VII. The colour

1. The colour that carries the month of December through the grey decline of the sun this year is a soft red. It emerges from the fishmongers’ stand of the Katwijkers, that temporarily appears at the market. While the predominant colour in their stall is white, the white of electrical light, of ice, of the white skirts and the silver armour of the fishes, the fish also turns red, salmon red under the knife. The faces of the Katwijkers are full-blooded and red. On this shortest day of the year they feel carefree. The stall radiates red.

2. The colour on the canvas is green, artificial green, like a door in Versailles or a girdle of emeralds. The green spaces were given shadow with celestial blue, cæruleum, wherever the green pullover folds. That light of 1966 still falls now and here. When I painted it, I was not specially occupied with the green, I was aware of nothing in particular. Now in old age it seems a miracle that the green stayed on.

3. The colour of the aquarelle hovers between sepia and black. In the centre of the sketch stands a shining water bottle.

Montjon, 8 November, 1961.

I am taking leave of multicoloured blocks of paint at a bifurcation of my road through life.

4. The colour is transparent, a blue sky seen through glass. The pane is situated at the end of a corridor. I recognize the corridor. It leads to the front-door of the temporary home of my mother where I also found temporary shelter. Outside is freedom.

In the corridor to the front-door I sit on the floor, naked, as if awakening from sleep.

I wrote on the picture in pencil:

I am beginning to see the light.