|Prep sketch for LEFT.|
Have you ever consider the color of memory.
Today I remembered my dream from last night. Perhaps, I felt as thought I hadn't dreamt for a long time or if I had I was not remembering. It's been hard to get a full, continuous amount of sleep when sleeping over at my mom's. She wakes up almost every other hour and I along with her to ensure her safety and also that she just goes back to sleep.
So my dreams concerned an old friend to whom I had written yesterday with an update on my situation. We were very close at one time but drifted. People drift. Lives go on sometimes in ways and waves unforeseen. I thought we'd always stay close, and maybe in a way, absence is a form of closeness. So in the dream I wandered around this arrangement of rooms that can best be described as labyrinths. Mazes of different colors (pastels no less...which I would never have picked as colors that I fancy!) But then at the end of the dream...he was gone again. This time the image was very different...sepia toned. Lovely colors of walnut cloth dipped by magic fingers! The color of Eau de vie de marc. This is actually a brandy made from pomace - marc in French. You might be more familiar with the term grappa. It is a clear brandy type beverage that might have some sediment. I use to kid my friend that it was the water from the life of marc. In the dream that is actually how it ended. My friend had vanished (the magic of dreams is that anything happens - right) but instead there was a little niche with a water fountain. The color was so intensely sepia. It was rich...when I awoke, my first thought was of the Eau de vie...that made me think about, "does memory have color."
Looking at the image of the "prep sketch" the edge are obvious what we called faded, yellowed, aged. There is even a musty smell to the page. (does memory have odor?) When we want to antique an image, we have it tinted most of the time "sepia" but sometime blue (cyan.) We tend to think of old as Black and White images...digital is full spectrum color. Technicolor. Photographs/film will fade to a reddish color. (there is a chemical reaction on the acetate film base and moisture that will also crack the surface of the film...another image of aging...surface alteration: wrinkles/lines) We tend to refer to elderly folks as having a greyish tone. And when we lack oxygen - we turn blue. (As an aside, Joan Didion's new book was released today: Blue Nights. It is a memoir for her daughter.) The blue refers to location at certain latitudes where there are long summer evenings - little darkness. Patina, also covers a more vibrant color...memory is held under the bluish cast.
My cloth, LEFT, has to do with memory, past, remembering, loss. The color was picked to evoke that sentiment. It is suppose to make you think of the "back then." The place, "the past, is a different country. They do things differently there" kind of thinking. The quote is from the Go Between, by L.P. Hartley.The cloth was dyed in walnut, double dipped with vinegar. The "door" opening, top right, has a brighter orange color - that was an additional dying with metal - to get rust coloring. Rust is passage of time, elements, change. The band around the "amber/umber" color is a cloth that is "dyed" with (mold stain.) I left the cloth - a pale pinkish cloth - wrapped in plastic (so as not to lose any moisture) for a good period of time 6-9 month!) to promote the mold growth. Washing it made the "blackness" fade a little to a bluish (payne gray) color. The thread that I'll use too, has been selected to keep in the same color scheme.
So when you think of the past/memory, do you see it in color, monochrome...or dark like a shadow. Is the shadow following you. In a linear sense, is the shadow then, your past perhaps.
Latest stitched figure, LEFT, detail.