“Then the man in the blue suit reaches into his pocket and takes out a large sheet of paper, which he carefully unfolds and hands to me. It is covered with Picasso’s handwriting – less spasmodic, more studied than usual. At first sight, it resembles a poem. Twenty or so verses are assembled in a column, surrounded by broad white margins. Each verse is prolonged with a dash, occasionally a very long one. But it is not a poem; it is Picasso’s most recent order for colors….
” For once, all the anonymous heroes of Picasso’s palette trooped forth from the shadows, with Permanent White at their head. Each had distinguished himself in some great battle – the blue period, the rose period, cubism, ‘Guernica‘… Each could say: ” I too, I was there…..’ And Picasso, reviewing his old comrades-in-arms, gives to each of them a sweep of his pen, a long dash that seems a fraternal salute: ‘Welcome Persian red! Welcome emerald green! Cerulean blue, ivory black, cobalt violet, clear and deep, welcome! Welcome!”
Brassai (1964) , Picasso and Company
For painters, colour is not only all those things which we all see but also, most extraordinarily, the pigments spread out on the palette, and there, quite uniquely, they are simply and solely color. This is the first important fact of the painter’s art to be grasped. These bright and shining pigments will not, however, continue to lie there on the palette as pristine colors in themselves but will be put to use -for the painter paints a picture, so the use of color has to be conditioned by this function of picture making…. The painter has two quite distinct systems of color to deal with …. one provided by nature, the other required by art – perceptual color and pictorial color. Both will be present and the painter’s work depends upon the emphasis they place first upon the one and then upon the other.
both excerpts taken from BRIGHT EARTH – ART AND THE INVENTION OF COLOR by Philip Ball