Loïe Fuller, Illusionist Of Light And Color

Loïe Fuller, Illusionist Of Light And Color

One of the most spellbinding color illusionists of the last century left her spectators dazzled to near-mystical proportions.  Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) was pioneer of choreography and an innovator of theatrical lighting, holding patents for creating color gels and using chemical salts for luminescence.  When she took to the stage dressed in flowing silk costumes specially lit according to her own schemes, she transformed into a full-fledged magician.  When modern dance founder Isadora Duncan first witnessed Fuller's shape-shifting wizardry, she was bewitched by an alchemy of color and movement that left the impression of a once-in-a-lifetime miracle.  Employing only voluminous colored silks illuminated by beams of light, Fuller performed what amounted to a shamanic ritual, convincing her spectators that a sacred metamorphosis was unfolding.  Fuller evoked the primal power of the bonfire, depicted the wonder of new life, and enacted the elevation of the soul into boundless essence.  Though the experience left Duncan in a state of wordless awe, she couldn't help attempting to account for the sheer magnitude of what she beheld:

Loïe Fuller at the Folies Bergère

"Before our very eyes she turned to many-coloured, shiny orchids, to a wavering, flowering sea-flower, and at length to a spiral-like lily, all the magic of Merlin, the sorcery of light, colour, flowing form.  What an extraordinary genius!  No imitator of Loïe Fuller has ever been able even to hint at her genius!  I was entranced, but I realized that this was a sudden ebullition of nature which could never be repeated.  She transformed herself into a thousand colourful images before the eyes of her audience.  Unbelievable. Not to be repeated or described.  Loïe Fuller originated all the changing colours and floating Liberty scarves.  She was one of the first original inspirations of light and changing colour.  I returned to the hotel dazzled and carried away by this marvelous artist. . . . I was more and more enthusiastic about her marvellous ephemeral art.  That wonderful creature—she became fluid; she became light; she became every colour and flame, and finally she resolved into miraculous spirals of flames wafted toward the Infinite."  (My Life, pp. 71-72)

The significance of Loïe Fuller's performance can hardly be exaggerated.  She embodied the Goddess of Light and the Rainbow, whether under the guise of the Greek Artemis or Iris, the Hindu Uma, the Mayan Ix Chel, the Celtic Brigid, or the Roman Diana.  Biographers Richard and Marcia Current called Fuller a "magician of light."  Befitting a goddess, Fuller had a paradoxical nature, and she created her own mythology.  Her biographers explain:

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Color In Nature: Pheasants

Color In Nature: Pheasants

There are approximately 49 species of pheasants. Their habitats range from mountainous regions in the Himalayas to the grasslands of North America and bamboo forests of China.

The color palettes of pheasants range as drastically as their habitats. Many species possess colors you might only expect to see on birds in tropical regions with feathers of bright yellows and oranges that are complimented with deep rich maroons and blues. While other species possess simple soft transitions of beige and gray. Whatever the species, pheasants are a wonderful source of color inspiration found in nature.

Elliot's Pheasant

Photo by jowo
Elliot's Pheasant

  • Other Names: Bar-backed Pheasant, Chinese Barred-backed Pheasant, White-necked Long-tailed Pheasant
  • Range: Southeastern China
  • Habitat: Thick mixed forests to about 6,200 feet.


Himalayan Monal Pheasant

Photo by peterjbaer
Himalayan Monal

  • Other Names: Impeyan Pheasant, Impeyan Monal
  • Range: The Himalayas, from eastern Afghanistan to western China
  • Habitat: Mountainous regions; in summer, they are found in rocky, grass covered meadows and winters in coniferous and mixed forests.


Silver Pheasant

Photo by benimoto
Silver Pheasant

  • Other Names: N/A
  • Range: South-western China, eastern Burma, southern Vietnam, southwestern Cambodia, southeastern Thailand, northern Laos and the island of Hainan.
  • Habitat: Diverse, both grasslands and bamboo, evergreen and decidous forests.
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Artists In Color: Stephen Bush + Sanderson Bob

Artists In Color: Stephen Bush + Sanderson Bob

Today we are highlighting the work of painter Stephen Bush and graphic designer Sanderson Bob who both show a particular excellence in their perception of color and space.

Stephen Bush

Stephen Bush's work has been described as 'technicolor realism' and he consume his painting's subjects with brush strokes and pours of hallucinogenic color. His work evokes the same emotional pull as what I experienced when I first saw the stunning visual imagination of Salvador Dali and other artist from the surrealist movement. Bush's use of color is the best aspect of his amazingly good collection of work.

Stephen Bush graduated from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Fine Arts in 1978 and has since gone on to have a prolific professional career, recognised in Australia and the USA. Bush's career has been built on a series of works, each created through a different aesthetic approach but linked by their surreal sensibility. Beekeepers, rubbish bins, alpine scenes, Babar the elephant, men on horse, his chosen subjects are diverse and atypical. Bush's painterly range is as varied and free flowing as his subject matter. Moving from lurid abstraction to figuration realism, he creates guttural juxtapositions of the visceral and the sublime.
- Sutton Gallery

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The Girl With The Multicolored Hair

The Girl With The Multicolored Hair

Text by Jeff at Omegaword, palettes from the COLOURlovers library

The last time I saw the girl with the multicolored hair, she was following sunbeams through the kitchen door and ran, laughing, out into the world to find another bright friend.

The last time I saw the girl with the multicolored hair, she flew above the treetops where the wind blows warm, and clouds were not allowed to interfere with such a perfect sky.

The last time I saw the girl with the multicolored hair, she sang to the sparrows and the green, green grass, and rain was always welcome, but only after noon.

rainbow hairHair
HairsprayHairdohairsprayHair Madness

Cover img by permanently scatterbrained.

Craig ConleyAbout the Guest Author, Craig Conley Website: http://www.OneLetterWords.comCraig is an independent scholar and author of dozens of strange and unusual books, including a unicorn field guide and a dictionary of magic words. He also loves color: Prof. Oddfellow
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The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies 3

The Color Of Language: English Color Etymologies 3

This is the third post in a series on English Color Etymologies. Today we are looking at the colors that come from the names of fabrics, gems, minerals and metals.

English is a colorful language. Since its birth among the tribes of Europe, English has built its color vocabulary with the wealth of words it has inherited from Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek. Collected here are 172 colors that standard dictionaries (I used the American Heritage and the Random House) classify as specific color nouns (these do not, of course, include the standard ten – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white – or any Crayola inventions). This treasure of colors is broken down by etymological origin: is the color the name of a flower, an animal, or even a historical person? Some colors appear twice (when I felt two origins were sufficiently different). Others appear only once though they could certainly fit into several categories.

Ever wonder how a color got its name? Refer to the following and enjoy your new grasp on color!


Photo by snowriderguy

Various fabrics, often named for their city of origin, have become synonymous with specific colors.

From the Persian word for “rich cloth,” saquirlāt.
A coarse, woolen cloth for undergarments (no longer used).
A soft fabric of undyed wool.
A durable, German fabric used for making coats.
A coarse, green fabric similar to tweed.
A cloth formerly made in Lincoln, England.


Photo by cayusa

The earth is a rich source of life, and color terminology.

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DIY Color: Dye It Yourself With Kool-Aid

DIY Color: Dye It Yourself With Kool-Aid

With the help of our friend Ana we're going to take you through some ways to use Kool-Aid as a colorful, affordable and environmentally safe dye.

Kool-Aid dyeing works best with animal fibers. Which means you can dye your hair but you might have trouble with your cotton t-shirts.

What You Will Need:


  • Kool-Aid, in as many colors as you can find (try looking in your kid's, or 'Nintendo loving' roommate's, drawers)
  • Microwave or stove
  • Containers to soak, bake and cool the yarn
  • A place to dry the yarn.


Getting Started


Let the yarn soak in a dish filled with lukewarm water and a squirt of dish soap for 30 minutes until soaked all the way through.

Remember: Cover your work surfaces to protect against staining by using plastic bags.

Combine 1/2 cup water to one packet of Kool-Aid and stir until smooth.

Use the proper tool for the job. The tennis racket cocktail stirrer served multiple uses. The stick-end was used to stir up the KoolAid dye mixtures and the racket-end was great for scooping the test mini-skeins out of the hot water.

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The Colors Of GelaSkins: iPhone Skins + Wallpapers

The Colors Of GelaSkins: iPhone Skins + Wallpapers

If you're looking for a way to customize and set your iPhone apart with a little personal taste and style, you may not need to look any further than GelaSkins. Featuring some 60 artists, GelaSkins features impressive work by some amazing contemporary artists, and fills in the ranks with classic work by Van Gogh, Monet, Gustav Klimt and Kurt Vonnegut.

While I am unaware of what kind of compensation each artist receives in exchange for the rights to their work, I do like the fact that they are supporting new artists, and GelaSkins says they are always on the lookout for new talent to feature, which in addition to wallpapers and skins, includes coverage on their design + culture blog.

The new skin designs and free matching wallpapers that many companies have been coming out with lately are a pretty big jump in the right direction from older styles of skins that were mostly just awkward and annoying, and only came in a limited number of colors.

The skins are available online and in selected stores nationwide. You can also create your own skins and put whatever questionable illustration, painting, or photograph that you might have, on your iPhone for all your friends to see.

Color Inspiration from GelaSkins

Here are four works that caught my eye when I was browsing through the lineup of artist.

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The Colorful Art Of Camera Tossing

The Colorful Art Of Camera Tossing

Who exactly threw the first camera may be hard to know for sure, but the viral spread of awareness, and popularity, of the photographic technique known as Camera Tossing has been attributed to the Camera Toss flickr group and its creator Ryan Gallagher. Currently, the original flickr group has 5,000 members with nearly 3,500 submitted photos. In total there are some 15,000 photos tagged 'cameratoss' on flickr.

With the spread of its popularity around the internet the technique has quickly gained acceptance and legitimacy, with subsequent articles, gallery showings and image licensing from companies such as Adobe, who use camera tossing images for some of their packaging.

Camera Tossing Basics

Photo by clickykbd + clickykbd


It is exactly what it sounds like. To achieve the proper results first realize there are no proper results and just throw your camera in the air. Try to remember to push the shutter first and, of course, to catch the camera.

For more information on camera tossing and the camera tossing community a good place to start is Camera Toss (The Blog).

Photo by daddy0h


The current interest in this rather bizarre form of photography stems from the creation of the Camera Toss interest group on flickr. I (my flickr page) created this interest group after doing quite a bit of throwing my camera and enjoying the process and results. Essentially, I thought others might enjoy doing it or looking at the results so I shared them as I went. It also embodied some very core ideas about art that I find fascinating.

Photo by davespilbrow

How it went from there to getting linked everywhere, having a blog that at times attracts thousands of visitors a day, getting covered by the printed media, and needing this Mini-HOWTO is another story. If you are curious here is a good theory on such things. Regardless of everyone's individual reasons for viewing or participating, it apparently had all the right ingredients to capture imagination and continue spreading.

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Color Inspiration From fazai38

Color Inspiration From fazai38

Here at COLOURlovers we love all of our members. Everyday we come across new colors, palettes and patterns that inspire us, and once in while we find a member who is working as hard; well, almost as hard, as us to spread the love of color on their own.

One member, fazai38, who has continued to impress the community also has his own blog that is an inspiration to us. Many of the post at blog.fazai38.com utilize the features of COLOURlovers using them to create incredible photo and palette color inspiration posts.

So, to keep spreading the love of our community we thought we would highlight some of his palettes to inspire those who haven't come across his work or blog.

fazai38 is a multimedia designer and blogger who lives in Malaysia.

The Illustrations of Nastia and Palettes of fazai38

China Tea Time

Nastia is a wonderful person who currently lives in Moscow, Russia, and she's working as an illustrator and graphic designer because she sort of loves doing that. And, coming to think about it, that alone makes her quite a successful young lady if you ask me. Yes, I do know that nobody ever asks me, but the whole story about one doing what one loves and lives happy because of that actually does sound believable. So, here's unexpected bit of free advice - "if you don't like moving boxes, you shouldn't be in the box-moving industry". You just quit that and you'll be as happy as she is, that's for sure.


Anyway, we really should get back to her story. As you probably don't know, since you had no way of finding that out, in the past she had changed some of occupations and places. She traveled around a lot, smiling politely and stating that "meeting people is easy" and "hey, now, that's just zany!". She studied graphic design in Moscow academy of prints and celebrated that by having a remarkably red hairdo for three consecutive years. Also, she worked for a whole bunch of different companies around the world, which were unusually happy while she was there with them and a lot less happy after she would leave. Oh, and she considers herself to be a tornado expert because she lived in Germany for couple of years and there's nobody currently here to prevent her from claiming she's a tornado expert.
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Colors Of The Night Sky

Colors Of The Night Sky

While daydreamers are famous for spending their afternoons gazing out of their office windows, there's something to be said for the night sky as well -- its intense hues go far beyond an average black sky. Of course, seeing those different colors is all a matter of your where and when. Here are a few examples of how to see the earth's canvas at its most brilliant.

Photo by mafleen

Blood Moon
The blood moon is also known as the "Hunter's Moon" or "Sanguine Moon." While folklore warns that a blood moon is a sign of bad times, the red star of night is anything but. The name "Hunter's Moon" originates from the fact that this moon cast a brilliant light, allowing hunters to continue to seek prey even at nighttime. Around the time these moons are seen in the sky, there is very little darkness between sunset and moonrise, also making it a favorable time for farmers to work on their crops after sunset (this moon is sometimes called Harvest Moon as well.) This is because the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun makes a narrow angle as far as the horizon is concerned at this time of year. No matter how much fact stands behind blood moons, some people still continue to think of them as harbingers of doom (but they are really quite the opposite!)

Photo by khalid almasoud

While there's no science behind the beauty of skylines, they certainly hold powerful sway over people, whether it is their own beloved city they are gazing over or someone else's. Some of the most famous skylines include New York, Paris, Las Vegas, Tokyo, and San Francisco, and it is very popular to photograph them (panoramic shots definitely do the most justice.) The skyline above is Kuwait, gorgeously accented by shades of paprika.

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