Posts Tagged ‘Color’


June 5, 2015

I’ve long needed to pull out a box of crayons and just scribble.


I’ve needed to play and yesterday was it. Although, that’s been the goal for this month especially. If I can make it last, then so much the better.


Sometimes, I’m an obsessive planner. It’s probably a hangover from teaching in earlier years. In some ways, it has been a good thing, as it taught discipline and nourished my love of research.


But, I also know the value of “throwing it all out the window” and running out to play – another way to learn.  We know that.


Yesterday, I returned to some materials and ideas that have been running around in my head for more than a year –  long overdue and pure fun.

a bit more about 赤・”aka”/red

February 8, 2013

1930AIt’s true, red has been on my mind. That would make sense, as I’m immersed in an almost opposite color on the color wheel most of the time. I think it gives a little “relief” or reprieve from that visual experience. I don’t think it’s just that, though.

I have some red scarves needing attention and I took them out of the closet recently to simply look at them and see if they might speak to me in some way. That got things started. It also came to mind in connection with Setsubun which occurred on Feb. 2. I associate red with that festivity and there are more upcoming, western and non-western, with that association. So, it isn’t really so surprising.

At any rate, there has been a bit of “comment” on the color lately it seems, so I did a little ‘digging’ from a different perspective and took a few notes. Here are a few tidbits I came across:

Some definitions, different contexts – notice two different kanji for red –

1. 赤・あか・aka (n.) – red /赤い・akai (adj.)

2. 紅色・こうしょく (kōshoku); べにいろ (beni iro)(n) red (color);  beni is safflower red.

3. 紅白 ・こうはく・kōhaku (n,adj-no) (1) red and white; colors for festive or auspicious occasions – these combinations turn up in many different contexts.

4. 赤地 ・あかじ・akaji (n) red cloth; red background

A few phrases & proverbs (kotowaza):


Aojiroi tsuki nara ame ni nari, akai tsuki nara kaze ga fuki, shiroi tsuki dato ame mo yuki mo


A pale moon rains,  a red moon blows, while white moon neither rains or snows.

2. 赤毛の人・あかげのひと・Akage no hito /person with red hair

3. Tシャツを赤く染める・Tshatsu o akaku someru. /Dye a T-shirt red.

4. 赤富士 ・あかふじ・aka fuji/(n) red Fuji –

when Mt Fuji appears red due to the sun’s rays in the early morning or in late summer to early autumn

Introduction to A Perfect Red

August 2, 2012

grinding chochineal
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

It was a discussion of Amy Butler Greenfield’s book, A Perfect Red, at the NCMA where this all too brief first experience took place. I’ve been intrigued for some time, so this was a perfect way to begin, by reading the book on the topic (cochineal), then a short but sweet hands-on.

We had a lively discussion over a light summer meal, then went on to the actual experience of the color and dye.  We looked at natural dye samples, then samples of wool with various results using different mordants.  Finally we experienced grinding it and then with dye that had already been prepared, we dipped a few textile samples.  It was delicious!

Things to cool you down

June 29, 2012


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere in a previous blog about the idea of looking at a color or image to cool. It might just be an illusion, but I’ve been thinking about it lately – blue. Blues, indigo blues keep turning up on my horizon, in many forms. I can’t ignore it. This one turned up today – nice surprise! Where else will I find it?

We’re hitting record highs in Raleigh today and following, it does seem appropriate to think about the color. Does it cool you down?

Woad & Indigo

June 1, 2012

Woad & Indigo

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Moving on with this project – I went as far as I cared to with these particular pieces. This photo was taken before they were rinsed and washed. There were some changes in color again after that. I thought they looked even closer in hue after that part of the process.

I’ve put them away for a bit. I’ll have to re-evaluate again later – so much blue and looking so closely at them – after while I don’t know what I’m seeing. I like both though.

Matcha Green all lined up

March 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

This morning, first thing, I washed out the excess dye and hung 75 small squares on the line. They measure about 12 x 13 inches. I’m not sure all of them will be used in the final project. It was a pleasant task though. Hanging them in the cool and light of an early spring morning with bird and insect call in the background. I heard traffic too, but tried not to pay too much attention to that. I much prefer hanging pieces on the line as opposed to the dryer.

Color to pick up your spirits

February 28, 2009
A Dash of Color

A Dash of Color

The video link:  A Dash of Color

I saw this on the NY Times site. Cunningham has a point.

Mystery Drawing: detail

February 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I was drawn to the lines, then again the color, the way they blended and the intensity of them. I liked the wild scribbled lines in the smoke or cloud or whatever that is above the square structure below. For a long time I read it as a tree (with a very substantial trunk!), but maybe not….then again you can never tell. I also found myself referencing Jackson Pollock who one of students also referenced (via Google’s imagery earlier in the week).

I guess it just goes to show you never know where you’ll draw inspiration or joy from. Sometimes it’s just around the corner or waiting for you in the next room.

Mystery Drawings

February 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Some mornings when I enter my classroom I’m greeted by a collection of small drawings on the whiteboard. I know who’s been there the afternoon or evening before….Beth’s little munchkins. I love it. I never know what I’ll find and it’s a delightful beginning to the day. I become more interested in that image than the lessons I”m supposed to be teaching. It’s kind of what happened on Friday.

When I walked in, there it was. So I dropped everything, pulled out my camera and started shooting. I knew I’d be using the board that day, but decided to work around it rather than erase it. I wondered what the students would think and if there would be comments. There really were none. I had to probe, even then, it was the J1s who responded. They commented that it looked like a stained glass house.

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