Bold colours

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If painting a room with opaque emulsion / latex paint it doesn’t have to be flat and monotone! In this room I applied the first coat with a large mineral brush covering all areas with the paint and brushing into the drying edges. After doing that, the room quite frankly looked terrible! But the secret is to soften it and this is done by diluting the second coat with acrylic medium and applying with a small brush. The result is a subtle two tone colour effect which is especially nice when strong bold colours are used.

Ted Ochre

Red was your colour.

If not red, then white. But red

Was what you wrapped around you.

Blood-red. Was it blood?

Was it red-ochre, for warming the dead?

Haematite to make immortal

The precious heirloom bones, the family bones.

Extract from the poem ‘Red’ by Ted Hughes (married to Sylvia Plath when she committed suicide in 1963)

Haematite is an iron oxide and the name is derived from a Greek word meaning blood.
Ochre is clay that is coloured by varying amounts of haematite.

Pigment alchemy

Plant colours – Breathing of Cosmic Present

Mineral colours – Remembrance of Cosmic Past

Aniline colours – Coal tar, nitrogen demons

Where the sylph touches lightly upon the plant being, it transforms the sugar into colour. This relationship of the plant colour to sugar reveals itself in the fact that most of the plant colours are forms of glucose, that is, they still have an unformed sugar component. Plant colours contain no nitrogen. Indigo is an exception; it comes however from certain legumes – a plant family which occupies an exceptional position in regard to nitrogen.

Blossom colour sylphs
Leaf green undines
Root colour gnomes

Margarethe Hauschka-Stavenhagen

From the diary: Kirov

lazure in Kirov
For a few weeks in 2001, I was voluntary lazure painting in Kirov, Russia. It was in a State Orphanage that accommodated up to seventy children aged 4-5 years. The photo (two together for a better view) is from a section of the entrance area but we also managed to lazure the corridors leading to the bedrooms.
When the work was finished, the staff organised a tea party and I was given cards drawn by the children and a couple of beautifully crafted gifts. Later, when music started playing, a cute little girl took me by the hand and led me to the front to dance…I still blush when I think about it!

Blue lazure

blue area

Work in progress on the blue side of the waiting room. The original concept from when it was last painted, probably a decade ago, was that the blue reflects the warmth and care of the nurses, whose working area is on the same side also. I think these attributes for blue, specifically cobalt, are referenced from Collot d’Herbois who describes cobalt blue as having a ‘nursing quality’ in her book ‘Light, Darkness and Colour in Painting Therapy.’