Skip to main content

colour outside the lines, I dare you.

I grew up obsessed with painting and colouring in. And I still have the small tin of Caran d’Ache coloured pencils my gran bought me when I was about 11 - just a dozen colours, but so rich, so lovely. So precious. I purposefully kept them for “best” (which is probably why I still have them 40 years later) whilst having worn out countless hordes of cheap ones, and handfuls of drawing pencils.

“Best”?

Looking back, I think that response was a teensy bit strange… Why didn’t I just burn through and enjoy them?
No money…Worried I’d never see their like again?
Maybe I didn’t think what I drew was worthy of them?
I do remember that I couldn’t bear to wear them out.
And that I was very unhappy if I couldn’t keep paint or colour inside the lines.
Hmmm…

Go on, let go of the lines... Colour wherever you like! You know you want to. Picture and photo: Christine Pedersen. 2016.


I was recently directed to this TED article  examining the value of the colouring-in trend, and asked for comment. I set my mind to “curious” because, being a working artist and erstwhile scientist, if some people are enjoying/employed creating drawings—that's their art—and still other people enjoy colouring the pictures in—THEIR art—then what should get between them?

My researcher spidey-senses are always on alert for the hyped-up, feel-good, and phoney… But after reading the article I was thrilled to report back that—in an evidence-based nutshell—colouring-in is good for us. Well colour me tickled pink.

Fortunately a grown-up salary and a generalized art material obsession got me a massive tin of the lust-worthy Caran D’Ache. So. Many. Colours. Water-colour pencils—they draw and paint, they get sharpened often and need really tough paper (like Arches) so that I can push the wet and dry colour layers to the physical limits the paper can endure.

And there are no more lines. I realized I didn’t like being inside them any more than my younger self dis-liked going over them. Sod the lines, they just get in the way of the colour. 

Smiles to self: happy to colour outside of the lines.

I realize that first tin of coloured pencils has morphed into something else: a precious link to my nan, and I'll probably never wear them out. But I do use them occasionally, just to feel like that kid again.


1. I’ve been trying to find the range of historical costume books that I loved so much… This looks very much like the ones I used to save up my pocket money for: http://store.doverpublications.com/0486413209.html

2. What brand of pencils is “best”? I have no idea. I love my pencils, and my grown-up heart tries to walk gently with my so-eager-to-please younger self, and I'm really quite brand loyal: http://store.carandache.com/int-en/574-supracolor-soft-aquarelle-assortiment-80-couleurs.html


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

narrative jewellery: tales from the toolbox book launch

For every piece of jewellery I make there is a story. It can be simple, just a note on the “why?” that led to the forms and textures, or the feeling that I want to remember. Sometimes the single idea that could become a piece, conceived way before the act of making, can become so over-whelming that I need to write a whole new reality for the jewellery to exist within. That’s how it was for “Pull”, the first piece of jewellery in a body of work that became the ReFind Collection *. It caused me to look at materials in my home, especially the things that were routinely thrown away, very differently. It was like waking up to realize I just hadn’t been paying the right kind of attention to all the “stuff” in other areas of my life; realizing that maybe jewellery could be linked to something as obscure as industrial-scale food-processing and packaging—if I allowed my mind to receive the information, differently. I am very honoured that my necklace has been included in Mark Fenn’s new

fire in the belly: it's what makes us get up and make art every day

  Fire In The Belly. Wood-fired porcelain jar with sculptural metal crown, by Robin DuPont and Christine Pedersen. Height: 40 cm. “Fire In The Belly” —introducing @robindupontceramics and my piece for the Alberta Craft Council “Craft Collaborations” fund-raising auction. The auction is now open, with 38 artists presenting 31 unique new pieces 🎉 . I’ve been really looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been making—you can find the auction catalogue here . Robin’s wood-fired ceramic jar is coiled and pinched porcelain, with natural ash-glaze from pine, fir, oak, and black poplar ash. My sculptural metal crown is recycled brass and bronze, made by hammer-forming, raising, and repoussĂ©, with hand-chased line-work. The metal is finished with oxidizing patina, heat patina, and wax.   Each piece in the auction has an artist statement, it’s really informative to hear other people’s experiences as they challenged themselves to develop a new idea, and use their skills to develop a col
Over Christmas 2021, I had a little moment and bought myself a gift: christinepedersen.art —a new web-site . I’ve been watching this project evolve for quite a while, and was thrilled to see that .art was offering an easy to use pop-up artist site builder ; I finished writing all the descriptions and up-loading my images yesterday. And so today I can relax, just a little, write a blog post… OK, back to work! All the not-actually-making-new-art-jobs truly take a huge amount of time. There's shooting photography and video  - then editing the photos and video (including new #shorts on Youtube), maintaining the written statements and documentation, and making social media posts...and if I’m lucky to write some show applications and send work out into the world, I might even have a rare chance to scrub up for an afternoon and share a glass of something nice with you in a gallery!   And I’m not complaining about any of it (even when I want to drop-kick my computer off a bridge after I