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"colour system" Tag


A Bipolar Wardrobe


Monday, April 2, 2018

For many people colours have stark connotations related to their moods. Think of sayings like “feeling blue”, “being green with envy”, “seeing red” or think about mood-rings that supposedly change colour every time your mood changes. Undoubtedly moods and colours are intertwined in one way or another.

Thinking of mood swings related to colour makes me think of my mother, who has bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes swings in mood, energy, and the ability to function throughout the day. It is known for alternating periods of depression and mania that can last from days to months. Thus she has experienced extreme mood swings. How does she relate her moods to colour? She personally doesn’t clearly remember what happend during her manic episodes, I however do and noticed how her mania and depression greatly influence her way of dressing. She has a wardrobe filled with exotic clothes in all colours of the rainbow and lot’s of different prints and styles. When being manic she dresses herself as an artwork before going outside, making heads turn wherever she goes. When being depressed she doesn’t really dresses herself, but instead stays in her grey pyjama’s at home all day. I think that a lot of people might experience that they wear more colourful clothes when feeling happy and wearing more neutral toned clothes when feeling sad.  I decided to create a colour system based on my mothers way of dressing, and not on people’s way of dressing in general or on people with bipolar disorder’s way of dressing. I thought it would be generalizing people’s experiences too much and I think that especially dealing with people who have a condition like bipolar disorder one must avoid that to avoid stigmatizing the disorder. Not every person with bipolar disorder has the same behaviour towards their wardrobe, or the same experiences in general.

After having decided to make a colour system based on my mother’s way of dressing, I read a lot of general information about bipolar disorder, which didn’t bring me any further in the development of my project. I could also hardly ask my mother any questions about it, as she doesn’t remember how she was when being manic. I later found an interesting article written by someone who also has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, about what having this disorder means for their gender identity. The writer of the article identifies as a non-binary person, and thus I shall refer to them as “their” and “they”. They experience that when being manic they feel more feminine, and when being depressed they feel more masculine. This shows itself in many ways, one of them being the way they dress. When feeling manic, they will wear a dress, when feeling depressed, they will wear baggy clothes. This made me realize how my mother’s way of dressing doesn’t only change in colour when her mood does, but also in how traditionally feminine versus masculine her clothes would be. When being manic it wouldn’t be a bright yellow sweatpants she would put on, but a bright yellow dress. When being depressed she wouldn’t put on a grey miniskirt, but grey oversized sweatpants instead. This was something to keep in mind in the development of my colour system.

After researching I figured it was time to start working hands on. I collected all the traditionally feminine colourful clothes and the traditionally masculine baggy neutral toned clothes from my own wardrobe. I realized that I order my clothes by colour in my wardrobe, in some way I was thus already working on this project of making a colour system before it even started. With the clothes I tried making a small installation without damaging the clothes, this was very frustrating. Somehow nothing I tried seemed to work for me and I soon decided to quit trying. I felt like the best ways of displaying clothes without damaging them already existed and happens all the time and everywhere, which is putting them on mannequins, on hangers or folding them neatly. I didn’t feel like playing clothing store, so this was not the way to go. I took a step back from the whole process, let some time pass to then later come with new insights again. I concluded that the colour system I was trying to create already existed and just needed to be documented. I decided to make a video with my mother, of her wearing two bipolar outfits.

The filming went very smoothly, my mother and I enjoyed putting the outfits together and enjoyed spending time together, which to me makes the video feel genuine too. We tried to make the contrast between her two outfits/moods very clear, but still true to reality. This lead to us filming her depressed outfit inside on the couch, and her manic outfit outside in a field of flowers with more movement. I later also edited the video to be slowed down when her depressed outfit was shown, and sped up the video when her manic outfit was portrayed. When presenting the video, I went back to trying to make an installation using my own clothes but now including the video shown on a tablet. I felt like just showing the video on a screen would not fit how personal and tangible someone’s clothes, and thus my colour system, are. To make it even more personal/intimate, the viewer of the work needs to wear headphones to hear the sound of the video. The experience of the work does not get shared by a crowd, just like the experience of wearing clothes is an intimate one.

A Bipolar Wardrobe Photo

The birth of the Intrinsic Colour System


Friday, March 30, 2018

When thinking about colour  I immediately become somewhat insecure. For me colour has a strange randomness to it and therefore every choice I make based on or about colour becomes almost arbitrary. There is also this common colour psychology theorie people start quoting when talking about colour. Maybe it is because they are just as uncertain about the subject as I am. Or maybe it is because they do know what they are doing when using colour.

In order to keep evading the subject of colour during this project I had to figure out how I used colour in previous works. It turns out that most of the things I made aren’t colored. Of course they have a colour, but that is because the material of which the object is made has this colour as a natural property. If a thing I make is made from wood it will have a wood colour. If it is made from metal it has a metal colour. Not choosing a colour doesn’t mean you have to pick white (like most galleries think), but it means to not cover the intrinsic colour.

Now with this new revelation about my colour use I had to think of a way how to put this in a system. A couple of weeks before this project I did some research about the DIN colour system. Which was an interesting experience. There was nothing to be found about it on the web or in libraries. This meant that I had to define what the system was about by combining multiple contradicting sources. Although that feels like you are just making up something it gave me some understanding of the general structure of colour systems. Most modern colour systems combine 3 parameters: hue, saturation and brightness.

The First step in translating these intrinsic colours to a system was to just combine the two ideas I discovered. I tried to find three parameters, not necessarily hue, saturation and brightness, in the materials I would qualify as materials I would use. Glass, metal, wood, clay, marble, plastic, concrete, rubber and so on. The list got longer than I anticipated. And I started to notice something else; these aren’t materials I would use, these are building materials. The focus of my materials shifted from sculptural perspective to a architectural perspective. Not held back by this discovery I tried to put the materials in a circle is if they were colour hues. This led to a couple of interesting connections and contradictions.

IMG_9518

Now that the hue parameter was replaced by material I still had to come up with a replacement for saturation and brightness. This is where things started to go wrong. It didn’t take long before one of the biggest philosophical themes entered this soon-to-be colour system: time. I came up with the idea that the use of material changed over time and that the amount of a material that was used could make great graphs. Now brightness became time and saturation became the amount of the material that was used.

IMG_9520

Because this may sound a bit abstract I will try to explain it with an example. Glass was used in small quantities during the middle ages. With several improvements in the production process and by improvements in building construction larger pieces of glass were used in buildings from the end of the middle ages. An even better production process because of the industrial revolution combined with the modernist ideas of the first half of the 20th century lead to a enormous increase in glass use. Our obsession with high buildings, great views and daylight lead to the highest amount of glass used in architecture since ever.

IMG_9521

I made timelines like this one for all the materials in my material circle. Now I could make the step from theory to a specimen. It seemed logical to make the graphs of amount of material over time out of the material they are about. I figured out a way to do that but I still needed something for these physical graphs to be presented on. Within half an hour I went from a graph to a maquette with 12 buildings in the middle of Paris.

IMG_9522kopie

As I said when I had to come up with 2 other parameters, it already went wrong after the first step. The parameters where to abstract, farfetched and maybe with this last step to applied. I got stuck in an object that was just there as an object instead of what a colour system should be: a tool.

So now what? As with colour in general I decided not to use it. I did nothing with the project for a couple of weeks. But one day before the deadline of the project I had to come up with something. It was clear that the project was way to much thought and far to little hands on with the subject. I had to get out. Check out how these materials are used in the city and try to find transitions in material. So I took my camera out on this lazy Sunday, jumped on my bike and went on a slow journey into Amsterdam.

I just took photo’s of every building that used a material because of it’s qualities. This resulted in about 300 photo’s of bricks, metal sheets and glass. The selection could begin. By deciding whether or not I picture was more than just a registration I could narrow it down to about 60. Which I then sorted based on material and colour. Just like I did when making the material circle in the first step weeks ago. In the end I had about 35 images which made a colour circle that could start anywhere in the series.

Schermafbeelding 2018-03-30 om 16.37.57

It could be because of the medium or traditional ways to show colour systems, but it seemed logical to make a book of these photos. I tried to make spreads in which it would be sometimes difficult to see where one image starts and the other ends. To create this illusion of a gradient, but also to make them more abstract. They are not about the building that is depicted, but about the material of its facade.

I printed the spreads on separate sheets which then were connected like a leporello. Just because I didn’t know any better I connected them with a nice wide piece of double-sided tape. This made the leporello almost a structure, something that could stand on its own instead of having a cover. When installing it in a circle it didn’t work for me, it wasn’t as self supportive is it was in a book form. So I decided to ad a cover that was attached to the last page and would wrap around the first page. This would complete the circle, it could still be viewed as a structure and it would still feel as a book. The material circle is printed on the back and is incomplete, for new materials to be added. I think this fits in the idea of it being a tool instead of just an object.

If there is one thing I learned from this project it would be that it is important to materialize the process. This project for the a major part about thinking, but in the end it was about doing. Though this thinking was needed for the doing in the end I would like to experiment with reversing this process. Do first and analyse afterwards.

 

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IMG_9523         IMG_9530

 

 

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HERMANN EBBINGHAUS’ COLOUR SYSTEM


Friday, March 23, 2018

Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) was a German psychologist who pioneered the experimental psychology of memory. He is mostly known for his discovery of the forgetting curve (describes how the ability of the brain to retain information decreases in time), the learning curve (graphical representation of the rate at which you make progress learning new information) and the spacing effect (phenomenon whereby information is learned and retained more easily and effectively when its studying is spread out over time).

 

However, Hermann Ebbinghaus has also been known thanks to its colour system. Indeed, the concept of the double pyramid gained in popularity thanks to the latter.

 

In 1902, he proposed a new version of Hofler’s double pyramid. Ebbinghaus constructed a colour system rest on this system of double pyramid but made few modifications: he put rounded corners and an inclined central plane.

He rounds off the corners of the solid as he considered the transition between colours as fluid and not sharply defined. The Hering-type fundamental opponent colours are located at the six corners (black, green, red, blue, yellow, white).
The resulting chromatic body, from the four primary colours, links Leonardo da Vinci’s idea that colours vary in brightness and can thus be differentiated. The idea was to separate and so distinguish those four colours due to the variation of brightness.
The base-square of the double solid is tilted in such a way that the best yellow hues, which are relatively bright, are nearer to white, and the best blue tones, which are relatively dark, are nearer to black. His system does not predict the mixtures of colours and the complementary pairs are not arranged opposite one another.

 

 

In 1893, Ebbinghaus published a «Theory of Colour Vision» in the Zeitschrift für Psychology (Journal of Psychology), in which he mentioned that humans perceive colours through higher mental processes. As a psychologist, he knew about the perception of the four elementary colour (yellow, red, green, blue) and thanks to physiologists knew there were only three photo-sensitive substances in the eye’s retina (rods, cones, photosensitive retinal ganglion cells) thanks to which the phenomenon of coloured vision and its anomalies could be explained.

 

In addition, Ebbinghaus has discovered that two white hues produced by spinning either red and green or blue and yellow, appeared to be the same at certain levels of brightness, but appeared different when the illumination was reduced or the speed was reduced.

Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours Wherein is displayed the regular and beautiful Order and Arrangement, Arising from the Three Primitives, Red, Blue, and Yellow, The manner in which each Colour is formed, and its Composition, The Dependence they have on each other, and by their Harmonious Connections Are produced the Teints, or Colours, of every Object in the Creation, And those Teints, tho’ so numerous as 660, are all comprised in Thirty Three Terms


Friday, March 16, 2018

Moses Harris, who lived from 15 April 1730 until 1788 in England, was a fanatic entomologist (this is someone who studies insects). As the first photograph had yet to be taken, it was common to use engravings to use as imagery to support your research. Moses did not outsource the making of these engravings, he made them himself. As the difference between two insect species is sometimes very subtle, the colours of Moses’s engravings needed to be very precise in order to be able to determine a species correctly. Thus grew his interest in colour.

Moses Harris engraving

In Moses’s quest to record insects as best as he could, he needed a new colour system that could help him when he was making the engravings of the insects. He decided to create his own colour system by using a  source that he as an entomologist was very familiar with, namely nature. He claims that blue, red and yellow are the prime colours, because those are the colours to be found back the most in non-domesticated flowers, thus nature must like them the most. He called them the prismatic colours, because those are the colours that are reflected by the prism. Which is quite remarkable, as his whole research is about colour in pigment and not in light. The colours green, orange and purple he calls the compound colours, as they are made up from the prismatic colours. As Moses thinks that nature divides the prismatic colours and the compound colours, he decided to also seperate them into two different colour wheels that together make his colour system. It is said that Moses is the inventor even of the colour wheel.

He finished his colour system somewhere between 1769 and 1776 with a lot of enthusiasm. A bit too much enthusiasm maybe, as he named his colour system:

“Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours Wherein is displayed the regular and beautiful Order and Arrangement, Arising from the Three Primitives, Red, Blue, and Yellow, The manner in which each Colour is formed, and its Composition, The Dependence they have on each other, and by their Harmonious Connections Are produced the Teints, or Colours, of every Object in the Creation, And those Teints, tho’ so numerous as 660, are all comprised in Thirty Three Terms”

Now this was a bit too long to go on the book cover of his publication about his newly realized colour system thus they shortened it to: “Moses Harris’s Natural System of Colours”

Moses Harris's prismatic colour wheel Moses Harris's compound colour wheel

RGB


Monday, February 26, 2018

RGB is an additive colour model, meaning that lights are added together in different frequencies to create colours. For example, when red and green lights are added together they create a yellow colour. This is different to a subtractive colour model where colours are created by mixing dyes, pigment paints etc. which then absorb parts of the full spectrum of colour frequencies available in white light and reflect other frequencies which then give the surface it’s colour.

 

additive-vs-subractive1x

 

 

RGB is used in digital colour sensors and digital colour displays and projectors. Each pixel on a screen has three tiny light sources, red, green and blue in colour. These emit different brightnesses which in the combined effect create the specified colour of the pixel. The sum of all the pixels on the screen will create an image.

 

LCD_RGB

 

These three colours, Red, Green and Blue, are chosen because they correspond to the way the human eye sees colour. We have photoreceptor cells in our eyes called rods and there are three types of rods. One which detects long-wave frequencies of light, another for middle-wave and another for short-wave. Specifically, these correspond to the frequencies of blue, green and red.

 

eye

bubou

The CMYK Colour Model


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

the CMYK colour model is short for cyan-magenta-yellow-key (black) and refers to all colours as mixtures of these four process colours. so, within this model, a colour would be described through the quotient of cyan, magenta, yellow and black that can be found in the mixture.

the CMYK colour model is predominantly used in the printing process and is often referred to as four-colour printing (which corresponds to the four inks used). in order to fully understand it, it is vital that we examine another colour model named RGB (red, green, blue) that is used in display devices such as computer monitors. so, whatever you see on a screen is in RGB. however, these colours can only be viewed with the aid of natural or produced light – making it impossible for documents to be printed as exact copies of what can be seen on a screen. this is why these documents must have their colours translated into CMYK prior to sending it to the printer.

all the heavily paraphrased information above seems to make sense on a superficial level, but in fact i find it all extremely perplexing and difficult to grasp. unfortunately i never learned the complex language of science and since it is awfully strenuous to translate a language one doesn’t understand, here is the even-more-technical-side explained by someone who seems to know what they are talking about:

“When two RGB colors are mixed equally they produce the colors of the CMYK model, known as subtractive primaries. green and blue creates cyan (C), red and blue creates magenta (M), and red and green creates yellow (Y). black is added to the model because it cannot be created with the 3 subtractive primaries (when combined they create a dark brown). The K, or “key,” stands for black.” (taken from here)

subtractive-colour_redu

upon my investigation, i found that the aspect of the CYMK colour model that i found most compelling was the simple fact that a countless amount of colours are but a mixture of four: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. this thought was inevitably on my mind for days proceeding my research.

 

//

the idea for a translation of the CYMK model came to me when i was listening to Billie holiday’s  1941 version of “am i blue?” over a cup of coffee. it started me off on a long trail of thought which went a little like this:

blue? blue?! how has blue come to mean a sad & melancholic mood or person?

although the colour blue is used to describe a specific feeling, colour can also be used to illustrate mood or atmosphere – for instance – in less direct ways. this is apparent in art, music, poetry, prose… but why do we associate certain moods or meanings with certain colours? and more even-more-generally: why do we often have the urge to illustrate colourless things through colour?

i am extremely fond of the randomness of this occurrence  the randomness of the colour blue (with all its different tones) being chosen to represent something that is beyond blue literally, as a colour, a sensory experience…

 

//

i had the idea of translating the CYMK colour system in a way that i made each colour (cyan, yellow, magenta and black) represent something different. and so i did. i decided that i was going to translate this system into a system that determined the “colour” of one’s day. first, i made a list of things that tend to have an effect on my day. then i selected the four that i felt have the most influence on the “mood” of my day. i proceeded to make them into questions (which can be answered on a scale of 1 to 10):

- how happy/satisfied are you with yourself today? (C)
- how well rested do you feel? (M)
- how good does today’s weather make you feel? (Y)
- how similar is today to yesterday? (K)

each of these questions substitute C, M, Y, and K accordingly. and when answered as a numeral value (from 1 to 10), i have the percentages i need to make a colour with the aid of photoshop. the system i’ve created is therefore a colour-determining tool.

i decided that the colour i’d silkscreen would be the result of my answers to the questions the morning after i created the system. my answers were 5, 5, 3, 1 and made into percentages as shown below:

 

 …and “the colour of my day” beside my silk-screened circle version:

 circle_redu

 

//

i knew that to develop my project further i’d have to send this survey around and ask people to fill it out. therefore, i made an online survey using a survey-making-website (which can be accessed here):

 

this website organized the data which i later used to determine individual colours for each of the 40 people world-wide who answered my survey on the 12th of december, 2013. i mapped out all 40 colours to illustrate the colours of one day, according to the answers of 40 people:

colour-system_redu

 

a problem i encountered on two occasions was that if 10 (being absolutely) was the answer to the last question: how similar is today to yesterday? (K), then the colour would be entirely black. since the other quotients would be cancelled out, i didn’t want this to happen. so instead, i set the percentage as 95% rather than 100%. even though both appear to be black anyway, i like the idea that there are still undertones of colour. and although it did not stay completely ‘honest’ to my original system – at the time i thought it would be a good compromise.

 

//

after i was done with the poster shown above, i decided to design a survey of my own (which i would put online and use if i were any good at computing):

i think through this translated colour system, i managed to play on the randomness of colour representations, but also create a functional and fun system (which also has the potential of becoming interactive).

colour-system_total_redu

 

From colour to sound


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The CMN colour system was created in 1986 in Italy. It shows how colours change. How they can get brighter and eventually become white (bianco) or darker, thus resulting in black (nero). They can also become transparent (trasparente) or reflective (speculare). The CMN-86 colour system is about how colours appear, change and disappear. Going from dark to bright and from reflective to transparent, a specific colour can become very different, this system takes that fact into consideration, as the only one!

This system takes the shape of a tetrahedron, originally met in Plato’s geometrical ideas of colours. It can be combined with other systems in order to not only express the origins of the colours but also reflect the intentions of the observer. C is for “colori” an etymologically interesting word that means “something disguised and revealed”. In other words, something is taken away from white light (original essence) so that the object is revealed.

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). After some research I found out that synesthesia is divided in different types according to what senses are involved. The specific one concerning sound and color  is called Chromesthesia. I wanted to use that as a base for my work and try to find a way to combine this scientific fact with the colour system I’m working on.

Instead of imagining a color moving and evolving into the tetrahedron, let’s imagine a sound.

thus:
Color = sound
Bianco = high pitch
Nero = low pitch
Transparente = puissance
Speculare = delay

I first decided to work with sounds of everyday-life like opening the fridge, cooking, turning the light on. I wanted so see what could happen to this typical sounds within this new system.
These sounds were finally too complex and couldn’t really make the system clear and understandable, I preferred to use a really simple and pure sound and make it move in the system to reveal its logic. I made a book so, while you are listening, you can see where the sound is located on the tetrahedron and, therefore, grasp the system.

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My project consists of the translation of a visual system regarding colour to a visual system regarding sound. The original CMN system shows how colour appears, changes and disappears,  from black to white, across reflection and transparency. This system is a way to apprehend a colour and its nature within a defined scientific tetrahedron-shaped space. Applying it to sound give us a way to approach sounds in a different angle, sounds can become autonomous elements of our environment.
Then, we could imagine to use this system on other matters like smell, touch, feelings, … and give a tangible and reachable reality to the unspeakable.

Colour Made of Light


Thursday, November 29, 2012

 

Research – RGB system

The RGB system [X] is a colour system generated by light. It is based on the light primaries of red, green and blue.When combined, red and green light rays produce yellow, blue and green produce cyan, red and blue produce magenta. Red, green and blue mix to create white (light).[X]

The RGB colour model is additive in the sense that the three light beams are added together, and their light spectra add, wavelength for wavelength, to make the final colour’s spectrum.

The choice of primary colours is related to the physiology of the human eye; good primaries are stimuli that maximize the difference between the responses of the cone cells of the human retina to light of different wavelengths, and that thereby make a large colour triangle.

The RGB system was developed in conjunction with television technology. The surface of the screen is covered by tiny points, each with a diameter of approximately 0.2 mm, containing phosphorescent materials (molecules). Normally, three types are selected to transmit red, green or blue light after excitement by beams of electrons (after they have absorbed energy).

Colours on the television screen are created by a special form of additive light mixture known as a partitive mixture. The partitive light mixture is created because the human eye is incapable of perceiving the many hundreds of thousands of points — the triads of red, green and blue patches into which they are organised — individually, and can only register the mixing effect of all RGB-triads together, with brightness being regulated by the intensity of the electron stream which triggers the phosphorescence.

The cube construction has been verified as the most suitable system for this particular range of colours, with each of its edges being divided into 16 equal parts numbered 1 to 15. These numbers are sufficient to specify the trichromatic composition of each colour.

The eight corner-points of the cube are occupied by red , green and blue, the subtractive primary colours magenta, yellow and Cyan, and the achromatic colours white  and black.

All colours in the RGB system can be concentrated into two subgroups, one centred on white and the other on black. The chromatic form extends from black (0, 0, 0) along the edges of the colours to reach the white tip (15, 15, 15) — the maximum intensity — after passing two corner points.
The RGB colour model itself does not define what is meant by red, green, and blue colormetrically, and so the results of mixing them are not specified as absolute, but relative to the primary colours. When the exact chromaticities of the red, green, and blue primaries are defined, the colour model then becomes an absolute colour space, such as sRGB or Adobe RGB.

 

PROJECT

& silk-screening

 

The colour I silkscreened during the progress of my project was connected to the red I used as a starting point for the RGB project. They were not the same red, but still *red“.  The red I used as a starting point for this project (RGB) was on my mind somehow, I’d been with this red for a while so maybe that’s why I still had it in my head, I don’t usually consciously spend this much time with one specific colour.

I was thinking about this RED, so that was the colour I was most curious about to silkscreen. I liked seeing the red in that process. It became tomatosoup red, not like the red in the project, which reminded me more of blood at the time. But maybe it’s also dependent on your mood, how you see red.

The project began with my research on the RGB system, colour made of light. How you see what you see on a monitor. Your eyes are fooled. What they don’t see, is that what is actually on the screen are millions of tiny dots, molecules that change colour when stimulated by electrons, into red, green or blue. Where they overlap we see yellow, cyan or magenta. And all of the hues that can be formed out of these components (read this research for more). So all of the fantastic images you can see on a screen are just tiny dots changing into three different colours and overlapping. Layers of light form the image. White light illuminates or dims the colour.

This was my starting point and this is what I went into throughout my research on colour. Seeing how colour is or can be composed, by  looking at it like a monitor screen. On which you see an image, but you know it’s actually only dots, and you want to see the dots, but if you do that you have to go up to the screen really close, and then you loose the big picture. Is it possible to see the tiny dots as well as the big picture? For humans, on the monitor this is generally not possible, so I tried to explore this „seeing up close, far away“, on a different medium, than a monitor.

My first experiment, I did on a white paper surface was my „white light“.

On it I applied a shade of red I mixed out of different reds. I used a small soft roll you would usually use for painting walls, which has a sponge effect, it absorbs and release. With this I felt I had more room to  deal with the white paper as a 3D Object not just as a surface. With this sponge roll I could press colour into the sheet of paper as well as absorb it  depending on how wet/dry the paper and/or roll was.

 

 

If I used a lot of water for example, I could  „wash“ the colour out. I would say it was like trying to tear the colour apart, going through all of its layers, and seeing what sort of image this creates.

To this stretching the colour/revealing it’s layers, I added another colour and tryed a more soft approach, using more soft movements to try and get the colours to overlap as they wanted to .

 

 

Basically what I did in the next experiments was working with layers. Concentrating on the single colours and how they change, according to the different tiny particles or pieces they are made up of.

 

 

At some point I worked with black as well as white, to see how colours react when you add light or dark, above or underneath it or both. Sometimes I would let one part dry longer so the different layers of colour wouldn’t mix to see if it made a difference.

 

 

I also tried creating different patterns/structures, to see how a pattern or a structure, for example one made up of dark and light particles underneath the colour, takes an effect when you look at the big picture.

For this I also tried using my lower lip to create a colour pattern to find out if a colour looks different when it is applied in a lower lip pattern.

 

 

The last experiment I did, was cutting material things into small parts so I could mix them and when you see it from far away maybe you see a new colour. I made for example, an orange colour out of khaki fruit skin, and an orange velvet textile, both of which I cut into very small pieces and then mixed. After about two weeks it started to rot, and green mold was added to the colour scheme.

 

With other experiments I got lost in the big picture and it became a more pictorial. Still I was working up close, concentrating on small sections at a time, looking for effects this can have on a colour when you take one (or many) steps back.


Moses Harris, The Natural System of Colors


Thursday, November 29, 2012

 



 

Moses Harris [entemologist engraver 1730 – 1788] examined the work of Isaac Newton, and tried to discover all the variety of colours that can be determined from principal colours : red, blue and yellow
Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other can form all the colours and tints (660) in the nature.

Nature was his guide and assistant , as the arrangement of the principal colours is systematized according to those reflected by the prism, where we find the orange colour lays between the red and yellow, green between yellow and blue and purple between blue and red.
These colours coming in continues succession gave him the first idea that they should be placed in a circle. He thought that this order agreed with what seems to be demanded by nature.

The nature of the thing divided the the whole into two parts: prismatic and compound

 

 

He noticed that
PRIMITIVES – red yellow and blue are most common especially in wild nature
MEDIATES – orange green and purple are the colours that mother nature decorated most of the flowers

To show all the variety of colours Moses Harris created segmented circle and its identification system.
He applied water colours in layers what allowed the subtle transition between colours and shades.
According to Harris explanation, the primitive prismatic colours each use the use three parts of a single color (red, yellow, or blue) while the mediate prismatic colors are two-to-one combinations of the primaries, determined by their position on the circle.reference. From this information, we can assume that each compartment received at least three washes or layers of color and perhaps as many as twenty, the number of shades or tones Harris designates within his circle. It is unlikely that Harris used as many as twenty color layers to create the deeper tones in these plates, however: It simply was not necessary. The narrowing size of each arc gives the perception of color darkening, and Harris may have taken advantage of that effect, just as he relied on the white paper surface to aid representation of the lighter shades. It is likely that Harris used some smaller number of color washes—three or six, perhaps—for each of the eighteen colors in each of the two circles.

He linked colours with some pigment, fruit or flower

PRIMITIVES:
Red – Vermilion – Wild poppy
Yellow – Kings Yellow – Butter flower
Blue – Ultramarine – Corn flower

MEDIATES:
Orange – Red orpiment – garden Marigold
Green – Sap green – Leaves of the lime-Tree
Purple – Hairy sheep scabius – flower if the common Judas tree

COLOURS CIRCLES

PRISMATIC:
Red, orange-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, orange-yellow, yellow, green-yellow , yellow-green green, blue-green, blue-green-blue, purple-blue, blue-purple-purple, red-purple, purple-red

COMPOUND
Orange, olave-orange, orange-olave-olave,gren-olave, olave-green-green, slate-green, green-slate-slate, purple-slate, slate-purple-purple, brown-purple, purple-brown-Brown, orange-brown,brown-orange

equal amounts of red + blue + yellow = black
equal amounts of purple + green + orange = black

white is seen as the lack of colour

Contrasting colours lay on the opposite sides of the circle
According to Harris his colour system has both practical and philosophical uses. He mentioned an experiment in which blue arises from the orange of the candle flame. These are the contrasting colours that lay in the circle opposite to each other

There is nothing known of the contemporary use of these color circles.

 

MY research OF THE MOSES HARRIS COLOUR SYSTEM

Moses Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other, can form all the 660 colours and tints  in the nature.
The ones that he himself actually found in the nature were just 6 of them (red yellow blue green orange purple).

Where this small amount of examples comes from? Moses Harris lived in the XVIII century, when there were not many ways of transport and traveling was not easy and common. He was most probably, just looking around in his surrounding.

Nowadays, we live in the globalized world and traveling is an everyday thing. We have planes,  cheap flights and we can reach any place of the world.
Moreover we can also travel in the cyber-space through the internet. Internet is an enormous source, all the world is there. Its a very big source of information. Most of the people use it daily, to search for different kind of info, to  check our email and also for the social networks among which the most popular is Facebook.

Facebook is a huge personal (but not only) information area. Members post

photos from their journeys.  Next to the photos of people and architecture one of the most popular are photos of nature.

I find this modern world and digital media a very interesting topic, that is why I decided to search in the photos of nature taken by my Facebook friends posted during their whole existence on Facebook

I found many photos of nature  in a bunch of different tints, but still many are missing.

I was thinking what would be a great way to present them and decided to make collages  that  take a way a bit the realistic look of plants. make them more abstract ( each 10 tints ) .

 

 

 

 

blue- purple   / purple-red  /  orange-yellow  /  yellow    / yellow-green

I am still in the process of creation. At the moment there are many parts of the Moses Harris circle to be filled in. It leaves the open space for other people. If any of you is interested to search for the nature photos of their friends, please do that and send it to me : a.d.radzimirska@gmail.com
I am pretty sure that together we can fill in every segment of the whole circle of Moses Harris.

 

I feel I know you, Nature.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German Writer, artist and politician. Goethe devoted a large part of his life to the study of natural phenomena. Although Goethe especially was known as a poet, he saw his own scientific work as his greatest merit. Yet few had appreciation for Goethe’s scientific work, though some modern scientists, like Henri Bortoft and Reinhold Sölch, get greater understanding of Goethe’s learning.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe analyzed colours from a physical perspective. In his views, there are two basic colours: cyan and yellow. Cyan originates from viewing dark through light, like you view the sky during the day. Yellow originates from viewing light through dark, like you view light in a dark area. Goethe based his colour theory on this interaction between light and dark.
The intensification of the basic colours leads to other colours. If the colour yellow is intensified, it leads to red. If blue is intensified, it leads to violet. This can be seen in the sky when the sun goes down. This is also an explanation for the categorization of cold and warm colours. According to Goethe green is the neutral colour between cold and warm, like the colour of plants. Magenta, or purple as Goethe calls it, is the balanced connection between light and dark, because it carries light as well as dark elements.

 

 

The colour theory of Goethe can thus be seen as the star of David. Two similar shaped triangles lapping over each other: a triangle that faces down and an overlapping triangle that faces up. The triangle that faces up has cyan in the lower left corner, yellow in the lower right corner and magenta in the upper corner. The triangle that faces down has violet in the upper left corner, red in the upper right corner and green in the lower corner. Smaller triangles can be extracted from the two large triangles that show alternative possibilities. In these smaller triangle Goethe pays attention to secondary and tertiary colours. He also analyses colors in relation to psychology. Colours ranging from yellow to red are analyzed as the plus-side, whereas colors ranging to blue are referred to as the minus-side. Here Goethe connotes the plus-side with warm, positive associations and the minus-side with more dark, negative associations. This is what he calls the sensual-moral effect of colours.

The German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe describes a journey through the Harz Mountains in a very compelling manner, in the middle of the winter. The reader will be absorbed by his writing, like he would be walking around in a painting, when he writes about vague violet shadows of a group of trees and overhanging rocks in the noonday sun lighted by a yellow snow. As the hours pass, these shadows deepen from a deeper blue to a dark yellow-orange tone sunlight. As the sun reaches the horizon and a purple light covers the entire landscape in a red glow, the shadows turn green. Goethe describes almost a fairy-tale like landscape painted in the colors red and green. The story is part of Goethe’s color theory and is a typical example of the empirical experiences on which this theory is based.

Goethe’s color theory was published in three sections: If Beiträge zur Optik I (1791) and II (1792) (part III, Von den Farbigen Treasures remained unpublished), if Didaktischer Teil in 1808 and finally in its entirety, under the title Zur Farbenlehre in 1810. It is an extensive work with a special status in the world of culture and science. From the beginning there were numerous outspoken advocates and critics. Present day Goethe’s color theory is not considered scientific, i.e. not in accordance to the scientific physical principles based on Newton. In the Romanticism around 1800 science was viewed in a much broader sense. Natural philosophers intermingled empirical research with their own vision and passion, based on literature and art. In their views colors were not only physical wavelengths, but also individual observations with the sentimental values and emotions.

Artists, especially landscape painters, felt a deep connection with this way of reflecting on colours. They viewed colours and reproduced them in a manner that the viewer could relive this observation. Pure scientific facts are not enough to describe the color world, in their views.

Twilight sinks down from above us,

Swiftly all the near is far:

But first shining high above us

Radiant is the evening star!

Everything is drifting vaguely,

Mist steals upwards to the height:

And the still lake mirrors darkly

Black abysses of the night.

Now in all the eastern distance

I suspect moon’s gleam and glow,

Slender willow’s trailing branches

Dally with the neighboring flow.

Through the play of moving shadows

Trembling lunar magic shines,

And a soothing coolness follows,

To the heart now, through the eyes.

When I started reading his poems, I immediately linked the poems to his colour theory. The romantic way of describing the natural phenomena inspired me to collect all sentences that actually describe a specific light of the day in different landscapes. His words spoke to my imagination and it naturally formed the idea to search for the landscapes, which refers Goethe to. I found a big collection of images and made a selection out of it. Because Goethe’s Theory was based on the light we see in nature I have chosen a film projection. In this setting the viewer can immediately disappear in the meaningful words centered in a similar surrounding as a sort of meditation.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

 

The moment I had to make silkscreen-printed colour, I was compelled  by the appearance of the moon after reading this poem and tried to bring this feeling back in just one colour.

 

 


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