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On painting and perception

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  • Gerry
    ... you called blue tagok it would still look blue.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 20, 2004
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      [from the archives]:

      >>We are getting caught up in terminology and definitions which If
      you called blue tagok it would still look blue.<< (Dan)

      Hmmmm——my favorite color, tagok.

      That reminds me of a story, though, about a talented, artist friend
      from Richmond. I know I've posted this before, but hopefully not here.

      In one of her university art classes, this woman's professor had
      gazed over all his students' shoulders as they worked on painting a
      nude. She felt flattered when he asked if he could make an example of
      her work to the rest of the class. That feeling quickly gave
      way to mortification when he held up the canvas of a human figure
      depicted in drab olive and gray tones, and proceeded to
      explain, "Students, I want everyone to pay close attention—this is
      what happens when a color-blind artist refuses to ask for help!"

      Until that moment, my friend had never realized that her perceptions
      differed so greatly from other people's. After getting over the
      trauma of that embarrassment, she eventually learned to
      calculate "proper" color mixes by name. If she didn't actually
      witness the paint come out of its tube, she had no certainty of its
      hue or tone.

      So, while the color of something may have some objective consistency,
      we humans may find dissimilarity in how we each perceive it. In
      attempting to share our views with others, we can paint the world as
      we see it from a select handful of tubes, or go randomly choosing
      from daubs on a palette—we could easily create a masterpiece or an
      infinitely colorful mess.

      While I would agree that people can quickly get so caught up in
      defining the terms that we lose sight of the topic, I also recognize
      that our language is far too imperfect to allow us all to share our
      thoughts 100% effectively.

      In the end, I suppose we do the best we can—and whatever colors we
      choose, try not to paint with too broad a brush.

      Gerry (#5645)
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