Sunday, 13 September 2020

not a showhome

"Some are beautiful inside, like little showhomes" said the Lady Cyclist to her companion as they pedalled by; glancing at my boat, she added "...some not so much".
This is quite true of course. My Aunt Mary (actually my great aunt) was the only member of my family who might have thought that living in a showhome was something to aspire to; she had glass cases of objets, and voses, not vases. Uncle George was the model of a Northern businessman, with his Jag and sheepskin coat and cigars, and they lived together in a hacienda style bungalow called Eden Vale. 

Anyway, I quite agree with William Morris that  you should 'have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.' And evidently I've got quite a lot of useful and beautiful things, if only I can find them in the clutter.

My neighbours Sebastiene and Louise are finalising their book of photos of canal life and folk. I lent them my Datacolor Spyder yesterday, so they could be sure that what they were seeing on their computer screen was exactly what would come out of the printers. It's a little device you hang over the screen and which calibrates the colour and brightness settings. Jolly handy. I got it after a printing disaster once, when the picture looked fine on my screen but came back gloomy and dark when it had been printed.

There are several ways of exactly defining what colour you mean when you say, say, Snot Green or Badger Poo Brown. They rely on RGB, or CMYK, or Pantone numbers. I've got a reproduction of an old book, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours,  which preceded these things by a longtime, and which defines colours by reference to animal, vegetable and mineral analogues. Thus Dutch Orange is the crest of a golden crested wren, a common marigold, or a streak of red orpiment.


So RGB values are a bit handier for the artist on the go, or at least the artist with a computer.

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