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.

Advertisements

Tale from the field #4.

Setting up for Tempe on Thursday was a hoot.  The trucks had to stand in line to be allowed into the area which  had been blocked of by the Tempe Police, and the organizers chalked up the space.  I was patiently parked in line behind only one other truck.  Just before the load-in time, another vehicle pulled in past us and proceeded past the wait point down to the police line.  What?  The truck in front of me decided he wasn’t having any of this line-cutting thing, and pulled up.  I followed.  So did everyone behind me.  Turned out the guy who cut in had an anytime pass for a neighboring zone.

In traffic

The view to the front

The security person in charge of the entrance asked us to back up.  We were pretty much blocking the entry to another parking garage and a drop-off for a condo block.  Yeah, try backing up a dozen trucks back onto the street…..

in traffic

In the rear view mirror.

Perhaps not out gunned, but definitely out-trucked.

Colors and words.

A friend passed along this video about words for colors, and how words for colors develop in different languages.  It reminded me of a friend of mine, Gordon, with whom I was having a discussion about some coworkers who had sat across from me at a meeting wearing fuschia, chartreuse and magenta blouses which in a row, were quite visually difficult to look at!  He looked blank at me and said ‘I’m a guy, I got blue, red, green, yellow… nothing more complex than that!’

Fixing a box #4

Traffic Signal box mural

Top clouds going in.

Well, didn’t think I’d finish today, but I did. Put in a full two hours, it’s easier to work when you know that some of the traffic that’s honking is honking at you in appreciation.

Traffic Signal box mural

The north side…

And about every third person who stopped at the lights rolled down their window and said it looked great.

Traffic Signal box mural

Getting down through the cobalt. (I didn’t run out after all.)

Another local artist who also does murals in a different context stopped by to chat.

Traffic Signal box mural

It’s harder to photo this side as I’m shooting into the sun!

I did the top clouds lighter because it seems like they will fade darker anyway (comparing with photos of the original) and I knew the city planner was always a little unhappy at how dark the top came out.

Traffic Signal box mural

Tah dah!

Traffic Signal box mural

And now, the clean-up.

Fixing a box #3.

Today was the first day of color underpainting.  I’m happy that I got through it all without running out of Cobalt, but I did have to run out for Cobalt and Cadmium Yellow later as I don’t have enough for the next coat.

Traffic signal box mural

Starting to look like a mural.

I was thinking when I was painting that I should have a few business cards in my pocket, just in case.  Indeed that was true as someone did ask me for one when he was stopped at the lights.  He just pulled round the corner and we exchanged info.  Tomorrow, business cards!  (Although the conversation was useful and might end up in something further.)

Crow on light pole

Distant admirer.

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!

 

Going bananas enough to have a day off.

bananasculpture

We went to the International Banana Museum on Saturday, one of the few Touristy Things To Do Near Me that we had never done.
display2

This is housed in half a former bar in North Shore, CA. The bananatender is the son of the original bar owner. The other half of the bar is now a liquor/convenience store.

display1
Fred started the museum about five years ago when he stumbled on the Guinness Book of Records Banana-related-items collection available on eBay and decided to make it his retirement business.

bananatree

There are a lot of bannanery things here as you can imagine.

bananaflipflops

The banana flipflops were one of my favorites.

weknowtheartist

I couldn’t believe there was a piece of banana-related artwork in there by an artist we know – D actually has a one of his prints.  Neither could Fred and Kim. They’re looking forward to me getting them in touch with him.

splittingasplit

We couldn’t resist splitting a banana split. Can’t remember the last time I had one.  They had a decent selection of ice cream flavors too.

If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a look – but do go to their website first and call to make sure of their open hours.