With its festive trimmings, ritual meal and family gathering, Christmas is a topsy-turvy time, when the daily norms are subverted and chronological punctuation vanishes into an ether of twinkling lights and discarded wrapping paper. No doubt Charles Dickens sensed this tock-ticking when he wrote his seminal A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge who was haunted by the ghosts of his erstwhile business partner and his past, present and future distilled into three spirits warning him to change his miserly ways – or else. The subversion of time came home to me at seven o’clock a few mornings ago, when a little girl's voice commanded me to get out of bed and help her hang baubles on a Christmas tree….well, ‘tis the season of goodwill. Dazed with early morning confusion, I struggled with the perplexities of stringing a thousand – it seemed – silver and gold, red and rose-coloured gilt balls on an already over-decorated fir. Time will come when I will weep with the delicious memory of it all, when the ghosts of my past Christmases will hover around, fingers a-wagging as they relate how I did not appreciate it all. Wherever you are and whoever you are with, have a wonderful, wonderful time.
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.