understand that my future artist wife saw the world in a significantly more complex way than I did.
Green was not always green. Blue was not always blue. Apparently, there are shades and gradients within these colors that can be described using other words.
Green was not always green. Blue was not always blue. Apparently, there are shades and gradients within these colors that can be described using other words. Words like: cobalt, cerulean, zaffre, chartreuse and phthalo. You know, descriptive words that only artists could imagine to describe something that is green or blue.
The day eventually came where I had to admit to her that I couldn’t even name the colours of the rainbow, let alone the correct order.
Following that admission, I remain grateful that she didn’t punt me to the curb in favor of someone else.
Truth be told, even 20 years after I admitted to my sin of not knowing the colors of the rainbow, I never truly learned the correct order and committed it to memory until I created my ballcap rainbow last year.
At least it’s progress. Progress that wouldn’t have happened if I weren’t married to an artist.