Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Chromolocomotion: Train Stations and Tetris

My husband and I had one day to spend in London on our way home to Portland this week. We visited the Viking exhibit at the British Museum, took a selfie across the street from 221B Baker Street (no – we did not go in since there was no 221B in Conan Doyle’s time) and […]

Lightboxing in Lanjaron

Two weeks ago I was in Lanjaron, Spain with my friend, and fellow color enthusiast, Laura Liska. We stayed in a quiet courtyard and spent some time every day on our respective studies. We are both exploring how light affects the perception of color – each in our own ways. Laura is working on her […]

Blue in the Face II

Here are the answers to the Blue in the Face Matching Game in the form of color chips for each of the skin colors.  The colors range from the warmest blues such as Meanie Blue to the coolest blues such as Beauregard Blue; from the most saturated, Blue Man Blue to the least saturated, Walters […]

Blue in the Face Matching Game

I read recently that our different races are all the colors of the earth – the dirt, the soil, the clay, the sand.  Since there is no blue earth, characters with blue skin seem unnatural and other worldly. Here’s a fun matching game on blue skinned  folks  seen in shows, movies, TV, artwork, and comic books.  Note that I […]

Blue in the Face

The article on the mystery of Maya blue led me to the movie Apocalypto. I was hoping to find images of sacrificial victims painted blue.  I did find some photos but was surprised to see that the faces were not painted.    Given Mel Gibsons reputation for historical accuracy, I am guessing there is a Mayan painting somewhere that shows how the slaves were […]


My mother’s favorite color is blue. She collects blue glass bottles and displays them in the windows of our house in Ohio. She prefers cobalt blue but all varieties of blue make it onto the shelves. Over the years many of the bottles were accidently broken – one time a whole window’s worth came tumbling down! […]

Fall Colors 2007

Since summer ends this weekend, let’s look at some of the color forecasts for the Fall.  Even though I don’t believe that color forecasts are always accurate, it is fun to look at them and find colors that you might like to try in your work. This Fall’s Pantone Colors are a mixture of deep earths, soft earth […]

Color Deficiency Tests

Dr. Shinobu Ishihara developed the most widely used tests for color blindness while he was a military physician in the Japanese Army in the early 1900’s. He hand painted the first charts himself using watercolors and Japanese characters instead of numbers.   Today the plates are printed to exacting standards and used all over the world as […]

Color Blind Design

This chart shows ten colors selected because they can be differentiated by people with normal, protan and duetan vision.   When would you want to use these colors? Probably not in jewelry design or quilting or painting but can you imagine how difficult it might be to use a map if you were color blind? […]


Variations of chartreuse have been popular for at least the last eight years and the color seems to keep getting hotter and hotter.  Dante Marioni’s Chartreuse Trio 2006     Fall 2006 Runway Guide   As I work on making sample triangles with different clays and different primaries I am struck by the amazing range of chartreuses […]

Announcing “Aurora”

Congratulations to Georgana Gersabeck of Berkley, Michigan who proposed the name “Aurora” for Elise Winters’ new colorway. When she saw Elise’s bead strands she said, “I immediately felt I was looking at the Northern lights.” Elise sent this me this message on Sunday: ” Your deadline has passed and I checked in to gather the last […]

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Thanks to everyone who let me know that the January 22 issue of the New Yorker had an article about the color industry. “Made in the Shade”, by Eric Konigsberg, tells the story of color consultant Leslie Harrington and gives an inside look at the color business. For a workhop a few years ago I […]

Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube is making a huge comeback.  I don’t care how fast you can solve it, its more fun to use the cube to make patterns and play with color combinations. Pick one up and don’t worry about fiquring it out. If you do get stressed, then try the optical illusion using a Rubik’s Cube at the […]

Smashing Color Theory #6: Half and Half is NOT Halfway

When you mix two colors in equal amounts you expect to get a color that appears to be in the middle. In reality this doesn’t often happen. Usually one of the colors will be stronger than the other and pull the half and half mix closer to its side than the other. Understanding the “tinting […]