Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Artists' birthdays in June:

Velazquez Diego Velázquez
June 6, 1599
1Red Grooms, 1937
3Raoul Dufy, 1877
5Thomas Chippendale, 1718
6Diego Velázquez, 1599
6John Trumbull, 1756
7Paul Gauguin, 1848
8Frank Lloyd Wright, 1869
8Harrison Branch, 1947
9Meta Warwick Fuller, 1877
9Elizabeth Murray, 1940
10Gustave Courbet, 1819
10André Derain, 1880
11John Constable, 1776
11Julia Cameron, 1815
12Anni Albers, 1899
12Egon Schiele, 1890
13Joseph Stella, 1877
13Christo, 1935
14Margaret Bourke-White, 1904
15Saul Steinberg, 1914

16Jim Dine, 1935
17Maurits Escher, 1889
18Robert Walter Weir, 1803
19Thomas Scully, 1783
20Kurt Schwitters, 1887
21Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1859
25Antonio Gaudí, 1852
25Robert Henri, 1865
25Sam Francis, 1923
26Roger Shimomura, 1939
27Philip Guston, 1913
28Peter Paul Rubens, 1577
29Robert Laurent, 1890
29Allan C. Houser, 1914

Friday, May 25, 2012

Honoring the Fallen, an old tradition

 Memorial Day is a time to reflect on those we have lost. The picture above is of my father, Walter Lea Boothe II; it was taken while he served in Europe during WWII.

I am indebted to Russell Studebaker, from In Our Garden section of Tulsa World, for his article on the significance of a certain iris with a long history.
Drought-tolerant Cemetery Iris resembles the bearded iris.  RUSSELL STUDEBAKER /for Tulsa World

When I think of Memorial Day, I am reminded of cemeteries and flowers. But I'm also reminded of one plant in particular - an iris.

From the Arabian Peninsula comes an iris that has been integrated into our culture. Ancient Muslim soldiers carried rhizomes of Iris albican and planted them at the graves of their fallen comrades.

When the Moors occupied Spain for 400 years, they continued the tradition. Then the Spanish brought this iris to Florida during their colonization and used it at graves, just as they had in their homeland.

Americans adopted the custom, and the iris has been planted in cemeteries all over the South.

 Its common name became Cemetery Iris.

The Cemetery Iris is so prevalent in parts of North America that many think it is a native plant. In fact, it is a sterile hybrid and may be the oldest iris in cultivation. Its culture needs added to its survival in the country as it is tolerant of dry summers.

In yesteryears, few cemeteries had water available for use in their landscapes and many, particularly those in rural areas, did not mow until shortly before Memorial Day. This late maintenance meant that these plants had time to build up stored food reserves before they could be cut down. Those two facts meant the iris thrived in cemeteries.

The slightly off-white flowers are borne in groups of two to three on 10- to 12-inch stems in April. The flowers are around 3 inches wide with yellow "beards." These beards are formed by long rows of feathery stamens marking the entrance of the outer petals, called the falls. Basically, the flowers look like bearded irises, and they have a slight fragrance.

These irises grow from flat rhizomes like the bearded garden iris and multiply rapidly, with side branching and forking. They thrive in the poorest and driest of soils, yet another strategy for their survival in cemeteries, and they seem to have few problems or pests. Left alone, they make a large grouping, but they are easily divided at any season, usually in the fall or spring shortly after flowering.

When dividing, include one good-sized fan of leaves with each division and plant the rhizomes near the surface of the soil. They require good drainage to prosper and full or partial sun.
Drought-tolerant Cemetery Iris resembles the bearded iris. RUSSELL STUDEBAKER /for Tulsa World
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A mail-order source for the Cemetery Iris is The Southern Bulb Co., P.O. Box 350, Golden, Texas, 75444. The company can be reached by phone at 1-888-285-2486 or online at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Color Jam in Chicago

If you have subscribed to this blog, you know I am crazy about color. Most cities are grey monotones, but the following article shows what could be coming. Color enlivens environments and makes people feel hopeful. Follow the link highlighted at the end of the article to see other places transformed by color. I'm all for it: image
Chicago, get ready -- pretty soon while taking a stroll downtown enjoying the sunshine, you will suddenly feel like you walked into the middle of an animated film. This is the aim of the new public art installation Color Jam by Jessica Stockholder, commissioned by the Chicago Loop Alliance, set to paint the town this June. In excited anticipation, this renowned multimedia artist divulges exclusive details to MutualArt about the opening and explains her goals for the project. imageThe idea behind Color Jam (proposal pictured above), Jessica Stockholder tells us, is to create "an experience that elicits joy and encourages the recognition that things might be otherwise." As people approach the prominently-located corner, flashes of color will appear transforming the area from black and white to technicolor, with abstract shapes reaching the clouds on a skyscraper or stripes underfoot on the sidewalk. Intensifying upon reaching the intersection hosting the project, the four buildings will be jammed with a "volume of color," as geometric shapes spill down facades onto the pavement, consuming the traffic lanes and sidewalk.
After months of waiting for the announcement, Stockholder reveals for the first time to MutualArt exactly when and where to expect this massive undertaking: Look out for installation to begin on May 28. 2012 with the artist on the corner of State and Adams, a busy area filled with shops on Chicago's famous downtown "Loop" image
Moving outside the confines of the museum walls, Jessica Stockholder faces new challenges in the middle of the busy streets of Chicago. "I haven't before had the opportunity to address a street-scape with an ephemeral work," she tells us, when we ask her how this project will be different from her past work.
For more than 25 years, Stockholder has crossed traditional boundaries of painting and sculpture with her site-specific installations, found in collections such as Art Institute of Chicago, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. A newcomer to the public art scene, many saw her most recent whimsical installation Flooded Chambers Maid in Madison Square Park in 2009 (pictured below), where she utilized industrial materials and brightly colored ready-made objects to create what looked like a three dimensional abstract painting in the environment. imageThe most challenging aspect of creating public art, she admits," is finding material to work with that will withstand the elements. It's also necessary to consider code, public safety and the function of shared space." Despite the obstacles, the biggest reward is the "pleasure to engage people from all walks of life." As we anxiously await this alluring project and ask the artist about her progress, she assures us: "All the pieces seem in place and ready to go!"
Check out more public art in a city near you, in our feature "From NYC to Dubai - Public Art Heats Up for the Summer"
Written by MutualArt's Christine Bednarz

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Color Vision in our Canine Friends

If you have ever wondered if our furry pets see colors, the following article can shed some light on the subject.

Our trio of furballs, Digger, Foxy and in back, Cupie.

A dog takes a color vision test. He's trained to touch his nose to the color that's different from the other two, if he can tell.

It's always fun for me to report these columns because I learn so much. This was one of the most interesting for me to research. It will appear in Monday's Health and Science section of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
From the inside of our heads, it feels like colors are intrinsic aspects of the outside world and our eyes are beautifully designed to see them. But we humans are merely sampling the possible ways of sensing the spectrum of light. Most of us see more colors than dogs but miss millions of colors that make up the world for birds, reptiles and insects.
Why do we see the colors we do?
Last week’s column explained how some of it goes back to the types of color-absorbing pigments that we inherited from bacteria more than a billion years ago. The specific colors we see are, in part, an artifact of bacterial needs.
These ancient color sensing pigments are tuned to two different wavelengths – shorter ones that correspond to blue and longer ones that go with yellows or reds.
All other color vision is an outgrowth of that system, said neurobiologist Jay Neitz, who works in the ophthalmology department at the University of Washington. Over time, the genes that hold the code for our color-sensitive pigment sometimes get duplicated. The extra copies can pick up mutations that shift the wavelengths they’re capable of absorbing. Such a lucky series of accidents appears to have happened very early in the evolution of animals, said Neitz, since some fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects are endowed with one or more additional color-sensitive pigments. These make up different types of light-sensitive cells called cones. We humans have three kinds of cones, but many other animals have four. A few animals have more: One species of shrimp appears to have twelve.
Somewhere along the line, however, mammals lost all but the more ancient color vision genes. We and a few other primates reinvented it much later, but dogs, while not color blind, see a more limited range.
Dogs can be tested for color blindness just like people, said Neitz. They can’t tell us what they’re seeing, but they can show us.
He used a device in which a touch screen showed three shapes, two of the same color and one of a different one. The dogs were trained to pick the different color by touching the screens with their noses. If they got it right, they were rewarded with a treat.
When they could see the colors, they almost always got it right. Knowing a treat was possible, the dogs still hazarded a guess when they couldn’t see any difference, but they would get it right just a third of the time.
In that way, the dogs demonstrated they could tell blue from yellow and both of those colors from white or gray, but they could not distinguish yellow from red or green. (Cats, too, can be trained to do this but only if researchers use treats that a cat finds irresistible).
We humans, along with other apes and some monkeys, picked up a fortuitous mutation in our long-wavelength cone, adding a middle-wavelength cone that can sense green. It works in concert with the other two cones to give a whole array of different colors — green, purple, red and many intermediate shades.
In humans, mutations on the X chromosome can interfere with this more recently acquired ability. Most people who are considered color blind have the same color capacity as dogs and cats, said Neitz. Men are much more likely to inherit this type of color blindness because they only have one copy of the X, while women have a second X as a back-up.
About eight percent of men lack the third type of cone, among them English chemist John Dalton, who wrote in the last 1700s that he saw slightly different shades of yellow when others saw red or green. Neitz points out that if Dalton couldn’t distinguish these colors, it’s hard to know whether his yellow looked like our yellow or our red or something else. At some point it becomes a thorny philosophical problem about the difference between reality and what individuals perceive as reality.
A few lucky mutant humans may have four different kinds of cones. They would most likely be women, who could acquire different types of cone-coding genes on each of their two X chromosomes. A few studies are underway to identify and understand the vision of such women.
Another evolutionary puzzle is why just a few primates got the green cone while most other mammals live in a less colorful world. Evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi has proposed that this mutation spread because it gave our ancestors the ability to assess the health, emotional states and fertility of fellow primates.
The mutation goes back 50 million years, so it must have spread among furry primates, but Changizi, who works for 2AI Labs in Boise, Idaho, points out that all the color-vision endowed primates today show at least some bare skin somewhere.
Sometimes it’s on the face and sometimes it’s on the rear, where some of our fellow primate females develop pink swellings to advertise that they’re reached the fertile part of their cycle.
Others propose color vision helped primates distinguish poisonous snakes, or recognize edible fruits. “Maybe it’s all of the above,” said Neitz, which would explain why the mutation would have spread.
Neitz points out that just because an animal can benefit from a trait doesn’t mean evolution will ever bestow it upon them. A mutation has to crop up, first, and perhaps the monkeys that lack a green receptor are just waiting for their lucky mutation to crop up.
A few years ago, Neitz wondered if it was possible to give an animal that lucky mutation through gene therapy. He chose squirrel monkeys — part of the primate group that missed out the green cone.
No one knew if the monkeys’ brains would have the wiring needed to see more colors. But by giving the genetically enhanced monkeys the same kinds of color vision tests he’d used on dogs, Neitz showed they could distinguish yellow, green and red, just as we can.
Did that change their behavior?
One of them showed a definite preference for green M&Ms, after the procedure, said Neitz. And he enjoyed green beans."

Article by: Faye Flam

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Office Colors Affect Performance

Give Your Office a Color Boost to Refresh Employee Morale

For years, we’ve heard how color can impact mood. “Green rooms” backstage at TV talk shows are green for a reason, they say. The color promotes peace and relaxation. Giving your office space a complete makeover can re-energize your workers and impress visitors.
“The research on color and mood has been well-established over the past 30 years,” said Chris Ring, vice president of operations and training for ProTect Painters. “However, many business owners are unaware that they have the power to drive sales and increase employee retention just with a strategic use of paint.”
ProTect has come up with a few color schemes that could energize your office.
  • Blue–While this area is generally avoided in restaurants and break areas, due to its alleged ability to zap a person’s appetite (blue plates can help one lose weight according to some nutritionists BBL) ProTect says blue is a great color for productivity. The color blue is said to increase a person’s confidence, as well as instill feelings of tranquility. For this reason, blue is often used in office space.
  • Red–This might make a good accent color, but red walls are to be avoided. Red incites anger in a person, which can definitely be an unwanted emotion in an office environment. However, in areas where accuracy is important, ProTect points out that the color can help those employees be more exact. ProTect advices using the color sparingly.
  • Black–This accent color can be used as a symbol of power and elegance.
  • White–Usually spotted somewhere in an office’s decor, whether in the walls or trim. White is popular because it is neutral, but it also lets in large amounts of light. This gives employees an overall feeling of well-being, but be careful. Using too much white can actually make workers less productive.
  • Beige or off-white–Most office walls fall in this category. Many buildings choose this because it is neutral while not being overpowering. Both colors fall in the “brown” family, which makes them the colors of security and comfort. These, as you can imagine, are good feelings for workers to have in an office environment.
According to ProTect, there are a couple of colors to avoid, especially in work areas.
  • Green–While the green room mentioned earlier is popular backstage at talk shows, feelings of tranquility and peace can be a bad thing in an office environment. While you don’t want your employees yelling at each other and fist-fighting, you also want them to stay awake. Green may be a possibility in common areas or lobbies, but it should be avoided in conference rooms and cubicles–basically, anywhere an employee might feel compelled to doze off.
  • Yellow–ProTect states that workers are most likely to lose their tempers in a room this color. While it does increase concentration and boost metabolism, it might be best to save it for break rooms and restrooms.
  • Pink–Pink is another peaceful color. If you have a reason to encourage relaxation in your employees, this might be the best color. According to ProTect, pink is the color many sports teams use for visiting team locker rooms because it zaps energy, so in many cases, it isn’t a wise color to use in your offices.
In general, painting your offices can give your workers a sense of excitement about coming to work. Just be careful that you choose the right colors, both for your walls and for trim and accents.

Like the image? We got it from
You can take advantage of all the color studies used to produce this information for ProTect in your own color choices for your home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Multi-Colored Lumens in the Newer Light Bulbs

If you have trouble buying make-up that matches your skin, I have a suggestion. Take a mirror with you to the store. Ask the make-up sales lady if she will pick some shades she thinks match your skin. Have her apply them to your cheeks. Walk outside in daylight and look in your mirror. The natural light will reveal which shade is more your skin tone.  My second suggestion: turn your wrists up and look at the color of your veins. If they are bluish, you are in the cool skin tone family and if they are greenish, your skin tone is warm. At least one make-up company has cool, warm and neutral codes. The next step would be to try lightest to darkest swatches in natural light to see which one fades into your own skin color.  Let me know how you come out with these experiments!

 Temperature in light bulbs is important to take into account for artists and anyone hoping to match colors. There are newly developed bulbs that take some of the guess work out of this, hopefully. I have not purchased any yet, but will to see if they live up to the promotions.

Read about them below:

Twenty-two years ago, the government raised hackles in the food industry by requiring a “Nutrition Facts” label on packaged edibles. Now, regulators have a new target: lightbulbs. Starting this year, the FTC will require the makers of all incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED fixtures to affix a “Lighting Facts” label on their packaging. Not surprisingly, the new reg is something of a high-wattage headache for brands. Not only will the familiar wattage number bow out in favor of a brightness rating in lumens, brands will also have to classify their bulbs according to the “light appearance.”
Never mind that most consumers wouldn’t know a lumen if it bit them—how does a brand go about describing the appearance of a ray of light? For General Electric at least, the answer lay in new packaging. GE is currently rolling out a series of five new boxes that’ll hit store shelves by summer and, it hopes, change the way Americans do their bulb shopping. The FTC-mandated label will appear (where else?) on the back of the boxes. But on the front, GE will use a series of five colors—each with a corresponding phrase to describe the bulb’s light.
For example, the lowest-power bulb (210 lumens) comes in a lavender box labeled “subtle, reassuring light,” while the higher-power 1,170-lumen bulb’s box is bright green termed as “fresh, energizing light.”
How’d GE get turned on to this idea? Company research revealed that consumers tend to compare bulb brightness with the way the sun appears during various times of the day, says GE’s lighting brand manager Carmen Pastore, and “the package colors follow that pattern. The brightest pillar is yellow, like noonday sun. The middle pillars highlight the green, blues and reddish-orange as the sun sets—think of the color of the sky just before sunset.” Modifiers like “inviting” and “cozy,” she adds, work with the colors to allow shoppers to align their bulb buying according to their “mood and feeling.”
Which is quite a bit of marketing science just for a simple lightbulb. The good news? You still don’t need to know, or care, what a lumen is.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Color in Birds' Feathers

The birds of spring liven up our world with their songs, antics at the bird feeder, and their colors. Some birds' feathers are fancier than others. The article below, by a scientist, explains how vivid and iridescent colors of feathers occur.

Feathers show their true colors

May 11, 2012 By Pete Wilton
Feathers show their true coloursEnlarge
Diversity of non-iridescent or angle-independent feather barb structural colors in birds and the underlying nanoscale morphology of the color-producing (photonic) nanostructures revealed using electron microscopy and synchrotron small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). Credits: Collage by Vinod Saranathan, photograph of Plum-throated Cotinga (Cotinga maynana) by Thomas Valqui.
( -- For millennia birds have been prized, even hunted, for their beautiful plumage but what makes their feathers so colorful?

A new X-ray analysis of the structure of feathers from 230 , led by Vinod Saranathan of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, has revealed the nanostructures behind certain colours of feather, structures that could inspire new photonic devices.

A report of the research appears in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.
"Pigments or dyes are the most common ways to make color in as in other organisms. Pigment molecules absorb certain portions of the white light spectrum and the portions that are not absorbed manifest as the colour we see," Vinod tells me.
"For instance, melanosomes, granules filled with the pigment melanin, produce blacks, browns and reddish-browns in feathers, whereas other pigments such as carotenoids produce the majority of bright yellow, orange or reddish colors."
He explains that parrots even have their own class of pigments (psittacofulvins) which give them their vivid yellow and red plumage.
"However, there are no known blue pigments found in vertebrates and the only known green pigment in birds is found in turacos, a group of birds endemic to sub-Saharan Africa," Vinod says.
"Birds have evolved to produce shorter and middle wavelength colors such as violet, indigo, blue and green structurally instead by the scattering of light photons by nanoscale sub-surface features in the feathers that are called biological photonic or biophotonic nanostructures."
It was these ‘structural’ (as opposed to ‘pigmentary’) colours that Vinod and colleagues from the US set out to investigate.
Vinod explains: "These features are basically repeating variation in material composition on the order of a few hundred nanometers, which matches the wavelengths of visible light.
"In bird feather barbs (barbs and barbules are respectively the primary and secondary branches of a feather), the complex nanostructures, made up of the protein beta-keratin and air, occur in one of two fundamental forms - either as a tortuous network of air channels in keratin (like a porous sponge) or as an array of spherical air bubbles in keratin (like Swiss cheese), but sometimes as more disordered and highly variable versions of these two forms."

Despite this apparently chaotic arrangement the team’s X-ray scattering experiments found a kind of order (known as ‘quasi-order’) in the variation and sameness of feather structures that accounts for their unusual optical qualities.
Because the quasiordered architecture of barbs interacts strongly with light, often producing double peaks, pure green or red colours cannot be produced structurally. But, Vinod tell me, many birds have evolved a way round this:
"Some birds such as the tanagers found in the Neotropics, have combined an orange or red pigment with a spongy barb nanostructure tuned to reflect in orange or red wavelengths in order to make bright and saturated colors, which cannot be produced using either biophotonic nanostructures or pigments alone."
Not only have very similar barb structures evolved independently in many families of birds (at least 44) but these look very much like other nanostructures seen in the physical world, such as beer foam, corroding metal alloys, and oil-in-water. It suggests that, like these latter structures, feather nanostructures may have evolved by a process of self-assembly (the phase separation of keratin from the cytoplasm of the spongy barb cells).
"This suggests that many lineages of birds have independently evolved to utilize the self-assembling properties of a polymerizing protein in solution to create optical nanostructures," Vinod comments.
The findings feed into his current work with Ben Sheldon studying the ultraviolet light reflecting crown structural colour ornaments of blue tits, which males use to attract females and see off rival males:
"By studying these non-iridescent barb structural colors across all birds, we have a better idea of the distribution of these colors across the evolutionary history of birds so that we can trace the evolution of barb structural colours in other birds closely related to the blue tits.
"That these barb nanostructures could be self-assembled intracelllularly from beta-keratin, the most basic constituent of feathers, suggests that there may be little or no cost involved in producing such structural colors.
Yet the secrets of structural colours aren’t just for the birds, they could also help to develop new materials for photonic devices that would not allow the passage of a certain band of wavelengths in any direction: such materials are currently hard to fabricate defect-free and on an industrial scale.
Vinod comments: "The nanostructures in bird feather barbs, that are likely self-assembled and have evolved over millions of years of selection for a consistent optical function, could be used to inspire novel photonic devices.
"They could be used as biotemplates for the fabrication of photonic materials using better technological raw materials (such as titania or silica), or we can try and mimic their process of self-assembly using synthetic polymers for colour tuneable applications."
So, in the not too distant future, we could be growing our own artificial not just to dazzle and amaze but to harness the power of light.
A report of the research, 'Structure and optical function of amorphous photonic from avian feather barbs: a comparative small angle X-ray scattering analysis of 230 bird species', is published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

If you have a young scientist at home, he/she might be interested to learn how certain feathers harness the power of light. That is pretty incredible!
 My Spell Check went frenetic over all the scientific terms, but I've left them in because they are COLORFUL!

Monday, May 7, 2012

"The Scream" by Edvard Munch set new auction price, especially for a pastel-on-cardboard work.

NEW YORK (AP).-" One of the art world's most recognizable images — Edvard Munch's "The Scream" — sold Wednesday for a record $119,922,500 at auction in New York City.

The 1895 artwork — a modern symbol of human anxiety — was sold at Sotheby's. The buyer's name was not released. The price includes the buyer's premium, an additional amount the buyer pays the auction house.

The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The auctioned piece at Sotheby's is the only one left in private hands.

The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," sold by Christie's in 2010.

The image has become part of pop culture, "used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and T-shirts," said Michael Frahm of the London-based art advisory service firm Frahm Ltd.

"Together with the Mona Lisa, it's the most famous and recognized image in art history," he added.

A buzz swept through the room when the artwork was presented for auction as two guards stood watch on either side. Bidding started at $40 million with seven buyers jumping into the competition early.

The battle eventually boiled down to two phone bidders as the historic hammer price was finally achieved after more than 12 minutes.

Sotheby's said the pastel-on-board version of "The Scream" is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem, detailing the work's inspiration.

In the poem, Munch described himself "shivering with anxiety" and said he felt "the great scream in nature."

Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece through Sotheby's because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work."

Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.

The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo."

A side story about the pastel's remarkable past:

The Scream
Munch's The Scream. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied
THE Scream, one of the most recognisable paintings in the world, which sold this week at Sotheby's for a record $US119.9 million ($117.8 million), could have been lost to the Nazis had it not been hidden in a Norwegian barn when they invaded in 1940.
New York fine art dealer, Edward Taylor Nahem, a close friend of the work's now-ex-owner, Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, said Mr Olsen's father hid The Scream in a barn on his farm just before the German invasion in 1940.
Mr Olsen's father, a friend and patron of painter Edvard Munch, and his family escaped Norway. The Scream remained undiscovered by the invaders, hidden until his family returned in 1945.
Mr Nahem said, "The Nazis considered Munch to be a degenerate artist. During the war, the Nazis purged a lot of art from museums and private collections. Some of the art was destroyed. One could speculate that The Scream could have been destroyed.
"War broke out, and Petter's parents and his brother, Fred, [before Petter was born] fled to England and later came to New York, where they bought Timex, which the family still owns. They returned after the war and recovered the works."
He added, "One Christmas night in the early 1980s, while sitting fireside in the living room at that same farm, my friend's mother relayed the harrowing flight she and her husband made with the king [of Norway] to escape the advancing German army. She feared for her family, for the king, for Norway and for a few canvases that spoke volumes about the state of the world and the artist who dared express it."
Mr Nahem said selling the work was an "emotional moment" for Mr Olsen, but "in the end we are just guardians and the artworks outlive us and move on."

Read more:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crayons are Chic

Remember how much fun coloring was when you were young, as long as someone older didn't admonish you to "stay inside the lines."? A very clever woman who claims she was a closet colorer has published a new series of coloring books for adults.

My name is Tami and I'm a closet colorer.
Of course, when I was little, I didn’t have to hide my favorite pastime.
Coloring then gave me a comforting escape.
A time to be one with Pooh and Piglet; Mickey and Minnie; Shaggy and Scooby.
Doubtful I thought of it that cerebrally.
Mostly, I remember how coloring made me feel: happy, free, smiley.

Today, as a nearly-50 “grownup,” coloring still makes me smile.
It quiets the craziness; offers a respite from this
over-buzzed-booked-and-burdened world.
It’s a self-expressive art experience without the pressure of having to create.
Above all, coloring is fun.

I created Color Your Way books in order to bring coloring for grownups
out of the closet and into the cool, mainstream waters.
Each book is present-day themed and designed to marry the youthful escape of
coloring with relevant thoughts and illustrations.
Color Your Way to Calm is a gift to make your own or to share with a friend.
Packaged with a starter set of crayons,
a healthy dose of nostalgic nourishment,
and permission to play.

All I can say is..."I wish I had thought of it first!"

In case you want to treat your mom to a coloring book for the upcoming Mother's Day on May 13th, the information below should help you discover the way to order it. Happy Mother's Day to all who bear that moniker.

/PRNewswire/ -- Who says you have to be a kid to color? Moms love to color too! That's why Tami Newcomb, adult colorist, created Color Your Way to Calm, a coloring book for finding peace in the middle of your present.
"I created Color Your Way books in order to bring coloring for grownups out of the closet and into the cool, mainstream waters," said Newcomb. "Today, as a nearly 50-year-old 'grownup,' coloring still makes me smile and offers a respite from this over-buzzed-booked-and-burdened world."
Color Your Way to Calm consists of 25 inspired thoughts and illustrations packaged with crayons, plus several pages to do as you please. It can be a mom's very own palette of simple, peaceful, pleasure to let go, ponder, forget, remember, cry, laugh, and most of all, have fun.
"Sometimes when I need to escape, I color my kids' books," said a San Francisco mother of two. "This book is for me to color after the kids are in bed. I can unwind and get lost with images and expressions that I can better relate to."
About Color Your Way
Created by Tami Newcomb, Color Your Way books were created in order to bring coloring for grownups out of the closet and into the cool, mainstream waters. Color Your Way to Calm is the first book created to help bring peace to those feeling over-buzzed, -booked and -burdened. Each book is present-day themed and designed to marry the youthful escape of coloring with relevant thoughts and illustrations. Coloring is fun and is a self-expressive art experience without the pressure of having to create. For more information or to purchase Color Your Way to Calm, visit

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Roses in technicolor may not be real, but they contain many hues which are favorites throughout the world. If you live where April showers fell, then May will show the results. Flowers have been favorite subjects for artists for centuries.

 Marsden Hartley's "Calla Lilies"
Edward Manet's "Moss Roses"

Neither of these artists normally painted flowers, but could not resist depicting them, perhaps when human models were not available. Colorful background versus neutral one is every artist's challenge when enhancing his composition with flowers.


4 Keith Haring (1958)
11 Salvador Dalí (1904)
Yaacov Agam (1928)
12 Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828)
13 Georges Braque (1882)
14 Thomas Gainsborough (Baptized, 1727)
15 Jasper Johns (1930)
21 Henri Rousseau (1844)
23 Franz Kline (1910)
25 Mary Cassatt (1844)
30 Alexander Archipenko (1887)