As I drift into 2016, I’m once again reflecting on paths taken and those yet to be explored. After a year of focusing on ‘heart‘, it’s time to move in new directions. My shift will be a colourful one!
I’ll focus on COLOUR (or color for those who spell it without a ‘u’). I personally like to keep the ‘you’ in colour, as I’ll explain in a bit.
As a child, one of my favourite things to do was colour. A new set of crayons, pencil crayons or markers was a means of expression. Colouring books, paint by number, sketchbooks and blank paper were welcome gifts. Now I play with digital colour, using RGB sequences and #hex code. I’m playing with colour using ProCreate on an iPad, thanks to Sylvia Duckworth‘s BIT15 presentation. Exploring colour palettes and using colour to plan digital designs is an act of creativity and joy. I’m mesmerized by #EarthArt, Hubble images, and Colour-Hex. I’ve now created my own hex code favourites list.
Colour is connected to emotions and feelings. There are psychological effects of colour. As winter descends, with it’s white and gray colour palette, it’s a real and present feeling for many. Using colour as a healing therapy or using art (painting, colouring, creating) as a means of healing emotional injury can help students. A hot new trend is turning colouring into a social and recreational pastime for many. Maybe a colouring club will be introduced into school maker-spaces.
Relationships are coloured by colour! The colour wheel lays out the basics of how colours relate – monochromatic, complementary, harmonious. Some colour schemes work well together. There’s theory behind that. Hues, values and saturation determine tints and brilliance.
The same can be said about human relationships – our way of connecting and being in relationship is coloured by our bias, perspective and the value we place on colour – of skin, of clothing, of hair or eyes. As Canadians begin a journey of healing with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and a call to action, perspectives and bias about colour need to be examined, shared and openly discussed. Reconciliation requires a re-evaluation of colour.
Analogies and metaphors for colour are prevalent in art, literature, and history. Colour can determine regional and national culture. Colour is used to determine belonging, status or brand identification. My travels to Peru helped me realize the importance of colour to the indigenous people.
As a teacher, I can explore colour and the subtle shifts that colour can bring to a classroom space, be it physical or digital. In teaching, bringing colour into the equation can help or hinder student learning. Favourite colours should be part of every ‘getting to know your students’ activity. Examining colours within text, story, number and image goes beyond teaching Art – it’s the art of teaching.
As I connect to people around the world, I am becoming more aware of the impact and bias in colour. As a teacher, I need to be aware of the power of colour, the privilege inherent in colour and the cultural impact of colour. Rebecca Alber’s article (Edutopia – Check Yourself: Why Self-Reflecting on Privilege Matters) impacted my thinking about colour. Awareness and understanding will bring depth and value to the colours and perspectives I experience this coming year.
So, with a full year of living from the heart, I’m moving into new and colourful vistas. Colour me curious. Colour me hopeful. Colour me optimistic. Colour will be a teaching tool and a teaching trigger.
We can explore colourful characteristics together and our colourful language will be appropriate for all ages. I’ll remember to keep the ‘u’ in colour since ‘you’ will impact and shift my explorations of colour. You will share colours and this can bring us together, unite our ideas and feelings, and bring understanding to our pictures.
Looking forward to a year of colourful COLOUR and colouring, together!
And a song to go along with this one word – Colour My World by Chicago