For International Women’s Day and a Day Without a Woman, March 8th seems to unfold another peaceful protest in many cities and communities of the world. In New York city, a peaceful action occurred near Central Park celebrating a Day Without a Woman. To carry the message further, leaders of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. and co-chairs of NYC’s Women’s March were arrested, thirteen as reported by the NYPD, for surrounding the Trump International Hotel near Columbus Circle with protesters. Carried off in a paddy wagon, authorities maintained these leaders will be detained an hour or so and then released.
The steps outside of the capitol of Wisconsin in Madison filled with marchers celebrating International Women’s Day, too. Women and men protested with public school students,University of Wisconsin students and teaching assistants, teachers, nurses, and socialists against the injustices against women created within our structures. Speeches were broadcast with the help of the socialist organization’s microphone system by a leader of the Women’s Center on UW campus, a nurse representing the nurses’ organizing union, a southeast Asian Transgender woman, two high school journalism students, an activist from northern Wisconsin whose mother is also an activist, and a native American reminding the crowd that we were standing on HoChunk land. Although the specifics of injustices and obstacles were unique to the various groups in attendance, the common conviction to unite and fight in order to gain back our power and win became evident. Unite and Fight for Women’s Rights and Women’s Rights are Human Rights were visible signs and chants of the 300 or so crowd of protesters on this sunny day where the wind whipped around the corners of the capitol building. It’s an honor to stand with your sisters, recognizing the struggles ahead but optimistic in the power to make our lives more just and compassionate.
As far back as ancient Egypt, white has signified omnipotence and purity. Other cultures have added innocence and freedom. Egyptians at their holy ceremonies wore white sandals to signify purity. For China though, white means death and illness. According to Taoism, white next to black symbolizes contrast like that of ying-yang.
Artists like Russia’sWassily Kandinsky and Dutch artist Piet Mondrian comment on their likeness and use of white in their paintings. Familiar with the Impressionist painters view of white, Kandinsky appreciates “white” to be the absence of color, being like a great silence. White harmonizes negatively as well as acting full of possibility like the nothingness just before birth.
Blue and White, Piet Mondrian
Between 1923 and 1935, Mondrian painted Composition A,Red, White, and Blue. Between 1923 and 1935, Mondrian painted Composition A, Red, White, and Blue, and Blue and White.Each included areas of white pigment. In Red, White, and Blue, the simple and larger white areas drew interest because everything about these white squares seemed spotless. Mondrian did admit that he added color to his white subject to cheer up his paintings for whom a lot of white seemed gloomy. He writes:
” The persisting white field in heightened contrast to the black lines is a luminous ground, it has what may be called after Keats: the power of white Simplicity…”
to read more: Mondrian on the Painting of AbstractPainting, by MeyerShapiro p.26
White as a pigment is not all the same. Four different types of whites are used by painters from prehistoric times to the present: lime white, lead white, flake white, and Cremnitz white.
Blue Snow, oil painting, SaulBellows
Most of what was known about lime white, which was often referred inaccurately to chalk, was from Cennini’s The Craftsman’s Handbook of the Middle ages. The process of making lime white was more complex than making chalk.The first step was to soak lime powder in water for 8 days after which small cakes were dried in the sun thus making lime white. Unfortunately, Lead white was banned by 19th-century European painters when it was discovered how poisonous lead was to painters. A curious story tells of the blackening of angel faces painted in British 14th-century manuscripts. Theses angel faces were painted with lead white that turned black when exposed to the hydrogen sulfide of the gas lamps used in reading these manuscripts. These discolored angels became known as the Black Angels. Titanium whiteis twice as opaque as lead white and is a brilliant all-purpose white. The dried residue of titanium ore is very spongy and not conducive for paints so zinc oxide with its brittle residue was added and the mix created a pliable medium for oil paints which most professional artists use. Zinc white is slow drying and very clean which makes it valuable for tinting with other colors.But zinc white also dries to a brittle film that could crack a painting loaded with this pigment. A winter landscape would be better served by using another white like titanium instead of zinc white.
Is white a color? One way to answer this question is to emphasize that pure white is the absence of color and unlike black cannot be mixed from paint tubes of other colors. Another way to answer this question is to consider the physical properties of white pigment coming from ores grounded into white mixes. Titanium and zinc oxide after grinding produce excellent nuances of white.
For at least ten years, my presence online has included first a blog, IDoOilpainting.com and then www.BrushesandPigments.com. Both blogs dealt with my thoughts and research on art especially oil painting. Like all things, I begin again with a new blog: huesandvalues.com , hosted by GoDaddy. This time there will be more about the nature of color especially painting.
Definition of Hue:when talking about color, hue is a technical term for pure colors, like red, blue, green. Hue also describes a mixture of two pure colors like red-yellow is orange.
Tint, tone, shade, saturation are other terms used in color theory. More on those terms later.
Definition of Value: what it is worth, such as lightness value, luminance value, or saturation value in color properties. Value measures human qualities too like empathy or courage.