Adobe Kuler

And, thanks to Alice for telling me about this – Adobe has a web application called Kuler where you can create color combinations. Click here to see it. You can set what kind of relationship you want between a set of five colors – complementary, triad, etc – and then spin around a wheel to see what happens. Very cool!


Movie poster colors

Thanks to Eduardo for sending me these links – check it out!

(1) The abundance of movie posters that use blue/orange contrast. Of course, now we know from class that it’s a COMPLEMENTARY contrast, thank you Mr. Itten.  It is funny though, isn’t it, how many there are?


(2) The use of big red fonts for terrible movies.


Desaturated colors

I am not a natural fan of desaturated colors, colors that are dull and boring and recede into the background. I like bright vibrant colors that stand out. However, I think I should try to be more open-minded and at least be able to see their uses, and thus expand my repertoire. So on my ever-long list of quilting projects to try out, I have a project to try to use desaturated colors. Here are some examples of desaturated colors:

Anni Albers

Anni Albers was part of the Bauhaus school, met and married Josef Albers, came to the U.S. with him, and is probably the most well known 20th century textile artist.

Southeast Trails, Carrie Gundersdorf 2007

I cheated – aren’t those bright pops of orange and turquoise nice? But I guess they’re as nice as they are precisely because of the desaturated colors around them.

Color blindness

So the ironic thing is that a good friend of mine is completely color blind, with a condition called achromatopsia. He sees everything in shades of black, white and gray. When I told my mother, we were walking through the forest in the fall, and she gestured to the fall colors around her and seemed quite sad that someone couldn’t see the colors. Since my friend is stubborn, of course he decided to study in art in college. A color blind artist? It exists. I’m still not completely adjusted to this reality. The primary way that I describe objects or point out things is by color: Oh look at how red the sunset is, or, Isn’t it weird that the fire hydrant is blue? I still automatically do that around him, and then he likes to give me a withering deprecating look, as if to pity my memory loss. In his honor, here are some black and white images.

Amish quilts

The concept of Amish quilts sounds old fashioned, but a lot of them are very graphic and modern looking, with vivid saturated colors. Of course, that’s why I like them.

Log Cabin, Bull’s Eye Variation, Possibly made in Holmes County, Ohio

Stars, Possibly made in Independence, Iowa

Log Cabin, St. Jacobs, Ontario, the Adelle and Thomas Hersh collection

Log Cabin, Bull’s Eye Variation, Possibly made in Holmes County, Ohio

(isn’t that one great?)

Gee’s Bend

Gee’s Bend is a small rural community in Alabama where African American women have been making quilts for generations. I love their work. I like the improvisation, the use of real clothes and other household fabrics (honoring the original intent of quilting) and their use of color.

Annie Mae Young

China Pettway

Essie Bendolph Pettway

Plummer Pettway

Willie “Ma Willie” Abrams

More information about the quiltmakers and their quilts are here and here.


Mark Rothko

Talk about color. Born Marcus Rothkowitz in Russia, Jewish, immigrated to U.S. with his family when he was 10 years old. Dropped out of Yale. 1903-1970. He didn’t seem too happy. When he started these big abstract color paintings, they started out yellow, orange, bright, and then turned darker. His last work was quite dark, literally. I like that they were big canvases, that it’s just about color, and that they make you look at the edges where the colors touch.

I like the ones where there are colors that look similar next to each other, where you don’t notice that they are two different colors first and then you see the edge and notice that there is an edge.