Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stage and Church Lighting Influenced by Color

The psychological, emotional affect of color is brought to light (pun intended) in the following article. It's amazing how colors modify our moods. You might want to pass along this information to your music director at your church. We are just a few weeks until Easter, one of the most emotional times of the liturgical year.


Lighting, Color Theory, and Emotion

This post sponsored by—professional lighting for churches.
This article from Steven Hall is all about the way colors and color combinations affect our emotions and the environments we create in our church services.
Lighting can convey emotion, mood, setting, energy, and many other important elements during a church service. Color can be one of the most impacting attributes of lighting. Warm colors (red, amber, yellow) can convey intimacy, warmth, energy… while cool colors (blue, green, purple) can convey darkness, growth, majesty…  Even further than that, a saturated color can convey depth and intensity, while a pastel can convey gentleness and calmness. Our use of color in worship can cultivate a climate where people connect deeper with God.
Check out this great list of some of the emotions that can be conveyed with color (awesome info from Camron Ware).
As you can see, a single color can communicate a lot in your design. But combinations of color can further steer the environment.

Color Combinations

A stage that is lit all red can look very oppressive. But if you add some magenta to the red, you will get a playful and energetic look. Or add purple to the red and get a more intense feel.
Adding similar shades normally works well. Red and amber, blue and teal, and magenta and purple are all great color combinations from similar hues.
Some color combinations don’t work well, though. A great example of an awful color combination is red and green. Although this color combination is culturally acceptable at Christmas, it still makes me cringe on the inside.
Many times, a pair of colors will work remarkably during most of a worship song, but lack enough energy during a build or chorus. Using a small amount of white as an accent can also help you fabricate interest and energy in these areas.

Limiting Colors

Trying to limit your colors within looks can give you a superb starting point. I use two colors + white as my theoretical color limit per look.
Many people fall into the trap of using lots of colors at the same time when lighting an element during a service. Occasionally, multiple colors can be impactful when used well and deliberately. However a lot of the time these collections of colors turn into visual noise. Using lots of colors seldom communicates any of the feeling you are trying to convey. A mix of red, magenta, amber, and yellow could be used to try and communicate intensity, playfulness, energy, and warmth during a loud call to worship song. A lot of times though, it just appears as white light near the stage with so many of the colors mixing. Instead, experiment with the two feelings you want most to convey. A mix of red and yellow lights can convey energy and intensity clearly.
As with any design element though, there is always an exception to the rule. A few moments do occur when I forgo my two-color rule. To simulate a sunset look during a song I have used a gradient of color, fading from amber on one side to a deep purple on the other.  By using a gradient, there were many shades of very similar colors on the stage.
The vital consideration here is to keep the look from overwhelming the stage with too many colors in each area.

Color Positioning

Another way to add visual interest and convey your desired message is through the use of color positioning. Although a look with red and blue backlights may look good on stage, try to use one color as only sidelight. A blue backlight with a red side light creates deep and drastic shadows that will convey a sense of deep intensity that will work great in songs that are somber or heavy.
Color is complex and the combinations are endless. Some will look stellar and some will look atrocious.
There are too many color combinations to adequately go over all the variables in one article. Luckily we each have the most visually complex capture mechanism ever created—our eyesight. Trust your eyes and experiment with colors, color combinations, and positioning.
Start with a few color combinations from below then explore and experiment with what looks good and what doesn’t.
Teal / Incandescent White
Amber / Yellow
Blue / Amber
Green / Teal
Incandescent White / Purple

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crayons Come to Life!

‘The Hero of Color City’ Brings Crayons to Life

If LEGO can have its own movie, so can crayons. At least that’s the thinking behind The Hero of Color City, an animated feature being distributed in the U.S. by Magnolia Pictures, which also distributes the Oscar-nominated short films as well as documentaries like Jiro Dreams of Sushi and BlackfishColor City will be released into theaters and on iTunes/OnDemand October 3, 2014. The Hero of Color City was animated by Indian studio Toonz Animation and directed by former DreamWorks management figure and current ASIFA-Hollywood president Frank Gladstone. The producers are Max Howard, former head of Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and John D. Eraklis. Headlining voices include Christina Ricci, Rosie Perez, Wayne Brady and Craig Ferguson:
Each night, when Ben falls asleep, his Crayons’ magical Crayon Box transports them to Color City, a world of dazzling hues, soaring fantasy and the whimsy of childhood. When Yellow is accidentally left behind in Ben’s room, she awakens two Unfinished Drawings: King Scawl, a huge monster, and Gnat, Scrawl’s sidekick. They follow Yellow to Color City and claim the enchanted Rainbow Waterfall and all of its color for themselves. Soon Color City will fade and our lovable crayon characters will disappear.
It’s up to Yellow and her pals, Blue, Green, REd, and the twins, Black and White, to save the day. Meeting with fantastical creatures and fun adventures along the way, Yellow discovers she has more courage than she knew and learns to believe in herself and to count on the support of her friends. Replete with valuable life lessons, The Hero of Color City will entertain and inspire.

This sounds so cute, i look forward to its release. bbl

Pink Condiments

Years ago I followed the column of Heloise for household hints and recipes. Now, her daughter is carrying on the tradition. I recently saw her article discussing PINK SALT and, of course, had to explore the subject closer.

Dear Heloise: I saw pink salt in the store the other day. What is it, and how is it used? — Lydia N., via email
The pink salt you are seeing in stores is Himalayan salt, which is found deep within the Himalayas. The beautiful pink color comes from the mineral content.
You can buy the salt in plates, slabs, cubes and fine or coarse grain. Use the fine- or coarse-grained salt like regular table salt for foods. The slabs and plates are available to serve sushi or other appetizers on. — Heloise
P.S.: If you just like the color (pink salt can be very pricey), you can make pink salt by adding a few drops of red food coloring to regular table salt.

I will be making some PINK SALT soon, using her "recipe." I have a few salt cellars to use and think it will be fun to sprinkle on baked potatoes, popcorn and other goodies which call out for salt and a bit of color.

Years ago, I bought PINK SUGAR to use at tea parties. The coarse sugar crystals  looked so pretty in the sugar bowl and elicited excited comments from the ladies. 

A slight change in the color of condiments seems to catch guests' eyes and makes them feel special when you serve them. Perhaps you are expecting visitors for the upcoming holidays and can delight them with a cup of tea and a pretty bowl of pink sugar, cream and lemon slices if they like it English style.
Color adds so much to our lives in even the smallest details.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My favorite color

Green is one of my many favorite colors. Have a
happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Faking Masterpieces

Jackson Pollock
NEW YORK (AFP).- An art dealer acknowledged Monday in New York that for nearly 15 years she sold counterfeit paintings to two of the city's top galleries, which earned more than $80 million for them. Glafira Rosales, 57, pleaded guilty before a federal judge in a court saga that has played out for nearly two years. Between 1994 and 2009, Rosales sold 63 previously unknown works that she claimed were by such artists as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman and Sam Francis, according to the indictment.

 The works were sold for $33.2 million to two prestigious New York galleries that were not named in the indictment, although one was stated as having closed in 2011.

 Rosales had claimed that some 50 of the paintings came from a Swiss heir who had inherited them from a collector and wished to remain anonymous. She sold thirteen others claiming to represent the interests of a Spanish collector.

 The works, which Rosales commissioned from a Chinese artist from Queens, New York, were treated with paint from the proper time period by a Spanish companion of Rosales. The painter was paid several thousand dollars per painting. 

Rosales, who is Mexican-American, asked the New York galleries to pay her via Spanish bank accounts, to avoid the IRS. She pleaded guilty to nine counts including fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, for which she could face up to 99 years in prison. She also agreed to forfeit some $33.3 million, including her Long Island home at Sands Point, pay financial restitution to the wronged collectors and pay back taxes. Her sentence will be announced March 18, 2014. 

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Chemistry of Color

My Tulsa Roses 2013

The Chemistry of Color

Roses are red, and violets are blue, but why? Why do flowers have the colors they have? It's chemistry, specifically pigment molecules.

NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, have partnered with the National Science Foundation on a new series, Chemistry Now, which explains the chemistry in everyday life.

"The color is really to make the flower stand out from the rest of the plant so that they will attract insects to spread their pollen," says Dr. Nancy Goroff, a chemist at Stony Brook University.

What determines a flower's coloring is the same thing that decides our own hair and eye color: genetics.  Genes in plant cells direct the production of pigments.

Pigments are chemical compounds that absorb or take in light, especially in the visible rainbow wavelengths we can see.  Here's how it works: whatever colors a specific pigment does not absorb are reflected back into our eye.  That is the color we see.

In flowers, one family of pigments, called carotenoids generally absorb all the light wavelengths except oranges and yellows, which is why we see tiger lilies as orange and daffodils as yellow. Another group of flower pigments, anthocyanins, generally absorb all the light wavelengths except blues and purple, which is why we see those colors in flowers.

Daffodil from our Fredericksburg yard 2014

Dr. Goroff explains, "Sunlight is being absorbed and sunlight is being reflected. We see that difference as color."

For more "Chemistry Now" videos and lesson plans, go to

Bird of Paradise flower from the tropics

Daffodils and other spring-blooming plants are making their appearance already. Our Bradford Pear tree is covered with blossoms in early March. I hope these heralds of spring don't suffer if we have another cold snap.