Green is such a flirty colour! It will offer just a hint of itself in natural pigments; really just enough to get the desperate artist feeling excited. But, when that same artist tries to share the tantalizing bit of terre-verte pigment with another, it seems that green quickly covers herself up—rather than be publicly observed—and leaves only an unexciting shade of grey (leaving the artist to wonder if his fantasies simply ran away with him!).

If forced to reveal more of herself, green moves from flirt to fatal-attraction. No colour has killed more people than green: Bright green pigments tend to have a truly toxic personality. A bright sexy green killed Napoleon in his prison cell on Saint Helena’s island, and in the Victorian era the same colour killed hundreds of children in their newly wallpapered, emerald nurseries. Even moving beyond the realm of pigments, in alcoholic form it was the green-fairy which drove an entire generation of artists, writers and actors to insanity.

I think green is therefore both the most lively and deadly of colours, maybe because it’s nature is to always amplify itself. The lively green of spring leaves freshly greets both the eye and nose—the more you draw in the more alive you’ll feel—but if you intensify a dead rock’s green, it will toxically repay the attention.

A few years ago I fell in love with a bright green, but the encounter left me very ill. Today I satisfy myself with the tease of earth greens; abandoning any vamper temptation.