When I was young I used to love painting and drawing, and I occasionally wonder whether I should have done art fro A-level – but that was never really either an option, or a thought at the time. From being very small I’d always drawn pictures and painted little things, but it was only when I became friends with someone who from a very early ae was clearly an exceptionally talented artist, that I came across poster paints as opposed to the little squares of water colour paint in tins which we used to have. I don’t think they make them any more! The poster paints – and she bought me a set for my birthday, were in little pots, and they had exotic names – my particular favourite as a name and a colour was Prussian Blue. I can’t remember the other three, the red, the green and the yellow.
I got used to the idea of paints (and colours) having specific names when I was young, and now, with my husband being an artist (as well as a drummer) I’m obviously very familiar with them. However, because he talks about them, I don’t always know how the specific colours are spelt, and occasionally it’s a surprise when I discover that I’ve been mentally spelling them incorrectly. I can’t remember what he was painting when I first heard mention of what I now know is gamboge – it’s a yellow colour, and for a while I thought it was cambodge. I think I thought that because I’d heard either from him or on the radio that it came from Cambodia originally. Then I became muddled as to how it was pronounced or written – as I sometimes do when I have a word in my head but no other reference.
Anyway… this morning for some reason he mentioned it, and I ended up looking it up just to check and discovered that it comes from a tree, is the colour used to dye Buddhist monks’ robes, and was first used as a colour name in England in the 1640’s, and Wikipedia says this: The word gamboge comes from gambogium, the Latin word for the pigment, which derives from Gambogia, the Latin word for Cambodia.
My childhood friend, still my friend, and still a talented artist, is Frankie Partridge https://www.instagram.com/fpfrankie/?hl=en ,