Kiki de Montparnasse in a Red Jumper and a Blue Scarf, by Moise Kisling, 1925
It’s one of the first colours we learn to identify as children. Our eye is drawn to the red smear in a visual composition. It’s the symbol of blood and of love, anger and the universal color of stop signs around the world. Associated with the Red Cross, the red sun on the Japanese flag (it’s actually the most popular colour used in flags with 77% of all flags including it somewhere…), red is also the least common hair colour in the human population (only 1-2% of the world’s population can lay claim to red hair).
Moise Kisling obviously liked both Kiki and the colour red… (this portrait is called Kiki de Montparnasse in a Red Dress)
Red is one of the primary colours – the others being yellow and blue. In theory, if one mixes two primary colours you get secondary colours (green, orange and purple) and then, if you mix primary and secondary colours you wind up with tertiary colours. If you know what you are doing and have a bit of black and white you should be able to mix any colour you can imagine.
As a kid, I was totally intrigued by the magical paint-mixing that went on while Dad was working. Even now when I visit his studio this process seems like a strange kind of alchemy, capturing light and form, shape and shadow by smearing colour on a flat surface…
By contrast, Piet Mondrian seems to have gone to great lengths to keep his colours clean and separate. This is Composition C (No. III) With Red Yellow and Blue, 1935
Also keeping it simple (colour-wise) is Roy Lichtenstein and this pop art portrait.
Head – red and yellow (1962)
This pensive child caught the eye of Mary Cassatt. Little Girl in a Red Beret dates from 1898.
Would you call the child’s smock pink? Salmon? When you think about it, there are many, many words describing ‘red.’ Ruby. Carmine. Fire engine. Crimson. Rusty. And, plenty more… What’s your favourite shade of red? In case you are wondering, today’s artwork effort on my part was completely the wrong palette (greens and blues) so I won’t post here and spoil the word of the day…
I went for a long walk this evening and took a ton of photographs. Scrolling through them there was a shocking dearth of red anywhere to be found. Except, in this photo which I snapped of a hula hoop hanging from a tree at the side of the trail. Who knows why a hoop should dangle just there… is it possible to drop your hula hoop and not notice? I thought the diminutive splashes of red were a lovely contrast to the more muted palette of the mountains before spring has fully sprung…
See you tomorrow…
Posted in A to Z Challenge 2018, Art, Blog
Tagged #atozchallenge, artist studio, artistic process, atozbloggingchallenge, atozchallenge2018, blogging, canmore, carmine, cassatt, color, colour, hula hoop, painting, palette, red