DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR  photo of colourful canvas edges by Nancy-Jane Price

DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOUR photo of colourful canvas edges by Nancy-Jane Price




Exhibition Dates: September 3 to September 26, 2015


Colour, space, juxtaposition, design; the mystery in the way it works, the joy of being alive….


My first passionate encounter with colour occurred in kindergarten. It must have been early December; I arrived early for the nine o’clock start. I was the only child there. Laid out on the floor were two giant pieces of brown craft paper; drawn out on each in black marker was a stained glass window outline, with large segments forming a mosaic, waiting to be painted. Someone in charge asked me if I’d like to paint one of the windows –yes of course I would! I loved painting and was quite beyond my years, in my estimation, in ability to paint within the lines. Oh joy –to paint by myself without the rest of the class pushing me out of the way! An apron was donned, instructions were given: start at the bottom and paint up. I was left to my devices. I first surveyed the pots of paints –OMG, there was the MOST BEAUTIFUL shade of magenta my young eyes had ever seen, I was immediately smitten. I had to spread the glory of this wondrous colour. I then surveyed the stained glass template with one purpose in mind –to find the BIGGEST segment I could, one deserving of this splendid colour. I looked, I mentally measured –yes, there it was, a third of the way up the window on the left hand side. I was ready. I picked up the paintbrush and deposited it in the pot of sacred magenta, gathered up a daub, effected the transfer from pot to paper flawlessly –I was in business! Happily I spread the paint, being careful to create clean sharp lines –boy, the teacher would be SO pleased with me! NOT. Of course, as soon as she noticed, from across the room, that I hadn’t started at the bottom as instructed I was summarily removed from my duties. The memory runs deep.

I continued my love affair with colour throughout my grade school years. In public school I had a system for underlining headings in colour combinations of my Laurentian Pencil Crayons for each day of the week, e.g.  Monday –Peacock Blue and Navy Blue, Tuesday –Lemon Yellow with True Blue.

By Junior High and the age of the ultra mini skirts but before tights/pantyhose, I took to wearing a different coloured opaque stocking on each leg, to match the dress I was wearing, e.g. navy blue and lime green dress, with one lime green leg and one navy blue leg. Who’s afraid of colour!

Safe to say, colour has stayed with me ever since, but mostly through my dress and my home decoration. I have taken various art classes through the years at OCAD, Sheridan, Visual Arts Mississauga, and The City of Toronto Board of Education among others. Most of these focused on traditional drawing and painting. Five years ago, I decided I wanted to “loosen up” my style, be freer in my painting, so I attended some workshops and signed up for an ongoing studio class where I have concentrated on non-objective painting in acrylics with an emphasis on intuitive sense of colour.