The writings of Vitruvius have always fascinated me – oh, how I love to explore his Ten Books on Architecture, and absorb his instructions on how to build city walls that resist battering rams, and learn how the Roman race has the keenest wit and share his musings on ancient cosmology. I quote: “The heaven revolves steadily around earth and sea on the pivots at the ends of its axis”. Beautiful, Vit; your sound bites rival those of another, 2,000-year-old tome. On a recent perusal of TBOA, I discovered the word “gynaeconitis”. No, it’s not yet another, weird down-there disorder, but the name given to the half of the Greek house where women (and slaves) sit and talk and weave their cloths. By implication, the androiditis is where the men converge and entertain their guests. This knowledge set me a-wondering if the modern house could be gendered? For example, how would you rate the wet and slippery bathroom, the clammy kitchen with its cooking odours, the dry, white and uptight living room, and the soft and lush bedroom with its array of scents and colours? I have my opinion on those, meanwhile, I’m returning to Vit’s TBOA, to explore subjects such as “scamilli impares” and to consider building a hoisting machine according to the principles of Chersiphron.
The idea for a book combining colour theory and Greek mythology, which has always held my fascination, occurred to me just over two years ago.I have now launched Mythical Colouring. The majority of colouring books provide colour enthusiasts with patterns for essays into pure colour. However, even imagination requires a helping hand when matching and contrasting shades. The introductory notes and the guidelines that accompany every story serve as a springboard for the aspiring colourist.
Each story consists of two images, an A4-sized image and a smaller – though enlarged - detail from that image. Many enthusiasts may prefer to experiment on this detail before moving on to the full-sized picture. I have also provided blank squares at the outset of the book for pure colour experimentation.
Beginning with the story of a prehistoric deluge, the reader is taken through a montage of scenes from the lexicon of Greek mythology that include the pastoral worlds of Hyperion and Endymion, to the subterranean realm of Medea and the adventures of Hercules. In the accompanying guidelines, I explain how to attain the requisite atmosphere through the use of colour, and reminding the enthusiast that he or she is free to experiment.