Daily Posts. Colorful Ideas & Inspirations.
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Having recently returned from a trip to Madrid, I found myself still marveling over the brilliant colors I had seen there, most evident in the city's cathedrals, which displayed gorgeous stained glass tributes to all the familiar figures of the Catholic church. I've always had an affinity for stained glass, most specifically the Art Deco period, which you can see examples of in the pictures below. While most people think of stained glass as something you really only find in churches, in reality its had a much more diverse spread, finding its beginnings as far back as the 4th century.
by Atelier Teee
Creating stained glass is a daunting task, as there are several major steps to completing such a piece of art and require to maker to be equal parts artisan and craftsman. The glass itself would be colored using metallic salts during its manufacturing process, then artfully arranged between lead strips to hold together the design. These windows can also be created by painting a design on and having the glass annealed in a furnace to set the colors. The first method is the more revered, although both are still considered stained glass. These windows were incredibly durable, some of them lasting hundreds of years ( in Western Europe, stained glass windows from the Middle Ages are the major form of pictorial art to have survived to this day.)
Stained glass found its beginnings in clay pots, where it was mixed with metal oxides while in a melting state over a furnace. Copper oxides were added to produce green, cobalt for blue, and gold was added to produce red glass, creating what was called pot metal. The types of stained glass diversified from there, finding form in cylinder glass, crown glass, table glass and flashed glass (all these were named for the technique used to create each type of glass.) Each method produced different variations in color. Today there are modern glass factories who produce the glass using traditional methods and modern expediency, located everywhere from the USA to England, Russia and Poland.
I'm excited by artists who are finding ways to adapt the rainbow spectrum in their work. Color is so powerful and can be so striking. The color field (or chromatic abstractionist) artists of the 50's often painted with bold swaths of color but rarely used as many together as the featured artists of this article. In the 60's, psychedelic art used colors and patterns together too. The modern artists I'll cover in this post use color in an undiluted, anything but soft array of graphic lines and shapes resulting in work that is both vivid and alluring. Their work circumvents the boundaries their predecessors put in place to arrive at a new and bold take on prior styles.
Jim Lambie is represented by the Anton Kern Gallery. Glasgow-based, Lambie uses glossy tape in varying colors to build installations. The vinyl tape, an everyday material applied in continuous lines, transforms the dynamics of space, changing a white box gallery space into an energetic/emotional space of sensory pleasure. To read more about Lambie's work click here.
With temperature extremes that reach negative forty degrees Celsius, and normal average temperatures that stay below zero for half of the year, Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province of China, is the perfect place to hold the most spectacular ice and snow festival. Bringing in artist from all over the world the annual Harbin Ice festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival. It includes some of the most incredible ice carvings, sculptures, and structures that illuminate with color each evening for an entire month.
The festival first dates back to 1963, but the tradition of the Ice lanterns started during the Qing Dynasty, between the years of 1644 and 1911.
The Derivation Of The Ice Lantern
Photo by gadgetdan
The first Ice lanterns were a winter-time tradition in northeast China during the Qing Dynasty（1644 - 1911), the local peasants and fishermen often made and used ice lanterns as jack lights during the winter months. At that time these were made simply by pouring water into a bucket that was then put out in the open to freeze. It was then gently warmed before the water froze completely so that the bucket-shaped ice could be pulled out. A hole was chiseled in the top and the water remaining inside poured out creating a hollow vessel. A candle was then placed inside resulting in a windproof lantern that gained great popularity in the region around Harbin.
Photo by ianwhitfield
From then on, people made ice lanterns and put them outside their houses or gave them to children to play with during some of the traditional festivals. Thus the ice lantern began its long history of development. With novel changes and immense advancement in techniques, today we can marvel at the various delicate and artistic ice lanterns on display.
This is part of a series about colors from the 2008 Carnival season. Today we are featuring colors from the incredibly dramatic, ornately crafted and intricately designed costumes and masks of Carnival Venice
The colors of the Carnival festival season have been brightening up the streets of cities across the world since Pre-Christian times. While the celebration may not have always included eclectic parades filled with dynamic floats and street performers, Carnival has become a global celebration that extends beyond its religious roots crossing cultural and political divides.
Photo by Alaskan Dude
The carnival in Venice was first recorded in 1268. The subversive nature of the festival is reflected in the many laws created over the centuries in Italy attempting to restrict celebrations and often banning the wearing of masks.
Photo by Alaskan Dude
Masks have always been a central feature of the Venetian carnival; traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen's Day, December 26) at the start of the carnival season and midnight of Shrove Tuesday. As masks were also allowed during Ascension and from October 5 to Christmas, people could spend a large proportion of the year in disguise. Mask makers (mascareri) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.
Photo by Alaskan Dude
If you've never seen a Hayao Miyazaki film, I can honestly tell you that you are missing a truly amazing experience that reaches vastly beyond the general formula of film making. Miyazaki has the same power to refresh the magic of childhood that Disney had down pat during their prime (and some would argue, still have.) Whereas Disney films seem to have lost some of that luster, Miyazaki has displayed work that not only shimmered with the brilliance of gorgeous color, sound and storytelling, but is delivered with such a humble hand that as viewers we are never once reminded of the heart of the film until we are ready to hold it close to us. This is what makes Miyazaki a master.
Hayao Miyazaki founded his own animation studio, Studio Ghibli, in 1985 after working with Toei Animation in his early career as an in-between artist. Miyazaki was the second of four brothers, raised by a highly literate mother who tended to question societal norms. She later suffered from spinal tuberculosis and the family often moved, which a reflection of can be seen in Miyazaki's perennial children's classic, My Neighbor Totoro.
From an early point in Miyazaki's career, his films shared the theme of environmentalism and rarely featured one-track characterizations. The first introduction of the former was in his 1984 film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, in which he tells the story of Nausicaa, princess of the peaceful Valley of the Wind. The adventure focuses on Nausicaa's humane approach to the chaos happening in the world around her and brings up humanistic and ecological concerns rarely seen in animation at the time of its release. The film was well received in Japan, selling nearly a million tickets and landing Miyazaki squarely on the map of the Japanese awareness.
A few months ago I visited MASS Moca, a modern art museum in a converted factory in the Northern Berkshires. The space itself is worth a visit with its exposed brick walls, high ceilings, huge windows, and industrial feel.
My favorite work was by Brooklyn artist Spencer Finch. Finch explores how people perceive lights effect on an object’s color, the boundaries of the human field of vision, and the influence of language, memory, and the subconscious.
His works re-creates specific light conditions experienced at a different place and time. Above are photos I took of two Spencer Finch installations, “Sunlight In An Empty Room (Passing Cloud For Emily Dickinson, 2004)" and “Candlelight (2007)" at Mass Moca.
Philip Rahm & Lisa Yuskavage
I love how color and light can impact all they touch, be it skin, grass, water etc. To see artists that are artificially capturing and portraying these effects is so thrilling. My husband and I went to Paris for our honeymoon on a whim last summer. We planned to be in Italy but it was sweltering so we hopped a train to beautiful, colorful Paris (hence my obsession with macarons and previous post on this blog).
This is part of a series about colors from the 2008 Carnival season. Today we are featuring colors from the location home to the largest and most elaborate celebration, Brazil.
The colors of the Carnival festival season have been brightening up the streets of cities across the world, maybe since Pre-Christian times. While the celebrations may not have always included eclectic parades filled with dynamic floats and street performers, Carnival has become a global celebration that extends beyond its religious roots crossing cultural and political divides.
The Brazilian Carnival (Portuguese: Carnaval) is an annual festival in Brazil held 40 days before Easter and marks the beginning of Lent. During Lent, Roman Catholics are supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures, including the consumption of meat. The carnival, celebrated as a profane event and believed to have its origins in the pagan Saturnalia, can thus be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh.
Brazilian Carnival as a whole exhibits some differences with its counterparts in Europe and other parts of the world, and within Brazil it has distinct regional manifestations.Brazilian citizens used to riot until the Carnival was accepted by the government as an expression of culture. That was because the Brazilian carnival had its origin in a Portuguese festivity called "entrudo".
Two artists are taking some of our favorite colorful treats and turning them into a new medium for their artistic expression.
Liz Hickok has taken each flavor of America's favorite gelatin desert and molded it into colorful models of San Francisco and Scottsdale. Since JELL-O isn't the most durable of materials, as part of the project she has two videos that capture these wonderfully sculpted cityscapes. You can see them here and here.
Working with gummy bears, Yaya Chou has created some of the most fascinating sculptures, the best being, of course, a bear skin rug.
San Francisco In Jell-O
This project consists of photographs and video, which depict various San Francisco landscapes. I make the landscapes by constructing scale models of the architectural elements which I use to make molds. I then cast the buildings in Jell-O. Similar to making a movie set, I add backdrops, which I often paint, and elements such as mountains or trees, and then I dramatically light the scenes from the back or underneath. The Jell-O sculptures quickly decay, leaving the photographs and video as the remains.
Many outsiders think that modern Chinese remains a purely pictographic language, similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. While it is true that Chinese script began as a pictographic system, pictures do not make for a particular efficient writing system. Some pictograms do still exist (e.g., 山 ‘mountain’, 人 ‘person’), but 90% of modern Chinese characters are phono-semantic compounds: they are part semantic (a portion of the character, called a radical, provides the general meaning) and part phonetic (the other portion of the character tells you how it is pronounced).
The characters for red, green, blue, and purple in Chinese are phono-semantic (all bearing the radical for silk, 系), but a few color characters are associative compounds: two or more ideographic elements combined to create another meaning. Linguists have forever debated to what extent our language affects the way we think; they have yet to draw any solid conclusions. What is commonly agreed is that when, for example, an Anglophone reads the word ‘white’, they see five letters that they have come to associate with a specific meaning – in this case, a color. This is purely abstract representation of meaning. Languages that still employ Chinese characters (including Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, and Korean) are the only modern languages whose writing system is not purely abstract. When someone reads the Chinese character for white, for example, they see a sun rising. We must wonder how these ideographic associations affect the way color is understood in cultures using Chinese characters.
Below I will introduce the six common colors whose characters are associative compounds: their character etymologies and modern Chinese associations.
The white of sunrise... by tylerc083
Etymology: A sun 日with a mark indicating that it is just rising = rising sun
As in many languages throughout the world, white is associated with clarity and purity in Chinese. It is also used in many expressions to indicate the clarity that is achieved through explanation: 明白 (bright + white = ‘to understand’), 自白 (self + white = ‘confessions’). Chinese also correlates white and emptiness (something akin to English’s ‘blank slate’ or ‘a white lie’): ‘white words’ (白话) are empty promises and a ‘white brain sickness’ (白痴) is stupidity.
In China, white is the traditional color of mourning (though the Western black funeral/white wedding customs are rapidly encroaching upon Chinese conventions).
The grey of ash... by jasonJT
Etymology: Fire 火that can be handled (with left 左hand) = ashes
Colors inserted into the skin's dermis are known as tattoos or dermal pigmentation. A practice traced back to Neolithic times, tattooing remains popular worldwide for body decoration, initiatory rites, religious observance, love vows, and identification, to name but a handful of uses. Tattoo inks come in nearly unlimited variations, the most popular being red, green, yellow, blue, and white, which is used as a tint (source).
Photo by weebum
Tattoo inks comprise of a variety of pigments in carrier solutions. The pigments may be organic-based, mineral-based, or plastic-based. The plastic-based pigments offer the most vibrant colors. "The inks used in tattoos and permanent makeup (also known as micropigmentation) and the pigments in these inks are subject to FDA regulation as cosmetics and color additives. However, the FDA has not attempted to regulate the use of tattoo inks and the pigments used in them and does not control the actual practice of tattooing.
Photo by spaceninja
Rather, such matters have been handled through local laws and by local jurisdictions. . . . Although a number of color additives are approved for use in cosmetics, none is approved for injection into the skin. Using an unapproved color additive in a tattoo ink makes the ink adulterated. Many pigments used in tattoo inks are not approved for skin contact at all. Some are industrial grade colors that are suitable for printers' ink or automobile paint" (source).
Some Tattoo Palette Inspiration from the COLOURlovers Library: