There’s so much science in art.

Recently my other half asked me ‘What’s the deal behind the phrase “As mad as a hatter”?’

Well, he was asking the right person, I actually know the answer.  Years back when hatters where hatters, mercury was used in the process of hat making.  So this was all before people knew that mercury wasn’t good to handle and lick your fingers after, get it on your skin and such.  So hatters would handle mercury and get mercury poisoning, which would become evident in them going nuts.  Hence the phrase, as mad as a hatter!

In a similar vein, here are some of the nasty things that artists – or art handlers – have to take risks with.

As I say to my students.  Once you get the temptation to lick your brush, wash your brush in your wine or drink it after, remember that one of those pigments might be phthaloCYANINE blue.

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The Pylos Combat Agate.

I thought that this article was very interesting.  About 3500 years ago, a Minoan warrior was buried along with some stone carved artwork.  Now that it’s been unearthed, the details in the artwork suggest a level of artistic knowledge beyond its time.

It is certainly a detailed piece of realistic carving!

 

Munch’s colors

I thought This Article about Edward Munch’s color theory was really interesting.  Red is interpreted more quickly by the brain than blue because the wavelengths are slower!

And the quote “Quantum mechanics has been very well correlated with the emergence of non-representational art.” – Bober – shows you just how much science there is in art.  So if you want to be an artist, don’t skip chemistry or subatomic physics in school.

An art book with a difference

This is definitely an art book with a difference:  “La mia idea de arte.” Pope Francis’s ideas about art.

One idea, quoted in an Artnet article:

“The Vatican Museums have to be the most beautiful place and the most hospitable. It must throw open its doors to the world,” wrote the Pope in his book, noting that based on the teaching of the Bible, the poor’s inability to pay should not prevent them from seeing the church’s impressive art collection.

The book, co-written with Tiziana Lupi is also now a documentary, apparently available on youtube.  The book doesn’t seem to be available (bummer).

Global warming and art

There’s something to be said about global warming – like ‘it’s real!!!!’ – when even art museums are changing the way they choose and store art because of it.  I found this article very interesting.  Maybe art that is destroyed when it becomes too wet is going to be ‘ephemeral art’ in the not too distant future.  Perhaps I should start sculpting in stone…..

Children and art

Sometimes it is difficult to take kids to art fairs as they always want to touch.  I’m always happy to point out to parents that my work is pretty kid proof and if they poke at it, I won’t have to cut their hands off 🙂 which usually is a relief as it’s often too late at that point.

I follow the Red Dot blog of Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He covers a lot of interesting topics (though sadly he doesn’t transmit on WordPress).  I was really interested in his blog of August 9th about kids looking at art in museums and galleries.

From what he says about children appreciating museum/gallery art, it seems like art fairs are a little more interesting for little ones – for a start there’s frequently something hung at their eye level in a booth, some of it (like the one below) would be ideal for a child’s room, and there aren’t quite such strict rules about running between displays.  Occasionally I will get a youngster who comes back to subsequent shows with enthusiasm – and I know that I can’t be the only artist who enjoys this phenomenon, so here and there, future collectors are being created.

1271nightwatch_inplace_w

#1271 Night Watch.  Mixed media on panel (refractured watercolor, poetry, acrylic). 14×24″.

The oldest studio

I always figured that the oldest known art work was the paintings on the caves at Lascaux, but it appears there is another category in the ancient art world – the studio!  Or perhaps it is best described as the paint manufacturer.  I think many people forget how much chemistry there is in art – here’s an article about some of the pigments that they worked with about 42,000 years ago.

It seems though that they hadn’t gotten into being muralists at that time, likely just body painting.  So that classifies it as time-based art.  Or beauty products…..