Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Blessing of Color Vision

A friend sent the following on color and it made me realize the true blessing of color vision. Something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I enjoyed these while awaiting my Apple-Cranberry pie to finish baking.
Black & White vs. Colors  AT BOTTOM

This is fantastic!   Just click on colors below, then sit back and enjoy a multitude of pictures, first in black and white, then in color. Phenomenal photography.
 What a colorful world we live in and take for granted every day.
and white is dramatic, but color ...wow! beautiful, watch until the end.
click on colors

Thursday, November 21, 2013

True Colors and Colorists

Note: Robert Genn is a Canadian painter whose weekly comments about art and life have been insightful as well as witty. I especially enjoy his quotes from artists and others.
Robert now battles cancer. This is one of his latest blogs. His daughter, Sara, also a painter, will continue his posts. Their way of spelling color as colour makes my spell check wake up, but it is the Canadian/English way.
If you enjoy this post or find it informative, Google Robert Genn and sign up for the newsletters. BBL

Dear Artists,
There are colourists and there are colourists. There are those among us whose colours are clunky and crude--and there are those whose colours are deadly, tasty, and "right on." There are even some, like Paul Gauguin, who believe colour ought to be arbitrary--that is, it's a good idea if the sky is green and the grass is red. 

Self Portrait with Halo -- oil on wood 29 x 20 inches by Paul Gauguin
Self Portrait with Halo
oil on wood
29 x 20 inches
by Paul Gauguin
Self portrait -- oil painting  by Joaquin Sorolla
Self portrait
oil painting
by Joaquin Sorolla
While we're at it, there are those who think tone values are more important than hue--which is similar to saying colour is arbitrary. But even newly baptized novices know that if you manage to get the right colour your painting can look "true." God may work in light, but we mortals work in pigment. Getting the colour of the light through haze in front of a distant range of hills is, for many, the Holy Grail. It's not in the magic of some new pigment, it's a matter of looking, seeing, mixing, testing and adjusting. 

Looking is opening your mind to your impressions. 

Seeing is replacing what you know with what you see. 

Mixing is the knowledgeable confluence of pigments. 

Testing is comparing your preparations with the truth. 

Adjusting is the will to fix your flagrant wrongs. 

Guidelines for mixing: I know it's basic, but where you mix your colours (your palette) won't show how a chosen hue will react with others on the work itself. You must apply and consider. Also, many successful mixtures contain a mother colour, plus white and black. Don't be afraid of black. Having said that, garishness, when it occurs, is best neutralized with its opposite on the colour wheel. Get a colour wheel. And when you come to mixing, testing and adjusting, it's nice to know that practically everybody must silently and diligently struggle to get it right. There's no easy way. In the words of Chromophobia author David Batchelor, "Colour reveals the limits of language and evades our best attempts to impose a rational order on it. To work with colour is to become aware of the insufficiency of language and theory--which is both disturbing and pleasurable." 

For those who paint outdoors, colour work can seem devilishly programmed to perplex and confuse. On the other hand, film photography, with its errant chemicals, can also get things wrong. Digital reference material, because of its eternal tweakyness, has been sent by the Great Goddess to help us look more virtuous than we are. 

Best regards, 


PS: "Colourists are epic poets." (Charles Baudelaire) "Colour is the fruit of life." (Guillaume Apollinaire) "Colour is an act of reason." (Pierre Bonnard

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chinese Protest Purchase of Picasso Work

Claude et Paloma by Picasso, 1950,  auctioned 2013

SHANGHAI (AFP).- China's richest man is under fire after his company spent $28 million on a painting by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, with people questioning the extravagant purchase and his patriotism.

Tycoon Wang Jianlin's Wanda Group bought the 1950 painting "Claude and Paloma", depicting Picasso's two youngest children, at auction last week for more than double the high estimate of $12 million. "With that money, how many sick people could receive treatment? Why not give something back to society first?" said one person posting on China's hugely popular microblogs, adding: "China's nouveau riche are short of nothing except conscience."

The manager of Wanda Group's corporate art collection defended the purchase, the Global Times newspaper reported Monday. "Only an enterprise with culture can understand art and collect the best artwork in the world," Guo Qingxiang was quoted as saying. "Chinese people should be proud rather than focus on how much money was spent." Wang, whose personal wealth is estimated by Forbes magazine at $14 billion, has recently sought to make a splash in cultural circles. Last year he bought US cinema chain AMC Entertainment, while in September he hosted a Hollywood star-studded gala to announce a planned entertainment complex in China.

 But others questioned why the firm bought a Western painting, saying Wang should spend more on Chinese works. Some Chinese companies and individuals have sought to buy up Chinese art and antiques overseas to repatriate them, and one microblog user asked: "Why not purchase Chinese paintings? What happened to passing on our own heritage?" Another added: "You can buy back China's lost treasures first if you have so much money to burn." 

More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/66178/China-s-richest-man--Wang-Jianlin--smeared-over-Picasso-painting-bought-at-Christie-s#.UoJ_wvlOPz4[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Age Doesn't Matter for Artists

 NEW YORK, NY.- David Zwirner presents I Who Have Arrived In Heaven, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition with Yayoi Kusama. Spanning the gallery’s three consecutive locations on West 19th Street in New York, the exhibition features twenty-seven new large-scale paintings alongside a recent video installation and two mirrored infinity rooms, one of which is made especially for this presentation.

Kusama's room-size installation at Zwirner Gallery 2013

 The exhibition’s centerpiece is Kusama’s newest mirrored infinity room. Shown here for the first time, Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away encompasses a cube-shaped, mirror-paneled room that features a shallow reflecting pool as its floor. Hundreds of multicolored LED lights are suspended at varying heights from the ceiling. They flicker on and off in a strobe-like effect, producing an intense illumination of the space and a repetitive pattern of reflections that suggest endlessness and ultimately invoke concepts of life and death.

 Yayoi Kusama’s work has transcended two of the most important art movements of the second half of the twentieth century: pop art and minimalism. Her extraordinary and highly influential career spans paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, fashion, design, and interventions within existing architectural structures, which allude at once to microscopic and macroscopic universes. The exhibition’s title, I Who Have Arrived In Heaven, reflects the artist’s long-standing interest in cosmic realms and resonates with the autobiographical element that runs through her oeuvre. 
The recent and new works on view at the gallery continue her innovative exploration of form, content, and space, while at the same time presenting a link to her artistic production from the past six decades. 

For the exhibition, Kusama has created a series of brightly colored, square-format paintings, the majority of which measure over six feet. Part of a recent body of work, they allude to universal spheres or basic life forms and highlight her unique amalgamation of representational and non-representational subject matter. Whereas Everything About My Love depicts a sea of biomorphic shapes, some personified with faces, The Way to My Love and Searching for Love present innumerous eyes, varying in size and proximity, bisected by arteries filled with round, colorful forms. Rows of human profiles are repeated to rhythmic effect in such works as Women in the Memories and Pensive Night. Vibrant, animated, and intense, the paintings transcend their medium to introduce their own pictorial logic, which appears both contemporary and universal.

. Kusama’s work is currently the subject of three major international museum exhibitions. Work by the artist is held in museum collections worldwide, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; among numerous others. Kusama lives and works in Tokyo. 

Yayoi Kusama at age 84, 2013

More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/66124/Exhibition-of-recent-and-new-works-by-Yayoi-Kusama-on-view-at-David-Zwirner-in-New-York#.Un48aPlOPz4[/url]
Copyright © artdaily.org

Monday, November 11, 2013

Color Forecasts

I have referred to Canadian interior designer Maria Killam a number of times because I consider her a color genius. Throughout the post, you will find she spells color with colour, it's okay because she is Canadian. You will find my comments in bold below the photos.

Today, I am sharing part of her recent post about color trends. I've learn something from Maria's blogs every time I read them. You, too, can subscribe, see the info below to do so. If you like to decorate and love to learn, Maria will be helpful.


The speaker on our first morning was Michael Shamassian, president and owner of Shmaze Industries. His presentation was very inspiring. He talked about how his passion for colour began at 19 when he started painting cars for a living while attending college at the same time.
Fast forward, he is now in the business of coatings. Sunglasses, cell phones, laptops, even medical equipment.
Mike said he worked with one company on a stunning red for a product (some machine, I didn't get what it was) that dentists would buy. They said because of that red, sales went up 60-70%.
He said choosing colour takes guts but can do amazing things for your business when you get it right.
Mike said designers will create this amazing palette of colours and in the end–and it happens all the time–the colour choices that make the cut are black, white and silver. When he asks the executives why?  They respond "Because it's safe".
And of course, if you've been reading my blog, you'll know the current trendy neutral is in actual fact not safe at all.
So what are the forecasted colours for 2015? I can't tell you the exact shades, you have to be a member for that, but here's the recap:
Colour Trends for 2015 from Palm Springs
Turquoise is still a big colour going forward. Remember when I spoke to the Director of Design for Maxwell fabrics just a few weeks ago? She said, it's almost becoming a staple colour, it's so popular. (It is my all-time favorite color-it goes with any other color beautifully.)
Colour Trends for 2015 from Palm Springs
 (The one pink shade in the chandelier is pure genius-BBL)
Colour Trends in 2015 from Palm Springs
Muted soft, pearlized pinks are also on trend. Gold is so pretty with pink.(The black fireplace surround and the side table give this room the anchors it needs with so much delicate pink.)
Colour Trends for 2015 from Palm Springs
Black is of course on the palette but it's chalky. (I would call this color Graphite.)
Colour Trends for 2015 from Palm Springs
And gold is back. Brushed gold of course, not the shiny stuff from the 80's. This is not news in the world of design but it sure takes a long time to stick even when it does arrive on the scene. (I am in love with the gorgeous wooden counter top with the free-form shape on the end!)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Car colors: Politics and your iPhone drive popular shades

BASF color chief Paul Czornij with samples of paint colors for cars likely to be popular over the next few years.
The Detroit Bureau
BASF color chief Paul Czornij with samples of paint colors for cars likely to be popular over the next few years.

Henry Ford liked to tell his customers they could order a Model T in any color they wanted, “so long as it’s black” – an option that certainly wouldn’t fly today.
Automakers now offer a wide ranging palette of colors, and the range of offerings continues to grow. BASF, one of the industry’s largest paint suppliers, is showing off 65 new hues to automotive designers as part of its annual color trend show.
While a handful of colors continue to dominate -- black, white, silver and gray – other shades are strongly influenced by factors ranging from current events to consumer electronics, as well as increasing concerns about the environment, said Paul Czornij, the technical manager of BASF’s Color Excellence Group.
Greens are becoming increasingly popular, as are blues, he notes, reflecting environmental concerns that have increased demand for all sorts of earth tone shades. Meanwhile, white is taking over from the long-popular silver shades, says Czornij, which appears to be linked to growing concerns “on both sides of the political spectrum…that things are not working right.”
White has also been buoyed by trends in consumer electronics, the BASF color specialist notes. The trendsetting Apple iPhone made white a symbol of high technology, something long associated with silver – a color that has been losing momentum over the last several years, according to industry sales data.
Today’s high-tech paints, meanwhile, allow designers to specify a wide range of shades, rather than simple primary colors, explains Czornij. When it comes to green, for example, “The nice things is that you can create a lot of different offerings,” from light to dark shades, “and you can even make very greenish blues or greenish yellows.”
The general trend for the 2014 model year, Czornij anticipates, will be “more and more rich, saturated colors.” But even for white you’ll see more subtle variations in tone and gloss. In fact, one of the potentially biggest trends over the next few years is the move to lower gloss paints, whether they’re a satiny or even a matte finish.
Matte is, in fact, a favorite for automotive designers. The problem is that this ultra-low gloss finish can be extremely difficult to maintain – and equally costly to repair. That has the chemists behind the paint industry scrambling to come up with ways to make matte finishes easier to work and live with.
Researchers are not only exploring new colors and finishes but also trying to respond to consumer demands for more environmentally friendly paints. Over the last decade, the industry has moved almost entirely to waterborne compounds that sharply reduce the chemical emissions of old, petroleum-based solvents.
The next step BASF is studying would actually use “repurposed” compounds in the paint formula. At the annual trend show the company is showing off a new formula that uses ultra-fine rubber from recycled tires. The concept is still “very experimental,” Czornij cautions, and it’s too early to say if and when it would go into production.
BASF is also showing off experimental paint compounds that could be used to reduce solar load, the amount of energy soaked up by a car parked in a lot on a hot day in Phoenix, for example.
Because of the long lead times required in the auto industry – such as the need to test the durability of new paints – this year’s trend show focuses on paints and colors targeted at the 2017 model year.

Along with greens and blues, American car buyers are expected to have a growing interest in browns over the next several years.
Favorite car colors differ around the world. BASF forecasts “sophisticated intermediate colors, such as olive-greens and bluish grays” will become increasingly popular in the Asia-Pacific region. In recession-ravaged Europe, “there is a tendency to move forward rationally and calmly,” the paint supplier suggests, anticipating neutral black and gray will be particularly popular -- while also predicting that “creative, courageous colors,” such as red and green will gain momentum over the next several years.
Copyright © 2009-2013, The Detroit Bureau

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Night Lights Can Affect Our Moods

Our homes glow at night. Light bulbs, TVs, and now computers, e-readers, tablets and smartphones expose people to an increasing amount of light after dark. And the color of that light may influence mood and brain function. That’s according to a study in The Journal ofNeuroscience. [Tracy A. Bedrosian et al,Nocturnal Light Exposure Impairs Affective Responses in a Wavelength-Dependent Manner]
Researchers looked at the role of specialized photosensitive cells in the retina. The cells, called ipRGCs, are responsible for regulating circadian rhythms. And recent evidence suggests these cells may also play a role in mood and cognition.
To test how nocturnal lighting color affects mood, the researchers exposed hamsters to nighttime conditions of no light, red light, white light or blue light for four weeks each. 
Hamsters exposed to red light at night had the fewest brain changes associated with depression in humans, while blue and white light had the worst effects on mood.

Beware:  late-night work email may not be the only thing ticking you off—the blue glow of your machine may also be getting you down. The best bet: shut down and get some shuteye.
Article by Annie 

Color, even in small items, makes a difference. I have some old red Christmas light bulbs which I will use to replace the white light bulbs now in our nightlights. BBL