It may seem a strange choice to paint the Western Australian wildflower Blue Leschenaultia to represent Indigo in my WA Rainbow series done in coloured pencils. It seemed an awkward choice to me at the time because it is such a brilliant blue flower, as you may have seen in my earlier post ‘The Floor Of The Sky’, but I struggled to find an alternative and decided to show the darkened flowers in the warm glow of dusk.
Now having done some research for this post I discover that although Indigo is the sixth traditional colour of the rainbow as named by Sir Isaac Newton we may not be seeing the same colour as Newton. According to Gary Waldman, a contemporary physicist,
“A careful reading of Newton’s work indicates that the color he called indigo, we would normally call blue; his blue is then what we would name blue-green or cyan.”
So maybe my choice was good after all!
My research also provided this thought provoking quote from Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins:
At birth we are red-faced, round, intense, pure. The crimson fire of universal consciousness burns in us. Gradually, however, we are devoured by parents, gulped by schools, chewed up by peers, swallowed by social institutions, wolfed by bad habits and gnawed by age and by the time we have been digested, cow style, in those six stomachs, we emerge a single disgusting shade of brown.
The lesson of the beet, then, is this” hold on to your divine blush, your innate rosy magic, or end up brown. Once you’re brown, you’ll find that you’re blue. As blue as indigo. And you know what that means.
I’m gone –
until next time.