9 Jul

I am – off and on – doing some research. Fairly vague and ill-defined research to be sure, but reading things I wouldn’t normally and they’re all art-based (or being read with art in mind).

The first book, which I bought and read last year was Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox, which discussed different pigments and their historical source – lapis lazuli, ochre and purple dye from snails to name a few. Very interesting stuff, and it gave me appreciation of how brilliant and readily available synthetic pigments are today. But I’m still trying to work out where it fits in. Sourcing pigments and grinding them to make paint would be way cool, but it’s not something for me to be doing right now! I’ll wait til I’m famous.

The second book I finished this morning: Seven Deadly Colours: The Genius of Nature’s Palette and How It Eluded Darwin. This book was fabulous, and def appealled to my scientific nature. It discusses the development of colour in nature, specifically describing seven different mechanisms that can produce colour (I assumed it was all just pigment – no way!) Upper school physics taught me that there is no such thing as colour, but it’s an easy thing to forget. This book really reinforced the fact that colour really isn’t as certain as it seems – it’s all in our mind!! The author Andrew Parker had some interesting thoughts on visualisation, how we interpret colours, and how artists try to represent real life ‘structural’ colours using pigment. As an aside, I really like the cover of this book. I think the use of white is very striking. Again, no idea where this book sits, except in the back of my head…

The final book I have to read is: Colour and Meaning: Art, Science and Symbolism, which i’m assuming is more about colour and what it’s used to symbolise in history. I think I’m planning to read it after I’ve read the next Harry Potter. Harry is not art-based reading 🙂

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