I don’t keep diaries. It might seem odd for a writer, but I’ve just never been able to get into them. Occasionally, I will do stream of consciousness writing, but the main way I express my thoughts is through my books and stories. When I want to express my experiences day to day, I lean more toward the visual, through life sketches, pen drawings and colour. I feel like colour can tell someone more about a mood, a time and a place, a day in my life, than three pages of description. Perhaps it is because I feel so rooted to my own place in the world and I am very affected by my environment. The natural environment especially inspires me. It really is an inescapable character in every Canadian’s life.
When I was driving the other day, I noticed how beautiful the colours on the roadside were at this time of year. It inspired me to start keeping a colour diary to remember times and places that make an impression on me. The colours above represent the plants that I see on the roadside that are so beautiful all layered together. The green is the grass, its shady base and the yellowish burnt edges at the tip. The brown is sprigs of wild millet that provide dark counterpoints to the wildflower colours beside it. The three wildflowers are Queen Anne’s Lace, Devil’s Paintbrush and Chicory flowers. The whole thing turned out rather retro in terms of the colour juxtapositions, like a seventies living room set.
I hope that these colour diaries lead to paintings. I think it will be good to have them for later, as reference for bigger things.