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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Childhood Of The Art Historian, parts 420 - 423

Richard Britell

420. If my poor mother could have known how I would turn out she would be very confused; there is hardly a thing I have said or done in my adult life that would have made any sense to her.

421. My father was no help either because he died just a year before I discovered my 'color acuity'. His death was sudden and happened while he was working, running one of those huge linotype machines in a printing plant. setting type in lead. My mother always said, "Lucky thing he died when he did, it was a God send." But why she said that I will tell you at some other time; right now I want to tell you all about my 'color acuity.'

422. I could think of no occupation that would use my color acuity but  I decided to work on my special talent by creating a color collection. I collected paint color samples from the paint store, and put them into pages in a scrap book.  I added various shades of the same colors as a collage, cut out from the pages of magazines. If the colors had names I tried to memorize them, and if not I would  come up with my own names like 'lavender mist' or 'sepia serenade.'

423. Then, as luck would have it, our long suffering art teacher decided to give us a home work assignment. She was not content to just pass out the crayon boxes and ask us to make a design on manila paper while the classroom descended into pandemonium and she sat at her desk reading a book. She wanted us to do a book report on a famous artist.

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