what color

I have my ideas about the color of water. The water that I know. Water that I remember. But what color is water, anyway?

According to O’Donohue, Colour is the language of light.

And water is more affected by light than anything, doesn’t it seem? I took the photos (above) of the same body of water at three different times of day. As the light shifted, so did the color.

I’m working on the large wall piece for DC and it’s about water. About waves. In it, I want a sequence of the waves moving toward shore. The farthest has the most lead-up and the closest is crashing onto the beach. Well, maybe not crashing. It’s cloth, after all. So, maybe it’s perhaps lapping gently onto the shore. Because I’m not supposing any distance – i.e. the viewer is as close to the far wave as to the close – the color differentiation I’m making corresponds to the appearance of deeper water as opposed to shallower. And by deep water, I specifically mean the water I know: Maine water. It’s cloudier, murkier, denser with tiny microbes than the clearer water of the Caribbean, for example.

So my water is the remembered water of coastal Maine at one time of day: early afternoon. The color of the water, is a mix of sky blue, deep purple, dark dark green, a smidge of turquoise for the shallowest parts. But perhaps I’m stealing that from memories of more tropical oceans. I mean really, is my water accurately the color of that water, the water I remember? Is it true?

It’s wild how important color is and yet how elusive. It’s light, it’s memory. And, in the end, it’s how it’s received/perceived by the viewer. What color is water, anyway?