Living in Lockdown and the accidental rise of Orange. Yesterday, Pandemic Pondering #75 was about serendipitous gifts. It was not my best blog as it had two threads which I failed to entwine as well as I might have done. One of the serendipitous gifts, of yesterday was a retro, wind-up alarm clock.
In a gorgeous wake- up orange. It feels lovely to have a ticking clock in the house again. Something I hadn’t realised I’d missed until it was back.
As an Artist I’ve always loved orange , but in general non-arty life I am a little more cautious. I only have one piece of orange clothing. A bold, linen shirt from a market in Hong Kong. It doesn’t get a lot of wear as it feels a little shouty in the habitual grey weather of Cornwall but when the sun is out so is the shirt.
Early on in the pandemic lockdown I felt the urge to wear it. This was in April , not a month that usually sees this shirt out and about. Pre pandemic along with the shirt there were little pops of orange in our lives. This beautiful mug and the handbag hanging on the Newel post are by my elbow as I write.
Here is a snippet of orange in my art.
The arrival of the orange alarm clock made me consider my new fascination with the colour.During Lockdown the percentage of orange images in my archive has gone up 75% since the same time period last year. Fortunately I have two excellent colour theory books to read during the day before I finish this blog and maybe I can share some of my freshly harvested wisdom.
I wonder if subliminally orange is and has always been a secret pleasure. I have a favourite piece of Poole Pottery that I inherited from my parents. It has a prominent position in the same room as the newly acquired alarm clock.
With my newly attuned orange eye it completely fits the brief of a secret pleasure.
Edith Anderson Feisner in her book Colour, says” Orange is present in nature, in the setting sun, autumn leaves, fruit and flowers. It stands out well and creates a sense of warmth” From the same source Orange is a positive colour , it suggests warmth, fruitfulness, brightness,cheerfulness and spice. The only negatives are brashness and danger.
What came first the Orange or the colour?
Kassia St Clair,in her book The Secret Lives of Colour, is emphatic.Definitely the fruit,the fruit probably first cultivated in China but then quickly spread around the world attracting the name nãrang, nãranj,nãranga,nãranja,oranje and orange.
As a colour descriptive it only emerged in 1502 replacing the more cumbersome yellow-red. Kandinsky, a fellow synesthete, describes orange as a red brought closer to humanity by yellow.
A fellow blogger has told me that in Cornish the word Orange does not exist and it is still known as rudh- velyn , red-yellow. Thanks to Sandra , who writes a blog that I like to wallow in.
None of this is particularly helpful in explaining why I’m attracted to orange in the middle of a pandemic. The internet is not helpful, it seems far more interested in the increased worldwide consumption of Orange juice. Perhaps I should be drinking it rather than looking at it.Time to share my little obsession.
A flat-lay in the garden. Flat lays are beloved by Instagram, I’m not very experienced in doing these and they can seem contrived and dull, lacking in creative individuality but done well they can be spectacular.
Here is a little rust heart from the Love Tree. Pandemic Pondering #73
A Marigold from the garden.
The Orange Box Pandemic Pondering #38 and #23
The peony in a vase on the fireplace.
Our collection of early penguins.
A honey spoon on the coffee table. Pandemic Pondering #18
Oranges at Tate Modern. Pre Pandemic but only just. Contemporary art that we could eat.
Orange, I’m still not sure why.