Projected onto the screen was a picture of brightly colored flowers. In the second frame, a picture of simple horizontal lines of varying widths painted in the same hues as the flowers: reds, greens, blues, and yellows, some grey, some white, some pink, some dark brown, beige. Then, a peacock painted in those hues again.
The assignment was to choose an object from the natural world, or a picture of a natural object, and do a type of color analysis. Observe the colors present, then take a piece of bristol and paint a bar code illustrating the approximate amounts of each color. Using this bar code as a guide, create a whole new design depicting those same proportions of those same hues. At this point in the project explanation the professor, also a painter and color expert, began giggling.
“My husband, he is an engineer,” she said. “He doesn’t like this project, he thinks it doesn’t work. Because how can you really measure how much of each color there really is, how are they measuring?”
At this she burst into hysterical laughter. As if one could not have underscored a more unnecessary, comically uninformed, endearingly quaint point.
“These are ART students,” she exclaimed in a tone of voice so exhilarated by amusement you’d expect to see tears also.
“These are ART students. There’s no, MEASURING.”
“Hahaahahaahahaaha!!” Shiny pools filling her green eyes. “Hahahaha!”
“They are just, E Y E B A L L I N G.”