I spent one month living by candlelight. From sundown to sunrise, I looked at no electric lights at all. Every night, I blacked out the windows, stayed indoors to avoid headlights or streetlights, and stopped looking at phone and computer screens.

It was beautiful to experience the dark nights that were normal for most of human history, and know this in the body as well as the mind. Each day I looked forward to sinking into this pool of darkness.


How can an understanding of color blindness reveal new ways of seeing a painting?

Brian Brooks and his labeled watercolor tray. The word “Color blind”, like the black-and-white in this photo, is misleading: the vast majority of people see a limited range of color rather than an absence.

While I was working on my color-blindness-simulating paintings of Brian’s watercolor trays, it opened up an ongoing conversation between us as two visual artists: him red-green color blind, and me with color vision in the normal range.

An obvious question emerged: If he’s seeing his tray of colors very differently, how does it show up in the paintings he creates?

What does it mean to use colors that are essentially unseeable?

I took a closer look at his paintings.

The painting itself can reveal a difference in perception


We know not everyone sees the world in the same way. But do we ever really think about it?

Me with my painting Portrait of a Color Blind Artist’s Watercolor Tray — Red-Green Color Blind Simulation, 2016, oil on wood panel, 24 x 36 inches.

An offhand remark can be life-changing. My boyfriend, Brian Brooks, is red-green color blind, and asked me one day if I could label his watercolor tray so he would stop mixing up reds and greens and browns. I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I set out to discover, capture, and communicate the difference in the way we saw color by creating two oil paintings showing Brian’s palette through his eyes and mine.


48th Street east of Telegraph Avenue

How an app changed my world.

by Emily Wick

It’s seven o’clock on a weekday morning, and I am crouched in the middle of the street eight blocks from my home in the Temescal district of Oakland, California. My iphone camera hovers just above the surface of a water-filled pothole. To any neighbors who happen to notice, I look like I’m documenting a blemish in the road. But through the camera, I see something otherworldly. Mirrored in the pothole is a dramatic pink-and-orange sunrise sky. …

Emily Wick

On a quest to literally see the world differently through ongoing series of experiments in vision and art. Full blog at Emilywick.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store