Sunday, February 26, 2012

Colors of Spring Appear


van Gogh Vincent van Gogh
March 30, 1853
1Oskar Kokoschka, 1886
2Ito Jakuchu, 1716
3Melissa Miller, 1951
4Kano Tanyu, 1602
5Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696
6Michelangelo, 1475
7Piet Mondrian, 1872
7Milton Avery, 1893
9David Smith, 1906
12Elaine De Kooning, 1918
13Georges de La Tour, 1593
13William Glackens, 1870
13John Rhoden, 1918
14Reginald Marsh, 1898
14Diane Arbus, 1923
14Jennifer Bartlett, 1941
15Emilio Cruz, 1938
16Rosa Bonheur, 1822
18William Henry Johnson, 1901
19Albert Pinkham Ryder, 1847
19Josef Albers, 1888
20George Caleb Bingham, 1811
21Hans Hofmann, 1880
22Anthonie van Dyck, 1599
22Randolph Caldecott, 1846
23Juan Gris, 1887
24William Morris, 1834
27Edward Steichen, 1879
27Mies van der Rohe, 1886
28Grace Hartigan, 1922
30Francisco José de Goya, 1746
30Vincent van Gogh, 1853
31William Morris Hunt, 1824

Many major artists who loved color have their birthdays in March, look up any who intrique you. Remember that paint colors in tubes did not appear on the market until the 1860s. It is interesting to see how colors in paintings changed because of the new innovation of colors available.

Signs of spring, daffodils, flowering quince, and Robins, have appeared in our area. The  dreary colors of winter are giving way to vivid colors. Keep your eyes open for the yellows, pinks, and chartreuses in your neighborhoods.

This collage at the top of the page shows the many brilliant colors of foliage available in heucheras, the new hosta. This website has 60 color photos of various heucheras and offers a “paint-by-number” section in which it lists heucheras by their various colors so you can plan your garden.

Looking for a new plant for your shade garden? Heucheras add a jolt of color.

Check out the new varieties of heucheras, whose foliage has been bred to produce a wide burst of colors, from amber, gold and orange to lime-yellow, red, purple, brown and even black.

The little stalks of flowers that give the plant its common name of coral bells are still there, but it’s the leaves that are prized.

Although traditional coral bells had only green leaves with tiny pink flowers that bloomed once per season, the new types not only have more colorful leaves, but the leaves of some varieties also change color from spring to fall and the plants bloom on and off all summer.

It is for those qualities and more that the National Garden Bureau, the marketing arm of the gardening industry based in Downers Grove, Ill., has declared 2012 “the year of the heuchera,” a plant native to the United States that is still underused.

Not only are heucheras attractive, but they also have become stronger, fuller and more disease-resistant, have few pests and are adaptable to containers.

- Uses — In a shade garden, heucheras provide colors that are not possible with hostas. In front of a border planting, they mound nicely to 8-12 inches. Under trees where grass doesn’t grow, they are an alternative to doing the hosta-doughnut thing. They are good for containers, too, since they don’t “bully” the other plants.

- Care — “Heucheras are an easy plant as long as you don’t overwater, if you do, they rot.That is one of the reasons they need to be planted in well-drained soil, not clay, which holds moisture.

In containers, allow heucheras to dry out between waterings. In winter, heucheras tend to heave out of the ground. This is easy to remedyby lightly stepping on them.

The leaves do not need to be cut back since new leaves will push out over the old. Then the old leaves will provide a cover for the roots, keeping them moist. (But not too moist!)


Friday, February 10, 2012

Flowers & Chocolate

Symbols of love have varied over cultures. In the 21st century, the most stereotypical are roses and chocolate. Both are thoughtful presents for our beloveds. I salute you with two of the same in the form of a recipe for a Chocolate Gateau served at Claude Oscar Monet's home, Giverny. And, the flowers are from his personally designed, colorfilled garden. The warm colors of the tulips bespeak love. Happy Valentine's Day.

Giverny’s Chocolate Gateau

This recipe uses equal quantities by weight of eggs, butter, chocolate and sugar, so these ingredients will have to be weighed to find the exact amount to use.

Serves 8

2 eggs, separated

About 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

About 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

About ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons flour

Weigh the eggs then weigh out an equal amount of butter, chocolate and confectioner’s sugar.

Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler with 2 tablespoons water. After it is melted, remove from the heat and beat in the butter. When the mixture is smooth let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the egg yolks well then stir them into the chocolate mixture. Add the confectioner’s sugar and the flour.

Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks (I add ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar) and fold them into the mixture. Pour into a well-greased cake pan, round or square, and bake for 20 minutes.

I found this recipe  in Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet by Claire Joyes. I like to imagine Monet and Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas, Cezanne, Rodin, and Whistler, all illustrious artists of the 19th century, enjoying this cake after lunch or at tea in the gardens of Giverny, Monet’s colorful home.

A friend recently advised me to add a copper penny inside each tulip to help them stand upright longer.

Friday, February 3, 2012

color wheel-free chart

The Color of Love Through the Artistic Eye
Posted: 03 Feb 2012 08:02 AM PST
Love is most often associated with the color red. Be that by conditioning of incessant advertising or that we are drawn to it by nature. Secondary to red is of course pink, in almost any level of saturation.

Red is one of those colors that possesses the strongest Ying and Yang of its theoretical definitions. Between love and hate, rebirth and death, the human relationship in any combination, could literally be summed up in the meaning of the color Red. Pink has what I would describe as a temperamental scale, more based on softness versus loudness than the extreme left or right end of the spectrum.

"Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love." - // COLOR THEORY poster freebie
Click  on the magenta address above to print out a color wheel for yourself. Meanings and terms will be useful in choosing colors for your home or clothes. Passive/receding colors versus active/advancing colors are shown as well.

Application: If you are about to choose a wall color for a room which has north light, choose a warmer color to cheer up the space. If you have a warm, south facing room, choose from the cooler side of the spectrum.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Psychology of Color

The following article came to my attention this morning. It is so well done that I have included it in toto. It will help us recognize how certain firms and designers use the colorwheel to brand their colors into our memories. As I have written previously, colors are not to be underestimated for their emotional influence. Enjoy! Knowledge is power!

The Psychology of Color

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Color is not as simple as it seems. According to this infographic from CertaPro Painters of Louisville, it evokes emotion and triggers your senses. With this in mind, the infographic beautifully explores colors that should and should not be used in interior decorating, as well as why certain colors are used in advertising.
[Click here for full size image]
Source: CertaPro Painters of Louisville

About the Author

Brian Wallace is the President of NowSourcing, Inc., a premier social media firm specializing in infographic design, development and content marketing promotion. The company is based in Louisville, KY and works with companies that range from small business to Fortune 500.