Lets think about color

It’s been a less strenuous day today. We visited the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the  Pyramids of Teothihuacan.

Once again, I have put up a slide show to share the beauty. (click to view)


Where does all this lead. This explosion of color we see and feel the need to capture on film?

I design quilts. I play with color, I collect fabric when a range of colors appeals to me and yet is something that is hard to explain…..how could I explain the blue of the sky, or the red of cochineal. The color of turquoise or purple, the blue of lapis.

I think the Mexicans have a secret. Color is in their soul.


As quilters we blindly accept that color is produced for us. But as I travel and work on some of my projects I’m aware that it’s not quite that simple. The Pyramids we visited today still show some of the color on the walls. It’s vivid red… How on earth did they get such a vibrant color? and can you imagine these huge structures stuccoed and dyed with cochineal, the entire surface polished to a shine with the sap of the giant cactus.
It must have looked magnificent in the sun against the bright blue of the sky. How many cochineal insect eggs were used………

I‘m currently reading a book called "Colors" by Victoria Finlay, a natural history of the palette.
It’s really made me think about color and it’s origin. I can highly recommend it.
Cochineal comes from the eggs of an insect that lives on the prickly pear. The blue in ancient times came from powdered lapis….

Color has the ability to make you feel happiness or sadness and yet it’s just a refraction of light.

In Leonardo Da Vinci’s time there were Colormen who knew the secrets of making color. Their skills  were highly prized by artists who didn’t have the skills to prepare color…. I would like to have learned their craft…..we just take it for granted……..!!!!

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