May 17, 2010

Colors that affected us recently.

There was that acorn that made you want to repaint biggest room in the house...

DSC09928

There was this...

DSC09883

... which made me fantasize that I was a contestant on "Project Runway" and the challenge was to design a dress it inspired...

And this...

DSC09880

... which made me think of the old days when I painted with real paint on canvas. What was that red? Alizarin?

20 comments:

kimsch said...

That could well be alizarin crimson. I remember watching a painting show on PBS years ago with William Alexander and his Happy little brushes, and happy little colors. With his accent, alizarin crimson always sounded like the Geico Gecko, a happy little lizard...

wv: shora

edutcher said...

You do some nice things with photography, Madame, but I guess that creating with light and pixels might not be as satisfying as the physical contact with pigment and brush.

Or is it a different kind of fulfillment?

Slightly OT, but, when Ann raises her old nom de Net, Alizaria, I can't help if, like The Blonde, she has a little belly dancing in her past.

Penny said...

What was that red? Alizarin?

Why yes it was, Alizaria.

amba said...

Color sky rose carmethine
Alizari-an crimson
Wear your love like heaven . . .

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

AA, would you describe your natural hair color as alizarin?

Toy

Palladian said...

Alizarin crimson, or more specifically 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone, is usually encountered today as a synthetic organic (in the scientific sense of the word, not the Whole Foods sense) pigment, but it's actually a naturally-occurring pigment that was once extracted from the roots of the madder plant, Rubia tinctorum, and made into a pigment called madder lake (a lake pigment is dye precipitated onto a neutral substrate so that it can be made into paint). Unlike the plants in the photograph, Rubia tinctorum gives no outward clue that it can yield that wine-dark color.

I've made my own madder pigment and paint from dye that I coaxed from those dull brown roots.

Sadly, alizarin, like some organic pigments, is very poorly lightfast (it fades). It's been superseded
by the quinacridones and (my favorite) Irgazin red.

But I still use natural madder when I can.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

I think the acorn cap pattern would make interesting upholstery fabric.

(Hi, Amba!)

Toy

Moose said...

Alizarin is too earthy - more Rose Madder or Carmine...

Moose said...

Palladian - Alizarin's main feature is that as a synthetic pigment, it's cheap. Kind of important to art students and such...

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Palladian, my mother dyed fabric with poke berry juice when she was young--more from necessity than for fun. Do you use them for any pigments? I've got a few stalks that come up every year on my fence row.

(You can eat the leaves, but not until you boil them first and pour off the pot likker, then cook again. If you don't pour off the first liquid, it'll make you sick. Some say you should pour off the second liquid, too, and only eat it with the third likker. The 55th annual Poke Sallet Festival is coming up June 3-5 in Harlan, Ky.)

Toy

Palladian said...

The word "alizarin", by the way, comes from the Arabic: العصارة (al-‘uṣāra) which means "the juice", from the root عصر ('aṣara) which means "to squeeze". Squeezing the juice from the roots... Alizarin dye from the madder plant was the red in "Oriental" carpets. Rubia tinctorum grows in Anatolia.

Palladian said...

"Alizarin is too earthy - more Rose Madder or Carmine..."

Rose madder (the real thing) is alizarin dye from the madder plant, extracted at the right temperature to get a pinker tone. Windsor & Newton still produce it and it's beautiful.

Carmine (the real thing) is from carminic acid (a anthraquinone I believe), extracted somewhat similarly to madder, except instead of roots you cook up some bugs.

Unlike naturally-obtained alizarin, real carmine is still produced in large quantities— to color pink grapefruit juice and strawberry yogurt. Bug juice in your fruit juice!

Palladian said...

Toy, I've never used pokeweed berries, as they're poisonous and the extract is probably very poorly lightfast. But it looks like a nice color while it lasts (which is probably not very long).

Fred4Pres said...

The acorn is from last year and a small wasp or wevil drilled a hole in it.

The acorn is dead.

k*thy said...

I envy people with an eye for color. ..

Ann Althouse said...

"Were you ignoring all the green because the color is now unfortunately associated with a political agenda?"

Green is the usual color of grass, so it's the red that grabbed me. And it looks like the blades have been dipped in paint, don't you think?

Meade said...

"What was that red? "

Blood.

Christy said...

The foliage to inspire a dress has a glorious shape, but the colors are sour to me.

Ubiquitous purple irises (Tennessee's state flower) have become incredibly boring this Spring, even if they do smell like Juicy Fruit. Then I discovered Mom has some long neglected maroon, black, pink, and ruffled white irises along the fence row out back. (How dull my use of color names! I'm quite shamed by my ignorance.) I cannot wait to dig them up and give them pride of place in a closer border. I still mourn bronze irises I lost to a very wet spring years ago.

dbp said...

The little hole in the acorn reminded me of something: One year we gathered a basket of acorns as an Autumn decoration. Soon, the living room was teeming with little white grubs. Now, if we want to bring in acorns, we bake them on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes first. No bugs, live ones at least, in the house.

Ann Althouse said...

@dhp Yeah, I found a little slimy thing crawling on my hand shortly after I took that picture.