Archive for October, 2014

colorwheelArtists and colors are joined together at the hip.  Color communicates to the emotions.  In many cases color can convey messages as effectively as words.  But color lives a vibrant life outside the artist’s studio.  Color is a part of daily life to such a degree we don’t always take notice. Here are few examples.

Can you imagine a taxi cab dashing along the street in purple, or red instead of yellow?  May it never be.  Yet the bumblebee yellow of taxi cabs wasn’t always yellow.  In 1905 on the streets of New York, cabs were painted red and green.  In Connecticut, at his car company, Albert Rockwell created a taxi cab with a 15-horsepower engine and the two-tone shades.  Handed down via word of mouth, it’s said that his wife urged him to use yellow paint to make the cabs more outstanding.  By around 1909 New York cabbies were tooling around in bumblebee yellow.

The Fleer Chewing Gum Company was experimenting with a new gum recipe. The gum was intended to be less sticky and more flexible in order to produce larger bubbles.  The company had in storage, a large quantity of pink dye which was poured into the batch.  And that is how chewing gum became pink.   

frameThe color red is astounding. Emotionally intense, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing.  It is also the color of love.  Red cars are popular targets for thieves.  In decorating, red is usually used as an accent.  Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention.  Red is most likely affiliated with food. It is typically prominent or at least present in restaurants and is shown to be an appetite stimulant.

emeraldGreen symbolizes nature.  It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision.  It is a calming, refreshing color.  Guests waiting to appear on TV shows, wait in “green rooms” to relax.  Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients.  Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth.      

blue m&msBlue is one of the most popular colors but it is one of the least appetizing.  Blue food is rare in nature.  Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple.  When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite.


You might find it interesting to start observing where and how colors are used off the canvas.  There may be lessons to be learned as artistic observers.

A.S. Pirozzoli

When Your Art is Really Cooking

Posted: October 3, 2014 in The Store

As a part time artist (I still work for a living), I am sometimes asked how to go about painting a good picture.  I used to respond with the basics, composition, technique, color, depth and all that good stuff. CanvasOver the years I began using cooking as a metaphor, since one of my sons is an executive chef.  In observing him at work I saw some practical comparisons to painting.

First off, here is the danger in asking someone else how to paint a good picture.  I discovered this while trying out one of my son’s recipes.  From a practical standpoint, carefully following his recipe should get me the same result he achieves.  Should look good, smell good, and hopefully, taste good. After all, when I started out painting and drawing years ago, I followed the step by step instructions of art teachers in a studio setting as well as from books. By copying the artist’s techniques I did get the same outcome in the painting.  In some case I followed the directions and techniques so well; my painting was virtually the same as the instructors’.  It was for all intents and purposes, his painting, reproduced by me.

But (yes there’s always a, but), something was missing.  I noticed this in following my son’s recipe for a meal.  It looked pretty much the same, smelled the same and the taste was, well, let’s say close enough. Both the Crab Meatmeals and the paintings turned out lacking.  Then I remembered something my mom used to say when she cooked (and she was masterful at it). “You have to love the food as you prepare it.  When you prepare a meal, you do so through love.”  Suddenly that truism came to life for me.

A painting, like a meal, isn’t about the technique, it’s about your own hands and eyes creating something that you feel really good about.  Technique doesn’t make a good painting or a good meal.  It’s the heart that brings it to life.  That sense of heart is where your own style and sensibilities will come from. Now, I realize we have to emulate to learn, but at some point the training wheels need to come off.

By looking deeply and responding to the beauty or the information the world around you conveys will inspire you to create art that is true to you and will engage others.  That is what is difficult to learn, not the techniques.  Okay, grab a crab meat croissant and get to the canvas. That painter within is hungry!

A.S. Pirozzoli