Monday, October 24, 2016

Lines Shapes Color Light

East wing Calder  ink and watercolor 5.5x8" by Meera Rao

"Colour are light’s suffering and joy."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe~

The East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC reopened recently after extensive renovations and I had a great visit. This sketch was my second attempt to capture on paper the huge open room. The trademark glass ceiling by I M  Pei was the challenge I had to face! I had to slow down, first figure out the overall shape and then draw it section by section.  Photographing the ceiling and studying it every time I got confused helped me finish the sketch.  I think I spent so much time figuring out the ceiling that I lost steam for the rest of the sketch ! But I am pleased that I stuck to it :) 

The Color in a New Light exhibit at Natural History Museum in Washington DC

Name a topic that links science, history, art, and culture. How about color? - a small exhibit on Color in A New Light at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum covers this : Two Glass cases in the lobby were crammed with goodies: an anthracite coal, samples of  dyed silk, dyed ostrich feathers from long ago, Sir Isaac Newton's book Opticks, or, A treatise of the reflections, refractions, inflections and colours of light...London, 1704, Albert Henry Munsell's Atlas of the Munsell Color System [Malden, Mass.: Wadsworth, Howland & Co., Inc., Printers, ca. 1915] Gift of Binney & Smith, Inc., makers of Crayola Crayons and a lot more from the Smithsonian Library.

 "Journeying through the collections of the Smithsonian Libraries — from chemistry to catalogs, from colorblind tests to couture — we might see color in a new light." reads the explanation.  I spent an hour looking and reading the explanations. There is a great digital tour of the exhibit on their website to see up close things in those cases and read about them.  It is truly fascinating! 

From the book: Spectrum Analysis :Six lectures  By Henry E. Roscoe

Explanation of the spectrum from the book  Spectrum Analysis by Roscoe

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