Faith Ringgold

One of the more famous art quilters – she uses silkscreening, painting, and quilting to further her storytelling.

The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles, 1991


Coming to Jones Road: Under a Blood Red Sky, 2000


Jazz Stories: Mama Can Sing, Papa Can Blow #4, Nobody will ever love you like I do, 2004



Loïs Mailou Jones

I’m researching women of color artists for Project 3 and have discovered Lois Mailou Jones. Amazing how many people one can not have heard of …


Street Vendors, Port au Prince, Haiti (1978)


Symboles d’Afrique I (1980)


Marche, Haiti (1963)


March 15 Exercise 3: After image

Look at this then look at a white piece of paper or a white wall. What do you see??

March 15 Exercise 2: 2 colors look the same

March 15 Exercise 1: Reverse Ground


Chinese five elements theory

A theory of elements, with colors associated.


The Chinese believe that we are surrounded by five energy fields: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. However, the elements are not static: they are constantly moving and changing.   (In fact, some scientists think the term “element” is misleading, and prefer to refer to the “five phases” or “five forces.”)

Once the Chinese identified the five elements, they set about categorizing all phenomena within the five categories. Everything, from a river to sounds to the organs in our bodies, can be described in terms of the five elements.  How things are characterized depends on their individual qualities.  For example, earth is associated with growth and nourishment, so the spleen, which monitors the blood – digesting debris and producing antibodies when necessary – is categorized as an earth element.

Just as an imbalance between yin and yang can produce destructive forces, keeping all elements in balance promotes harmony both in our surroundings and ourselves. Of course, balancing five elements is a little more complicated than achieving harmony between two opposing forces. According to Chinese belief, each element acts upon two others, either giving birth to it or controlling it. For example, wood gives birth to fire and controls or suppresses earth.  Similarly, fire gives birth to earth and controls metal. All the elements are constantly interacting with other elements – none stand alone.

Element Yin Yang Feelings Colors Tastes
Wood Liver Gall Bladder Rage Green Sour
Fire Heart Small Intestine Happiness Red Bitter
Earth Spleen Stomach Thought Yellow Sweet
Metal Lungs Large Intestine Sorrow White Spicy
Water Kidneys Bladder Fear Black Salty

Color blindness part 2

Today is Chicago’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. So I asked my boyfriend if he’d ever seen the river dyed green. He said he’d seen pictures of it but it looked the same to him as normal. I had one of my retrospective duh moments – because he’s colorblind, he’s not going to know whether it looks different green. I was lucky – most of the time when I have a duh moment, he gives me a look, you know, a LOOK, like I’m the most dense person in the whole entire world. Because of him, I’m starting to realize how many times I depend on color to be the main or primary descriptor, or that cultural icons or events are identified with color.

For example:

– Valentine’s Day is red

– Red light stop, green light go

– golden arches, target bulls eye, etc.

– Color coded anything – subway lines, file folders