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Finding Beauty in a World Without Color
My eyes process color so fully that everything else in the visual plane gets lost. When I look out of my window, I see vibrant tones of green in the trees and the pops of yellow, pink, and red flowers that are starting to sprout everywhere now. This casual glance outside and color inundation stops me from noticing the shapes of leaves, variations in height and elevation across a visual spectrum, the graceful ways that objects move, the specters of shadows, and the gifts of light.
Over the past few months, I have been developing a regular drawing habit. It started out on a weekly basis of less than a couple of hours over one or two days, and I have recently integrated it into my daily early morning ritual. I use pencils of varying levels of darkness. Some people draw people, landscapes, animals, or a little of anything, but I create abstract flowers. I see them as celestial objects that inhabit their own gravity and separate realities. They are delicate, windswept, and whimsical, but they only exist in the limitless gradations between light gray and full-on blackness.
I have chosen not to use color simply because I want to explore literally everything else that colors conceal. My eyes want to creep through contours of light, texture, and depth. I feel a growing desire to embrace the shapes, angles, and curves of things and immerse myself in the myriad ways that all objects physically inhabit space and time.
It is astonishing how much the presence of color drowns everything else out.
If we saw the world in black and white, how would this inform and embody our thoughts and movements throughout our lives?
We are so accustomed to experiencing vibrancy through splashes of bold colors. Is it possible to feel the same without them and through extraordinary shapes and textures instead?
I grew up on a tropical island bursting with lush green foliage and the most magnificent flora imaginable. I lived in a house that was painted bright pink, and our neighbors drenched their homes in variations of yellow, red, and lime green. As an adult, I have moved through modern spaces that utilized every shade of beige and gray that I did not care to see.
If I must subtract color, the key ingredients that my eyes want to devour are stunning shapes and the sharpest contrasts between light and shadows.
With or without color, vibrancy can thrive in special and different ways.
My flowers bloom in their own corners of the universe. While colorless and unremarkable to hungry eyes, they possess their own beauty that maybe only a few people will notice.
A little bit of discernment can go a long way and allow us to see infinitely more.
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