A Sky That Tastes of Rain

Rothko painting colours in the clouds

“A sky that tastes of rain that’s still to fall /
And then of rain that falls and tastes of sky?”

from a poem by Douglas Dunn, Tay Bridge

These two lines have been generating images in my mind since I came across them on the Scottish Poetry Library’s website. (Poetry is visual and emotional life put into words; it helps show the world anew. Like art, you have to hunt around for the bits that’ll resonate with you.)

In paint, there’d be a some “rain colour” in the sky, and some “sky colour” in the rain. Or perhaps a “mother color”, which is a color used in every mixed color in a painting (it may itself be mixed or a single pigment colour). I’m mostly seeing is as combinations of two favourite colours — Prussian blue and burnt umber. Together with white, these produce beautiful greys.

Adding a fourth colour will give a sense of season and time of day. Sounds like a series… Prussian blue, burnt umber, titanium white plus one other until I’ve worked my way through all my paint tubes. Or perhaps “plus one other and whatever yesterday’s other was”.

One Reply to “A Sky That Tastes of Rain”

  1. Hi Marion, I follow you a long time ago and now I’m glad to have a way to communicate with you. I like your way of teaching and your philosophy of life. In this post I have been interested in the concept of ‘color mother’ in a painting and how to find inspiration in poetry. When I was girl I imagined and invented fantasies without any effort, but now that I need it for my art, it seems that it has dried my part of the brain to make them. Thank you for your help to wake up it. Respectfully Mercedes

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