Vivid

Just out: VIVID- Poems and Notes about Color.

The spark for this book came in April of 2015 when I listened to a Radio Lab show about color. I already thought about color all the time. What a pleasure  it is to put one color next to another when I paint! But the podcast opened my eyes to the science of color. I painted this picture then.

Over the next 6-8 months I began writing poems about colors and squirreling away facts.When I had enough for a book I submitted with the manuscript with the sample illustration for RED. Laura Godwin at Henry Holt accepted it – hooray!

In the fall of 2016 I began to paint. But I had a bicycle accident and lost the use of my arm for 6 months. I was able to paint again in early 2017 and I struggled to find my way back in to the book. The joy of color eventually pulled me in again.

Did you know that the color pink was named after a flower (pinks – also called dianthus)? Did you know that it took 250,000 snails to make an ounce of purple dye which is why purple was a royal color? I didn’t.


You can learn about color with your mind, and with your eyes and hands. Even though a computer offers a huge palette of colors it is exciting to mix your own.What happens when you add a drop of orange to a lot of yellow and a little blue?
I hope you will play with color. And I hope that you will pick up a copy of Vivid. You can get it at Secret Garden Books: click here. Thank you.

I offer tidbits about color – but the science and poetry of color ask for deeper study. My goal is to encourage you and all readers to dive in headfirst.

p.s. I will be away this weekend – I will answer any comments next week.

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21 responses to “Vivid

  1. Reblogged this on joy murray –art ~ books ~ life and commented:
    Julie Paschkis’ new book looks fabulous. Here’s her story on how it came into being:

  2. This book is gorgeous in person, everyone. And Julie doesn’t talk much about her poems, but they are wonderful, too!

  3. Such a lush, colorful book. I love how color drew you back into your work after your accident.

  4. This book looks absolutely gorgeous and I love the premise!

  5. Lovely! Fun! I remember wanting to somehow do my senior paper in high school on color and going to the library to ‘study’ it–sometimes the absence of color is white, sometimes it is black….but the teacher didn’t see a focus for me and it never came to be. But I love the science of color also!

  6. Just got a copy. This book is gorgeous!! The poems are brilliant too. 🙂

  7. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia

    I think colour sense is a gift you’re born with. A few people have this gift – most do not. That’s why hideous “greige” (grey and beige!) is seen everywhere these days. People are afraid of colour – afraid they will make the wrong choice, so they decorate with these hideous bland neutrals instead. People’s houses are starting to look like hotel rooms. It’s too depressing! But your glorious new book, Julie, is the best antidote to greige! I especially love the way you’ve left a lot of white on the pages – so the vivid colours don’t become blindingly garish. The surrounding white makes the colours hum and pop! I can’t wait to buy a copy! I shall leave you now, with my favourite quote about the divine mystery of colour, by Picasso:
    “Why do two colours put next to each other, sing? Can one really explain this? No.”

    • I had never heard that quote. But that is the very way I have always thought about it! When I put one color next to another I am looking for the combination that makes them sing. I wonder if I had heard the quote and forgotten, or if that is just the natural metaphor.

  8. Gorgeous! I can’t wait to see this book in person, Julie.

  9. What a vivid story, and it looks to be filled to the brim with interesting facts. What a lovely accomplishment!

  10. I cannot wait to get a copy for myself and several as gifts for other color-loving friends. This is a masterpiece! (Did I really get to spend a whole weekend with you?) 🙂

    Vivid looks to be divine.

  11. Vivid is just what we need now with the wildfire smoke obscuring every color. Thanks, Julie – another beautiful book!

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