It’s been two years, Mahalo

In August of 2008, I took the ideas that Dick Nelson had been putting in my head, animated them and put them on the web. In a couple of days it received 8000 hits.

Since that time about two years ago, we’ve received almost 200,000 visits. I’m grateful to you for the visitation because it affirms for me that there are others out there who are also amazed by color and how it relates with color. Color and color. I love it. So, thanks for visiting. As we say in Hawaii, Mahalo!

Here are some of the statistics for the last year:

Amsterdam: Visions of Van Gogh

Six years ago, I had the opportunity to travel in Europe for 3 months. I had lofty visions at the time as I traveled to get clear on who I was and what I wanted to do.

I arrived in Amsterdam with one question circulating in my mind intended to provide me with a focus– “What do I Cherish?”. After visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, I was inspired to create a 6 foot canvas based on his painting “Almond Blossom” filled with responses from friends to the question, “What do you Cherish?”

That became the The Cherish Tree.

I returned to Amsterdam last Wednesday and was filled with adrenaline. At the Van Gogh Museum I found “Almond Blossom” as alive and vibrant as ever. Only this time, I understood better how Van Gogh made it glow. He had studied Delacroix and Vermeer and all the masters of color and light that preceded him. He truly delved into a conceptual understanding of how our eyes mix color to create vibrancy.

Note how the tree branch is made up of bold strokes of color from the same family to create halations. As well, some of the blue, beige and green strokes are the same value thus creating invisible boundaries. These are all techniques Van Gogh had studied and that he advances in his bold and crafty style. One thing I love about his strokes as he pushes the paint around is how much fun it looks like he had.

This was the painting from which I modeled the Cherish Tree. I asked everyone I knew to tell me what they cherish and I included their text in my painting. The Cherish Tree went on to become a sculpture that was the altar for the Health and Harmony Festival and was an installation at Burning Man.

Comments on Color is Relative

Some of the best comments so far have come from a community blog called metafilter.

One of the members of this very smart community presented this illusion in which square A and square B are the exact same shade of grey.

Other comments include:

“When painting in Photoshop I find I have to set the little swatch to what looks like a darker color than I need. Large areas of the same color look lighter.”

“This is why it is important to rough in and develop your painting as a whole, and not to zero in on one part for detailing. If you do that, you may be in for a color surprise when you fill in what’s around it.”

“The question is whether qualia exist, whether the subjective gut feelings of the taste of chocolate, the color red, the feel of your favorite sweater – have some intrinsic existence or only have meaning relative to other perceptions.”

Great stuff. I’ve never heard of qualia. There are also mentions of Dan Flavin. I had never been exposed to Flavin, however I see the connection.