Week 43. Color blindness

Someone once told me I behave like a playlist on random or shuffle. My mind leaps to and between random ideas and thoughts. It’s like living with a view of the world that looks like a partially completed tarot card reading, or like having all the ingredients for soup but no way to make it.

I once watched a fishing family inspect Dungeness crabs for sex and throw them back if they were female. You can tell the difference by markings on their undersides, and it’s illegal to eat the females when they’re preparing to mate. And I thought of spiny lobsters, which can only mate when the female molts, and then only with great gentleness, with great brutality. Like many dichotomies or overlaps, it’s easy to refuse to see one side. Maybe people who say lobsters don’t feel pain have neglected to understand the gentleness, to look at it fully.

Color blindness isn’t an absence or a darkness, but an inability to distinguish between colors. Spiny lobsters are dichromats—blue-green vision—created by anatomical acuity for blue and for violet. The colors of light on the sea; maybe some light remains in the mud.

The larvae of spiny lobsters are piecemeal waiting to be fused, which looks like some kind of grace. They are collections of nearly microscopic parts, hennaed ghosts.

Materials: watercolor, gouache

Blue is the most recent addition to our colors. Words for colors appear in stages in cultures, and blue is always last. There was no blue in the Odyssey. Ulysses saw the ocean as wine colored.

Are the sky or water or eyes really blue? Or is blue just a reflection of a reflection reflecting back?

Blue M&Ms and skittles and other sugary treats are died with aromatic hydrocarbons, originally a waste product from coal processing. Mars recently made a commitment to use only natural pigments: roots, seeds, and other plant parts. It hasnt gone well with blue.

For water, sky, ice, bird feathers blue is a trick of diffraction.

General Mills was unable to come up with a natural blue for Trix, so they left it out.

The most promising dye is an extract from algae spirulina, but natural compounds are unpredictable.  Sometimes this blue taste of pond scum, bog, natural rot.

Medium: Crayon and leaves.Hopefully I am not being too clever rifting off of last week in black and white – well a purple infused black and white

References:Radiolab and a New York Times article


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