I have been back to basics regarding colour, to enable me to move forward from a knowledge base, rather than intuition.
Starting with co-primaries, prismic colours, cool red, blue, yellow, warm, red, blue, yellow, warm advances, cool recedes. Cool red moves towards violet, warm red towards orange; cool blue moves towards violet, warm blue towards green; cool yellow moves towards green, warm yellow moves towards orange.
Hue – name of the colour
Value – Lightness on the grey scale
Saturation – richness of colour
Overtone – colour temperature, leans towards
Analogous – adjacent on colour wheel
3 ways to change a prismic colour into muted tones (second circle fig 2), adding white, adding grey, or adding a complimentary colour (secondary triad fig 1).
Chromatic grey (third circle fig 2), discernible hue, eg bluey-grey
Achromatic grey has no discernible colour, fourth row in, fig 2.
Yellow/Violet – greatest difference
Blue/Orange – best grey
Red/Green – opposite and equal, can interchange
Triadic is the triangulation of colours across the colour wheel.
Colour range: Same family, oranges/red; Complimentary – yellow/violet, blue/orange, red/green; Organisation – triadic
Mixing muted and chromatic colours from complimentaries
Repeating above with slightly differing proportions in the mix
Of particular interest is the second row, cool. All other attempts to mix a grey have had a bias towards mushroom or lilac. This mix produced the closest to achromatic grey.
From a slightly different perspective, I have been reading about the history of colour, human response to colour and anecdotal stories about colour.
Bright Earth and Colour -Travels Through the Paintbox, were both recommended by recent MA graduate Alexa Cox. Both are must reads.
In Bright Earth, Philip Ball traces the history of each colour in painstaking detail, to create a surprising page-turner packed with insights into the derivation of the colours but also their application through history.
Victoria Finlay is like an intrepid detective seeking out stories in remote parts of the world in Colour -Travels Through the Paintbox. Her determination to route out the truths concerning colour is highlighted by her trip to the depths of the Aboriginal heartland, with the patience and permissions that that entailed, to uncover the secret of a particular white, used exclusively by a particular Aboriginal painter. Her writing is engaging and so informative, from de Menonville’s determination to break the Spanish stranglehold on the red dye market, to the pencil museum in Keswick, in the Lake District, built to celebrate the area’s graphite deposit. Not content with visiting the museum, she travels to Seathwaite looking for the unmarked mine in the depth of winter …pure delight.
Faber Birren has written many books on colour and is referenced in others. I was therefore surprised by the weakness of Colour & Human Response. Drawing on the research of others, he condenses and repackages the information for a wider, non-academic market. The work dates back to 1978, which perhaps explains the irritating illustrations accompanying the start of each chapter and the weakness of the work.
Ball, P, 2009 Bright Earth, the Invention of Colour, Vintage
Finlay, V, 2002, Colour -Travels Through the Paintbox, Sceptre
Birren, F, 1978, Colour & Human Response, John Wiley & Sons
The net has been flung too wide and I need to focus on exactly what I am trying to catch and why. Sounds easy, but I feel as if I have been on a silent retreat since I read this, trying to leave the space for the answer to float to the surface.
Am I starting at the beginning and letting chance play its part, or at the end and making the evidence fit the ‘crime’. Is it about process and the decisions, perceived or otherwise on this journey?
Is it possible to make work without intention, or is intention always lurking in the murky waters? If it is lurking, by what means could I, do I access this intention? What is the actual intention? If there is no perceived intention, is it possible for others to imbue such on the work? A letting go of outcome, only a need to release.
I talk of emotional connection with the work, with the viewer, which implies an intention, yet if it exists, it is within the forth dimension, wordless. If there are no words, how do I describe what happens?
So what is driving the work if not intention, if not wordless communication? How do I access this ‘essence’ and direct to the outcome I am questing, if in fact this is the purpose? If it isn’t, what is?
Am I any nearer the true question? Not sure. Maybe a mind map to help clarify. More digging.
Caroline suggested I read this slim volume by Virginia Woolf. The work is in the style of a journal, where Woolf muses on the lot of women in the centuries prior to 1928, and how a modest income (then £500, more likely £20,000 today), and a room for solitude would have painted a very different literary landscape.
The gentle ‘stream of consciousness’ certainly made me pause for thought. Indeed why were there so few women in the arts? Woolf surmises how it might have been, the lack of education, the betrothal at an early age into what could be considered servitude, the lack of privacy or funds.
I have written before that I have not experienced sexual discrimination in my working life. Had I been blind to this? I asked a friend who had also worked in IT since the early 70’s and she echoed my experience. Perhaps we made a lucky choice. However, I am more aware now that there is still a long way to go. Will this feed into my work? Maybe.
The lecture from our third visiting lecturer, Les Bicknell, was riveting. He was speaking just to me.
Les is a lecturer at Camberwell and Norwich.
(It is very difficult to continue with this blog because I spent 2.5 hours typing up my notes and researching items mentioned by Les and when I return to complete the blog it has all disappeared.)
Defining Research with Practice
What do I like doing?
Why do I make work?
What’s my work for?
What do I want from my work? Attempt to make sense of the world, strategies/planning/research/audience
What do I get from my work?
What is my work about?
Who is my audience?
Where does my work go?
What is it that I do and why?
Write a verb list of all I do and don’t do.
Research my own practice.
Les commented that if he had to rent work space then he would feel obligated to make money from his art and that would influence his work. I can understand that.
Your work is informed by where and how you are working. Size of space, location, noise factor.
Use what you love in your work.
Where is the research strand?
Music – instruments / scores / collaborative
Dance – negative spaces
Writing – thinking / reading / space / sound / theories / thoughts
Contemporary practice – methodology / sampling / sketch book / role as an artist in society Science – problem solving / lateral thinking / sharing
What is my role as an artist in society?
Recognise that I am changing to accommodate the course.
Influence of childhood on what you do
What is influencing me? THINK ABOUT THIS IT IS CRUCIAL.
What is the project about?
What don’t I know about?
Research has to start with my practice.
Mind mapping to get the ideas out of my head. Starting point for research.
Frank Gehry sketches. Sketch ideas.
Decide on what an idea should become.
Look at what exists already.
Look at the work of others.
Reflect on my initial intention.
What is it for?
Where does it go? Weatherproof, scale.
Who is it for?
Copy existing writing or art work to get a ‘feel’ for the artist.
Look at Kenneth Goldsmith, founder of ubuweb.
Fluid way of thinking.
Record -thoughts / ideas / observations
Reflecting – gain an understanding
Analyse – who researching
Conclude – setting out what you have thought
At library take the book to the right of the one you want.
carry means of recording with you.
Even if not relevant
what happened? Why? What do I think? What should I do as a result? How do I do this?
testing (colour theory/perception)-
sampling (series of paintings within set of parameters)
Reflect – why didn’t I? Back to research.
Where to star?
Film – Mark kermode podcasts
in our Time – Melvyn Bragg
Bibliographies- check influences
When does a book end? What is it for? How do you disprove it is not a book?
Made of mirrors? Bound together? Bricks in a wall?
Order, control, power.
Role of book in relation to order, containment, knowledge.
Writers write text not books.
Is FB an episode of you.
Covers of books-roofs.
Stacking, ordering, layering
.British Library- palm leaf bindings.
David Nash sculpture
Christo’s Valley Curtain
Text on body a book, tattoo?
Pub sign read history of place.
Read a knotted rope
Role of book in relation to order, containment, knowledge.
Architecture relative to book.
Les Bicknell’s work.
Collect with no purpose.
Smocking relative to landscape.
Pitt Rivers Oxford http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk
Work informed by Morning crepe fabric.
Change materials for a different perspective .
Diverse exhibition spaces. Libraries, foyers. Giant images. Artist info archives.
Materials that make a shift, B&Q, electrical wholesaler.
This blog is now structured with the essential categories required for you to post Assignments and Projects in for your learning log entries. It is intended to just help you get started with your OCA Learning log, and you may wish to customise it to suit your particular course.
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We would like to thank OCA Photography tutor Robert Enoch for providing this template for OCA students to use to get started with their Learning (b)logs.