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Monday, 7 January 2019

Spotlight: New Year's colours

There is a previous Spotlight called “I needed colour”. Such a wish for colour could be a widespread feeling, in mild midwinter, among grey skies in which all hues are jumbled and somewhat lethargic. Pillow clouds for sleepy colours, hibernating before they burst forth again.
  So if we want more colour now, how do we get it? How do we make more colour around us and our loved ones and a world which may be in need? Through art? And how do we choose which colours to add to the palette, the canvas, the eye and the spirit?
  This Spotlight is about colour palettes – not just a single colour being all-important, but the way we use them, and want them, and how these processes and times might relate to the spread and breadth of brushstrokes, and which tubes we pick up and squeeze out and mix together in in the studio light of bulbs, or candles, or the daylight of sun.
  Happy New Year everyone.  And if you get this post by way of email, then you are on the LAS mailing list, as John mentioned in the Christmas and end-of-year message to us.

  If you have colour thoughts, why not share them in the comments, as well as in your art.
'Winter Scene' - Remegio Onia
How do we make colour choices? Is it about visual aesthetics? Complementarity, as described in colour wheel theory? Emotional associations?
We tend to think of yellow as friendship, red as passion, black as death, white as peaceful innocence, green as nature, and blue as calm. These are classic western views of colour, at a generic level. We also sometimes say that blues and greens are “cold”, and yellows and reds are “warm”, which matches the temperatures of sun and sea and clouds and fire. However most artists say that there are cold reds, and warm blues, and the whole thing is very contextual.
  So how do we arrive at the colours we use and twist into art? And what do colours evoke in us when we experience them?
If we seek significations beyond those we already hold, cultural history could be a robust place to begin: religious and philosophical scripts. We might then wonder whether those notions are borne out by science. In art theory we have the colour wheel that suggests complementarity and aesthetics. In psychology, there is a widely used diagram of colours which is illustrated with familiar logos, and this diagram is a standard part of the teaching and consultancy of emotional marketing and brand effectiveness. 
Or we could show friends and family and strangers some paintings, and ask how they feel about the colours as they swirl in form and mind.
At the beginning of the year we could consider that the 12 colours in the colour wheel might reflect months of the year. If so, what colour are we in now? Green? Blue? Magenta? Yellow-orange?
There are also the four “humours” based on ancient notions of bile, which could be our four seasons:
Instinctively the yellow may be Spring, blood red Summer, phlegmatic Autumn, leaving black for Winter, the bile humour of melancholia. This may not be the most life-affirming or energising of seasonal associations unless we choose which colour we are in – or wish to be in – and what it means.
  Is it an act of superstition or magic to use colours in this way, or is there something genuine behind attaching colours to emotions?
   “As far as colours are concerned, opposites refine eachother. They balance eachother, they soothe eachother, they play off eachother’s intensities. We aren’t really like that in our relationships with other humans. We don’t find people that are opposite us and create that balance, create that harmony.” - Kolby Harrell

Recently I have had visions with a bright yellow colour, slightly like turmeric: slightly orange and ochre. ...Images of this yellow hovering over a sparkling sea, and in towns, glinting on walls and through lamplight, and glowing in the roads and windows and people.
What could it mean?
In flowers, red often refers to passionate love. Yellow flowers are for friendship.
  I am taking the colour visions to mean, for 2019, a call to friendship - with a touch of red and earth.
Yellow with a hint of red and ochre, to recognise that friendship is love too. In changing times we may need more than one kind of love. We need friendship and compassion, and acceptance. And we are still united as one, through the earth and ether.


Colours embrace us. Colour wheels, flower colours, humours and meanings…. My colour of this moment is Yellow-orange.
  I am not using it in any art works, but it informs how I use colours when pouring resins, and when black-sketching the hard lines and soft volumes of a contoured head, and rending thick silver wires into a reflective frame of a buffalo skull. The colours I am using now are almost the oppoite: blues, whites, black, greys and silver – monochromatics which, now that I think of it, fit winter's clouds, that steely sky, chill expanses of air or water with hints of crystals, and the glint in an eye anticipating the rise of smiles.
   The colour in my mind is more about the prospect of Friendship and warmth. Chrome yellow.

If you have colour thoughts, why not share them in the comments, as well as in your art.
Happy New Year everyone.

References
Top image: ‘Cosmic Artist’ by Alex Grey https://www.jasmuheen.com/tag/alex-grey-art/
Kolby Harrell’s TED talk including colours in relationships, and as socially evolutionary commitment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzCuvam0-5o
LAS Spotlight “I needed colour” about Jim Carey’s artisms: http://ludlowartsociety.blogspot.com/2018/05/spotlight-i-needed-colour.html
Chrome yellow, the pigment, or ‘Crome Yellow’, the first novel of Aldous Huxley
Humours, the four colours (and Olympic swimming psychology training): https://swimcoach.blog/tag/olympic-swimmer/


Saturday, 5 January 2019

2019 Programme

Ludlow Art Society is pleased to present our 2019 programme of talks and demonstrations. This is available on our website here.
As you'll see, we have some spectacular speakers this year so if you've never been to one of our talks before, why not make this the year when you start? Our talks are informal and friendly and everyone is welcome, subject to venue capacity!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Spotlight - Wrapping paper


Spilt paint delivery.  Our art materials travel.  They can have a life of their own, and express themselves
It’s a wrap.
Olafur Eliasson, 'Ice Watch' ice sculpture installation at Place do Pantheon, Paris
Do you have old books or comics? Why not use them as wrapping paper?  Old 'Far Side' albums, or Steve Bell or Viz, gathering dust on a shelf or in the loft, loses its “Wow” as we grow past it and see more new things. Same as any art – it gets dull gradually.  By the time we drag that rough-papered book out of the box or shelf, we find it’s a nice chuckle, but maybe not as stunning as when we first met it. Same as that watercolour that we loved when we bought it, but are now so comfortable with that we don’t look at the petals and leaf light very often. We could even use this analogy for relationships.
Wrapping paper used as interior decor

Wrapping paper does not get old.  It does not last long enough to get old. It last about ten seconds, and usually is ignored.
  If you ever wonder about superficiality, consider pretty paper that is barely looked at, as one dives into the core of the gift. Wrapping paper is rather wasteful. Plastic festive cheer and binbags of paper are probably on the decline, in these times of austerity.
Statuette of Harry Potter
There is a balance to be made, of course. Consumption is otherwise pretty essential and useful, and part of our pleasures and purpose. 
Detroit based environmental artist Michael McGillis lets each site dictate how he fills the space with his celebrated land art. Above and below, at the University of Oregon’s Overlook Field School, the decision was glass collected from the site and incandescent lighting. 
Far Side cartoon, by Gary Larson
If climate change is important, is it right to use energy and materials in order to highlight climate change?
Ice at Nuuk Kangerlua Fjord, Nuuk, Greenland, where the ice was harvested
Olafur Eliasson is arranging for many tons of ice blocks to be transported to London’s Tate Modern, where they will sit and slowly melt as several near-leaders of countries get together for COP24, to discuss ways to solve climate change problems. They will meet in Poland. The 24 ice blocks shipped or flown from Greenland, will not be very near the COP24 summit. Still, it gets people talking.
Christmas presents wrapped in 'Far Side' cartoons
Olafur says “By enabling people to experience and actually touch the blocks of ice in this project, I hope we will connect people to their surroundings in a deeper way and inspire radical change.”
A cartoon by Steve Bell
We can readily say “But, Olafur, you have tons of oil and energy to get them here, what a terrible waste, and how ironically foolish.” This conundrum is well known. My own environmental works use polyester resin, when bioresin is unaffordable. The materials need fossil-fuel-based delivery, and all this causes much anguish in the process. 
The vast blocks of ice look like an extravagant statement, and that makes us uncomfortable – which is exactly the truth, and the point. They are also pretty Cool (I’ll get my coat).

Olafur has designed energy-efficient household items that self-charge, and he has been heavily involved in creating and providing solar powered lamps for refugees. So on balance he is way ahead. We often find there is great merit to the lives and practices of those we can criticise – once we take off the wrapper.

Olafur Eliasson

This Christmas, find out something interesting about a friend.  And share something about yourself.
And have a fine, refreshing, fun-filled, spiritual and joyful Christmas everyone.
With very best festive wishes from LAS.
You can watch the London Ice at http://icewatchlondon.com/

Friday, 23 November 2018

Ludlow Chocolate ... Perfect for Christmas

We currently have three different bars for sale. Purchases support our artists as well as local charities. They're a perfect Christmas present for friends and family and they help spread the word about Ludlow Art Society. If you haven't already tried it, the chocolate is top notch, and fairtrade. Lisa Anne has stock available at her shop 'La Jewellery' on Parkway, near the library.