Pomegranates 8 x 8 Oil $150
I've had a very strange and frustrating thing happening to the URL of my blog. It was changing on it's own to indicate that it was an address from another country. First it was ending with .tr to signify Turkey and my menu bar was in Turkish. Then it became a British URL. When I checked my settings, everything was as it should be. It only appeared this way on Google Chrome, it appeared normally on Firefox and Internet Explorer. The fix was complicated and arduous and I was not even wanting to start the process, when my son came along and within one minute he solved it for me. He disabled Zenmate, which appears as a green shield icon in the right corner of the menu bar of your blog. If you are experiencing similar problems, you might want to try that.
This little painting is a study in red as you can see. It was all about color temperature and value to highlight the pomegranates and push the cloth back. I added some blue and green with the cream in the pattern of the cloth, to add some contrast and cooler colors.
As I was saying in my last post, I've been reading a great book called Color- A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Findlay available on Amazon. Apart from learning about where all the colors originated, it's full of fascinating factoids to share over coffee.
According to Findlay who has traveled the globe investigating the origin of colors, red signifies many things - red is anger, red is love, it represents fire, stop and power. It's also significant in religions. Think Buddhist robes and the Popes red silk hat, not to mention the cardinals. The color red dates back to the Inca's and Aztec's who made red from (are you ready?) the blood of beetles, called cochineal. These little beetles thrive on the prickly pear cactus. During the Conquistador era, Spain discovered the color red in Mexico in the State of Oaxaca and started exporting these little beetles back to Spain, controlling the supply of red dye all over Europe. They shipped up to 160 tons of cochineal bodies each year! That's a lot of insect bodies! Although the whole world was enamored with red, it was fugitive, it would fade or disappear. It was then discovered that Alum needed to be added to the pigment to help it set. It's rumored that Henry VIII married Anne of Cleaves for her countries source of alum. How romantic!
One of the artists who had many problems with red was Turner. He loved those sunsets and big skies and used whatever color best described what he wanted to capture. Although warned by Mr. Windsor of Windsor and Newton, Turner was adamant that he would use whatever colors suited him in the moment and consequently many of his paintings are no longer representative of what he originally painted.
Luckily we now have paints that hold their color and have UV protection, not to mention varnishes that also include UV filters. But when asked, I always tell people that if a painting is subjected to direct sunlight, even for limited periods of time, it will most likely fade.