The Miracle of Seeing Colours

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Most of us take our ability to see the colours of the rainbow for granted. We need to treasure this ability.

Recently I was chatting to my nephew Kaleb who commiserated about his inability to enter various vocations due to his serious colour blindness. Vocations such as the police work, electronics, and others professions reliant on ones ability to differentiate between colours are barred to him.

As an artist, I treasure my ability to see the many colours involved in the making of paintings, textiles and all other artistic pleasures. In the past few years, I was diagnosed with cataracts which I shrugged off as something that would need to be dealt with in the future. I did notice that I struggled with reading street signs from a distance, reading in dim light, and noticing that things seemed a little dull and blurry. In my eye test this spring I was told that I should do something about these pesky problems. I proceeded to arrange for both eyes to have the cataracts removed at the same time with varifocal lens implanted freeing me up from wearing glasses. The surgery which was quick and painless was yesterday.

WOW is all I can say. The whole world is so much brighter with wonderful saturated colours. The surgeon explained that cataracts are a muddy yellow in colour painting ones world in a soupy yellowish sort of fog. Well the fog has lifted and what a delightful difference. I now have the dubious work of reviewing some of my past paintings to assess the colours I chose for them. It will be fun to correct them as needed.

I have two versions of the same photo below using a filter and no filter so you can get the idea of how colour can be changed by cataracts. I believe that colour blindness would have even a more marked effect on these results with greys being more predominent.

Treasure your sight and enjoy those wonderful colours!

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