This weekend I was in Tucson teaching two one day workshops billed as beginner and intermediate variations of the Watercolor technique. At the beginning of the day on Saturday, I confessed to my students that every workshop I teach is really an excuse to explore color and that these two workshops are specifically designed to play in the mud.
The rainbow colors get all the glory while most of the lowly mud colors do not even have names! By the end of the weekend everyone had a new appreciation for the importance, variety, and beauty of mud colors.
Here’s a new video with a sweet song by Jay Foreman and artwork by John Henry Falle that expresses my longing to discover the infinite range of colors that exist beyond the rainbow.
Velvet Da Vinci’s newest show, Monochrome Noir, features contemporary art jewelry that contrasts black with color. With work by 22 artists from the US, Estonia and The Netherlands, the collection showcases a full spectrum of styles.
I would love to attend the artists’ reception tonight in LA, but I’ll have to make do with picking up some black polymer and playing with a few new designs. Color me inspired.
Many plants depend on birds to disperse their seeds by eating their fruit. Colors that contrast with the plant’s foliage signal birds that the fruit is ready for plucking and nature does the rest. Some fruits are bright red, some are white, some are multicolored. As long as the ripe fruit contrasts with the foliage the birds will flock to the plant. Blue fruit might seem to be an exception since the color and value contrast is not that high between the fruit and the leaves. But we don’t see the same way birds do. A bird’s eye view extends into the ultraviolet part of the spectrum and the waxy bloom on blue fruits is highly UV reflective. That means that a blueberry might actually look bright and shiny red to a bird.
Last fall a group of scientists announced that the brightest and shiniest of all fruits is the Pollia Condensata. In fact, it is more iridescent and reflective than anything else in the natural world. Check out this fascinating Wired article to understand why the color is so luminous. Isn’t it gorgeous! The birds must love it!
Most of my new work has names that I easily associate with the piece. For example, every time I show someone the photo on the left, they say it reminds them of octupuses so I called it “Octopi” – one of the three plural forms of octopus.
The other day a friend asked about one of my pieces by using the title I gave it on my website and – oops – I had trouble remembering which one of a half dozen possible pieces it might be. Clearly I did not put enough thought into coming up with a suitable, and memorable (at least for me) name for that specific piece.
Thankfully, James Gurney just completed a series of three posts on his blog about the importance of titles. He is talking about paintings but his tips are spot on for any artist. I especially took to heart his suggestion “Make sure you recognize the piece from the title.”
Gurney’s post was especially timely since I just added three new pieces to my website and have yet to name them. I briefly considered naming them “Twist 2,” “Torque 3″ and “Wrap 4″ but that would be such a cop out!
I will come up with titles soon. But I need to put some thought into it!