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A word that finally makes sense of the ‘abstract embellishment’ I aim to create in my paintings – ‘Phosphenes’

phos·phene   (fŏs′fēn′)


A sensation of light caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical or electrical means rather than by light, as when the eyeballs are pressed through closed lids.

[French phosphène : Greek phōslight; see phos- + Greek phaineinto cause to appear, to show; see bhā-1 in Indo-European roots.]
The sensation when you rub your eyes and see colours and lights actually has a name. I remember doing this as a child and seeing a kalaidoscoptic range that didn’t actually exist, there was no presence of light, it is in fact a bit of a phenomena.
On learning this word it made sense of my colourful detailing that I throw into my paintings, which before was described as abstraction. I felt there was more of an elegant and rich description for the marks I aim to make in my work . It was less about creating abstraction and more about ’embellishing;’ a word I use a lot when describing my work.
I love this word… My work is symptomatic of lights and colours that don’t exist in actuality of a realistic scene, only in this phenomena, we all know they do, even without the presence of reason. In a way it reminds me of the colour spectrum you see in bubbles. A bubble is just a thin vail of water only there is so much more in it when light shines on it.
This solidifies that my work holds a kind of otherworldly truth, not just throwing pretty colours around. (Or so I will continue telling myself as I continue to throw pretty colours around.)
eve phospenes
My interpretation of phosphenes will be most exaggerated and amplified in my latest Adam and Eve pieces of the Garden of Eden.
Katy x

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