Saturday, February 23, 2013

The "Star" Series
Fine-Art Prints On Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This blogspot is not only devoted to ArtCloth and all things fabric (e.g. wearables) but also to limited edition prints on paper and artists' printmakers books. I have listed below for your convenience my contribution to this artistic genre.

Made to Order
Unique State (Partners in Print)
Wangi's Djiran:"Unique State" Prints
Veiled Curtains
A Letter to a Friend
Beyond the Fear of Freedom
Travelling Solander Project
Cry for the Wilderness
Federation on Hold - Call Waiting
Wish You Were Where?
The Four Seasons

Unlike Western languages, Chinese does not have an alphabet per se. Each character represents a whole concept. The shapes of these characters evolved over time, with the early forms being drawings of objects, animals or nature.

Like Chinese characters, Western symbols are concepts presented in a most condensed form. Iconography is the study of unpacking these symbols that are pictures of objects. The four “Star” fine art prints are an attempt to unpack the way in which we use the "Star" symbol to define concepts in our Western Society; that is, to translate pictorially the "agreed" definition of the ideograms.

The "Star" symbol had its beginnings within the infant days of human civilization, where birth, death, harvest, drought, rain and thunder, and other phenomena, required inscribed shapes that had the properties of mysticism and magic. It was important that only a few (e.g. priest, witch-doctor, Sharman etc.) could translate these shapes into meanings, thereby giving them power over their followers.

In the heavens lay the stars - far beyond the reach of the people. These objects were considered special, exclusive and yet because of their geographic location, transcending human existence.

It is not surprising that 53 national flags contain the star symbol. It is not only used in a geographic sense (e.g. the Southern Cross is in national flags of Australia, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Western Samoa) but it is also used to represent a society (e.g. the 50 stars in the "Stars & Stripes" represent a single star per State of the USA prior to the acquisition of Hawaii and Alaska).

The military aspect of the star symbol is defined if a five-pointed star is used since in Western ideography the five-pointed star appears on some of the crusader knight's coats of arms.

The Stars of the Judea-Christian Religions

Technique: Silkscreened employing oil based inks and foil on stonehenge.
Size: 56 cm wide x 76 cm high.
Limited edition prints on paper.

It is not surprising that when looking up into the night sky, with the twinkling of the stars, many felt and saw the creator. Hence, stars became symbols of religions.

Most monotheistic religions use the star symbol sparingly. The three main connected religions (connected by the belief system espoused in the old Testament) are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three connected religions use a pointed star symbol to represent their religion but that point to a different witness (e.g. The Star of David, The Star of Bethlehem and Star and Crescent).

The Christian religion accepted the idea that the Jews were chosen by the "One" God to witness God's rule over humanity. However, the Jews only accepted the possibility that Jesus may have been a historical figure. The birth of the Star of Bethlehem from the body of the Star of David symbolizes the divide between these two religions - a divide, which has generated so much history.

In this print I have tried to depict the birth of one religion (Christianity) arising from the bedrock of another religion (Judaism). The ascent of the Star of Bethlehem from the Star of David also represents the resurrection of Christ in a Jewish society. The width of the Star of Bethlehem is much shorter than its length generating a subliminal cross.

It is clear that these two stars are juxtaposed rather than complementing one another. The juxtaposition represents millenniums of conflict between these two similar rooted religions.

Fame and Fortune - A Star Quality

Technique: Silkscreened employing oil based inks on stonehenge.
Size: 56 cm wide x 76 cm high.
Limited edition prints on paper.

Exclusivity is important within any society. Andy Warhol's comment that - "Every person should have fifteen minutes of fame" - typifies the inner cravings of many people in the West. Wealth is also exclusive, since it is a relative measure; that is, you are only wealthy if there are people, who are poor. If a shooting star is seen, one can make a wish and so change one's fortune.

Stars are discrete heavenly entities that are untouchable and so there is an inner desire to reach out to them. Therefore, it is not surprising that the star icon is used to depict both fame and fortune.

This print has been designed with a minimalist number of icons, in order to heighten the viewer's awareness of "exclusivity". The star icons are appropriated from Hollywood’s “Boulevard Walk of Fame”. There are fifteen in total: three with Marilyn Monroe's image and a dozen without. This small number of stars indicates that while she has fame and fortune, she is not alone although the club is rather exclusive. The use of the Merecedes Benz three pointed star reaffirms that fortune (luck and wealth) is also desired.

The choice of Marilyn Monroe to depict "fame" is based on her public persona and the fact that she is known to five generations. Furthermore, her image and the splashes of yellow used, intends to give the viewer a flash-back to a much larger work on her and her fame that was created by Andy Warhol.

The choice of the Mercedes Benz icon represents fortune and exclusivity. The three-pointed star symbolized Daimler’s ambition of universal motorization – “on land, on water and in the air”.

Clearly only a few have fame without fortune (e.g. Mozart) and only a few have a fortune without fame (e.g. Frank Lowry - owner of the Westfield Shopping Centers). Most, whether they seek it or not, possess both, since one often generates the other (e.g. Paris Hilton).

The Scorpion - A Star Sign

Technique: Silkscreened employing oil based inks on stonehenge.
Size: 56 cm wide x 76 cm high.
Limited edition prints on paper.

Ancient human beings took their first steps in understanding the heavens when they designed a system for recognizing the stars. They grouped stars together as figures of myth. It was a means of making a confusion of twinkling lights into an ordered system.

The Zodiac is an excellent example of how these patterns of stars have become more than just figures of myth, they represent a pre-destined will, which determines the fate of us all.

The ancients learnt very quickly that the motion of the Sun affected their life and so the course of the Sun's path was mapped using the stars as a backdrop. Around 150 AD, the Alexandrian astronomer, Ptolemy collated forty-eight constellations in his book "Almagest" with the twelve zodiac constellations being part of this work. The sun completes one circuit of its path in an ellipse, which takes a year to traverse, passing through a specific Zodiac constellation each month. For example, the Sun crosses the constellation of Scorpius between October-November. Consequently, the twelve zodiac signs were amongst the first constellations to be devised. The term "Zodiac" derives from the Greek word "animal". Hence, all except Libra (which was a latter addition) depict living creatures.

Although this Scorpion was depicted in this form as late as 1490 (British Library Manuscript - Arundel 66) it does not accurately reflect the positions of the stars in the sky. Nevertheless, the outline of a Scorpion can be drawn around the stars. The bright star – Antares - marks the heart of the creature. The symbols on the left identify the twelve zodiac constellations, whilst the large symbol on the right reaffirms it is the Scorpion.

The red color used for the Scorpion depicts that people born under this star sign have special qualities; that is, they are supposed to be “sexy”. The constellations are ordered stars in a sea of chaos and so they represent our primitive connection with nature. Hence, I have stripped the "Scorpion" down to its essentials.

The stars here convey a pre-destined fate to a special group of people, those born under the sign of the Scorpion.

Texas: The Lone Star State

Technique: Silkscreened employing oil based inks on stonehenge.
Size: 56 cm wide x 76 cm high.
Limited edition prints on paper.

The flag of the United States has 50 stars, one for each of the original 50 States prior to the acquisition of Hawaii and Alaska, whereas the flag of Texas has a single star - The Lone Star. For more than 100 years, Texas was administered under the Spanish empire. It then formed part of Mexico from 1821 until the revolution and its independence in 1836. For almost 10 years, Texas was an independent State, joining the Union as the 28th State on 29th December 1845. The single star flag of Texas dates from its period of independence and has given the State its nickname of ‘The Lone Star State’.

The Lone Star has now moved beyond its own history; that is, it now bestows an uniqueness to a group of people. Texas is but one State of the USA, with five other States having a single star on their flags. Yet only Texas is - The Lone Star State - separate and distinctive from the rest, but unifying for a ‘special’ group of Americans.

Texas is a money state, abundant in oil and cattle. Its people are conservative producing such modern Presidents as L.B Johnson (1964) and both Bush’s. It prides itself on its “Cowboy” past. Texas is often symbolized as American conservatism and the “moneyed” State (both of these aspects normally being represented by the color “Blue” in the Western Culture).

In order to flesh out that the Lone Star represents more than just a government/military complex, other icons are used to demonstrate that the Star (the dominant icon) represents a particular American sub-culture.
(i) The lower section of the print has the hint of the American flag.
(ii) The background music sheet identifies the Texan style (from ZZ Top to Brooks and Dunn).
(iii) The Texas Longhorns are a unique species of cattle found in Texas and reminds us of their ‘Wild West’ culture.
(iv) The Bluebonnet in the top left hand corner identifies the State Flower of Texas.
(v) The logo of the Omni Hotel in the top right hand corner identifies a hotel chain which is unique to the Southern States and gives its location as a Confederate State of the USA.
(vi) The Mexican Freetail Bat (a beloved part of Austin’s local fauna) is also part of the quintessential Austin experience as it is home to the largest urban bat colony in the USA.
(vii) The University of Texas logo also incorporates the five-pointed Star as part of its design and locating its geographical position.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Art Quilts - Part I
Art Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Below is the link to second part of this series:
Art Quilts - Part II
Art Quilts - Part III

It has been claimed that the stitching together of padding and fabric may go back to ancient Egypt. The concept of a quilt was introduced to Europe in the 12th Century by the Crusaders, who wore quilted garments. The earliest European decorative quilt is the “Tristan” quilt made in Sicily in 1360 A.D.

Quilting in the USA had its beginning in the late 18th Century. The form of the quilt rests upon a three-layered composition: the top, batting and back is sewn together to form a single unit.

While functional, quilts were considered on reflection as works of art. Art Quilts emerged as an art form in their own right in 1960s and 70s. In particular in 1971, the Whitney Museum of America held an exhibition named - “Abstract Design In American Quilts” - which brought Art Quilts to the fore to an art audience.

Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition (The Kentucky Quilt Project) [Paperback] by Jonathan Holstein can be still purchased from Amazon.

The tome – “Art Quilts A Celebration”, Editors N. Mornu, D. Cusick and K.D. Aimone, Lark Books, New York (2005) ISBN 13: 978-1-57990-711-2, presents 400 stunning contemporary quilt designs. The overview below gives you just a glimpse of some of the great quilt designs in the book. Each quilt that was presented comes with technical information and with an artist statement (omitted below). This is a must buy!

Vignette Of Art Quilt Designs

Baby Quilt, Jane Dunnewold.
Technique: Solvent transfers on silk habotai with mattress pad, gold foil on blanket binding, burned birthday candles; machine quilted and embroidered.
Size: 91.4 x 106.7 cm.

The Angel Equation, Joan Schulze.
Technique: Silk and cotton fabrics, paper; appliqued, laminated, painted, pieced, and printed; machine quilted.
Size: 144.8 x 142.2 cm.

Changes, Hollis Chatelain.
Technique: Commercial fabrics printed in Mali, Western Africa; machine pieced, hand quilted, and then hand painted.
Size: 228.6 x 170.2 cm.

Nest III, Sue Benner.
Technique: Dye and paint on silk, mono-printed, fused; machine quilted, pieced construction.
Size: 196 x 157 cm.

Smoke Veil, Wendy Lugg.
Technique: Commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabrics; machine pieced, discharged, slashed, and hand quilted.
Size: 106.7 x 134.6 cm.

Prism Quilt, Tim Harding.
Technique: Manipulated layers of silk with reverse applique process cut through quilted layers to reveal others behind the surface (including sheer silk organza sub layer); front and back hung between spacer bars to allow an open air layer and sheer sub layers to be randomly visible throughout.
Size: 152.4 x 180.3 cm.

Short Poppies Are Valuable Too, Alison Muir.
Technique: Hand-dyed and commercial silk, lame and blended fabrics; direct applique with fusing and stitches, machine quilted.
Size: 99.1 x 137.2 cm.

Life Force, Judy Hooworth.
Technique: Torn fabrics, stitched in layers to canvas; machine stitched and machine quilted.
Size: 144.8 x 137.2 cm.

Icarus, Jan Myers-Newbury.
Technique: Cotton muslin fabric hand dyed using arashi shibori technique; machined pieced and machine quilted.
Size: 139.7 x 165.1 cm.

Construction #33, Nancy Crow.
Technique: Hand-dyed cotton fabric; machine pieced and hand quilted.
Size: 165.1 x 152.4 cm.

Lunar No. 2, Bob Adams.
Technique: 100 percent cotton dye painted; pieced and rough-edged appliqued, machine stitched.
Size: 81 x 91 cm.

Crossing, Patricia Malarcher.
Technique: Linen fabric and primed canvas embellished with polyester film, paint, gold leaf, applique and screen printing; machine and hand stitched.
Size: 76 x 135 cm.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nuno Felted Scarves@Felted Pleasure
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Traditionally felt was made from carded woollen or hair fibers without using any construction techniques such as spinning or weaving or sewing etc. The function of carders is to remove tangles and dirt from fleece or hair fibers. After carding, the fleece or hair fibers are in an organized state, and all wool or hair fibers lie in a parallel position. Spinners often use hand carders, although drum carders does the same work as hand carders, but on a much larger scale.

Uncarded Merino Fleece.

Carded Merino Fleece.

Woollen fibers from specific breeds of sheep are generally used, although it is possible to felt hair from other animals such as camel, alpaca, goat and yak. In the case of sheep, the ideal fleece for felt making possesses a short staple (that is fiber length) and a high count. The higher the count the easier it is to felt and so a count of 50-70s is best. Note: long staple fleeces can be cut to shorter lengths.

There is a range of fleece suitable for felting such as Cheviot, Merino and South Down to name a few (see Glossary of Terms and Fabrics for a more extensive list). They are characterized by a different count, stable length, handle and color. For example, the Merino typically has a count of 60/70s, a staple length of 5-10cm and handle that is soft and a color that can be described as off-white.

The Face of an Australian Merino Ram.

Felt is made by building up webs of fibers into sheets that have a required thickness. These sheets are then subjected to heat, moisture, pressure, and friction. The matting together of the material’s fibers creates a fabric that is characterized by the entangled condition of many of its component fibers.

The History Of Felts
Legend has it that one day St. Christopher set out on long journey and after walking for miles his feet started to hurt and so he sat down near a tree to remove his sandals. As he did he noticed fleece caught on branches and so he removed the fleece and lined his sandals in order to reduce the wear and tear on his feet. On arriving at his destination, he removed his sandals and - low and behold - the fleece had turned into felt because his walking action produced the perfect conditions for felt making namely - fleece in contact with perspiration (moisture and salt), pressure, heat and friction.

Titian’s St. Christopher Carrying Christ.

Felt making has a long tradition spanning many centuries before the birth of Christ. The oldest felt remains that have been found date back to around 500 B.C. These remains were found in the frozen tombs at Pazyryk in the Atai mountains in Siberia. The ice conditions preserved the integrity of the felt.

A portion of a large felt found in one of the tombs of Pazyryk in the Altai mountains of southern Siberia. Many of the Pazyryk textiles have been carbon-dated to 500 B.C. Repeated across its width is this motif of what Paine describes as a seated goddess figure holding a sacred branch. She is believed to be Tabiti, deity of the hearth and, therefore, of fire and fertility, who was worshipped in the Altai region in pre-Scythian times, meaning before 700 B.C. A male rider approached her on a horse, possibly a worshipper. Another source describes the appearance of this rider as Persian (Source: C. Brown, Tree of Life).

The nomadic tribes herded sheep for food (meat, milk and cheese) as well as to create felt for clothing, felted artworks for story telling and felt for housing - such as for their tent construction. The advantage of making tents from felts is many fold: the source – fleece – is readily available; the matted fabric is protective against many harsh weather conditions; it acts as an insulator; it is less flammable than most available housing materials, enabling naked flame cooking to occur within the tent; it is lightweight in comparison to other housing material and so can be easily transported.

Also known as yurts, gers are nomadic tents typically made of white felt (heavy canvas) covering a wooden lattice frame.

Felting Wool Fibers And Nuno Felting
A magnification of a wool fiber reveals that the fiber or staple is constructed by a series of overlapping scales that possess a serrated edge. The scales overlap and provide a staple with a pointed tip.

Scanning electron micrographs of fibers from an old wool fabric gabardine, ca. 1916.

How direction specific the scales of the fibers are is a function of the quality of the yarn. For example, soft fine wools are covered in scales and when such fibers are subject to heat, moisture, friction, and pressure, the fibers become swollen and soften and so will move against each other in the direction of least resistance. Adjacent scaly surfaces cannot move against each other if the scales are opposed and if they are forced to, then the scales will lock.

A protein – keratin - is present in wool and the molecular structure of this protein gives wool the property of elasticity or creep. The keratin protein has a spiral structure and so depending on the age of the sheep and type of fleece, this spiral structure will vary in terms of its resilience, thereby affecting the creep.

If the wool fiber is subjected to heat, pressure, friction and moisture the scales on the staple open up and the creep makes them tangle. The more the fibers are exposed to these four conditions the greater the fibers will mat, producing a tougher denser material. As the fibers begin to dry, the creep shrinks back and the serrated edges catch onto other fibers producing a mesh of fibers that constitutes the felt.

In 1992 Polly Stirling - a fiber artist from NSW, Australia – developed nuno (Japanese for cloth) felting. The technique bonds loose fiber, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze, thereby creating a lightweight felt that can either completely cover the background fabric or may be used as a decorative design and so permit the backing cloth to be revealed. It often incorporates several combined layers of loose fibers in order to build up color, texture, and/or design elements in the finished cloth.

Polly Stirling’s Nuno Felted Dress - Butterfly.

The nuno felting process is in particular suited for the creation of lightweight fabrics used to make wearable art such as scarves and skirts etc. The use of silk or other stable fabric in the felt creates a fabric that is resilient and with the incorporation of other background felting fabrics - such as nylon, muslin or other open weaves fabrics - can result in a wide range of textural effects and colors.

There are excellent general reference text on felting - such as Sue Freeman, Felt and Craft [1] – a text that guides you through a number of felting projects [1]. There are more specific texts on nuno felting such as Nancy Schwab’s "Nuno Felting Mini Projects". There are also many excellent websites describing felt making techniques. One of the most effective is a beginner’s tutorial posted by Annie Lyn Rosiepink.

Nuno Felted Scarves@Felted Pleasure
Felted Pleasure is a company that creates wonderful nuno felted scarves that is wearable art at its highest level. The felted artworks are the work of Marina Shkolnik, who lives in Moscow (Russia) and owns Felted Pleasure. She is a self-taught fiber artist, who spends most of her time felting or thinking about new felting projects. Of course her favorite felting technique is nuno felting, since as she explains: “… it offers such potential in producing a variety and richness of texture”.

For ethical purposes we need to state the following:
Disclaimer: Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Art Quill Studio, and Art Quill & Co have no financial interest in "Felted Pleasure". The company - Felted Pleasure - and its owner Marina Shkolnik is not known to the author, Art Quill Studio and Art Quill & Co Pty Ltd in terms of any business relationship at the time of writing this post.

Whew - now that that is over and done with - let us just enjoy her wonderful wearable art that shines through these great pieces of hers.

Material: Super fine Australian merino wool, tencel.
Color: Multicolored fabrics.
Approximate Dimension: 166cm (length) x 39cm (width)
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

Material: Extra fine and soft Australian merino wool, mulberry silk, silk chiffon fabric, silk gauze fabric, cotton gauze fabric, silk yarn.
Color: Earthy-multicolored fabrics.
Approximate Dimension: 200cm (length) x 45cm (width).
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

Material: Superfine Australian merino wool, mulberry silk, cotton gauze fabric, silk yarn, silk gauze fabric, muga silk, eri silk.
Color: Earthy-multicolored fabrics.
Approximate Dimensions: 180cm (length) x 33cm (width).
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

Material: Super fine Australian merino wool, muga silk.
Colour: Earthy-multicolored fabric.
Approximate Dimension: 200cm (length) x 46cm (width).
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

Material: Superfine Australian merino wool, hand dyed silk gauze fabric.
Color: multicolor fabrics - shades of brown, green, blue.
Approximate Dimension: 184cm (length) x 33 сm (width).
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

Material: Superfine Australian merino wool, mulberry silk, cotton gauze fabric, silk yarn, silk gauze fabric, silk chiffon fabric.
Color: Earthy-multicolored fabrics.
Approximate Dimension: 180cm (length) x 26 сm (width).
Courtesy: Felted Pleasure.

[1] S. Freeman, Felt Craft, Greenhouse Publications, Elwood (1988).

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Modern Color Classification System
The Pantone Matching System
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wsiniowski

This is the twelfth post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics
Knit-Pile Fabrics
Flocked Pile Fabrics and Other Pile Construction Processes
Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms
Napped Fabrics – Part I
Napped Fabrics – Part II
Double Cloth
Multicomponent Fabrics
Knit-Sew or Stitch Through Fabrics
Finishes - Overview

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, the Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns, Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements and the Glossary of Paper, Photography, Printing, Prints and Publication Terms have been updated in order to better inform your art practice.

If you find any post on this blog site useful, you can save it or copy and paste it into your own "Word" document etc. for your future reference. For example, Safari allows you to save a post (e.g. click on "File", click on "Print" and release, click on "PDF" and then click on "Save As" and release - and a PDF should appear where you have stored it). Safari also allows you to mail a post to a friend (click on "File", and then point cursor to "Mail Contents On This Page" and release). Either way, this or other posts on this site may be a useful Art Resource for you.

The Art Resource series will be the first post in each calendar month. Remember - these Art Resource posts span information that will be useful for a home hobbyist to that required by a final year University Fine-Art student and so undoubtedly, some parts of any Art Resource post may appear far too technical for your needs (skip over those mind boggling parts) and in other parts, it may be too simplistic with respect to your level of knowledge (ditto the skip). The trade-off between these two extremes will mean that Art Resource posts will hopefully be useful in parts to most, but unfortunately may not be satisfying to all!

It is clear that classifying colors with historical names is fraught with confusion and moreover, is extremely limited in scope. For example, the definition of Berlin Blue is given in the Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins as:

Berlin Blue (pigment) (CI - 21F7): Prussian blue; term used especially in France. Made from inorganic pigment - ferric ferrocyanide. It was discovered in 1704 by Diesbach in Berlin and by Milori in Paris in 1704. Other names are bronze blue, Milori blue, Paris blue, steel blue. Prussian blue and Berlin blue date from 1724; Milori blue and Paris blue from about 1800.

Color of Berlin Blue. Under the Methuen Handbook of Color. Its color index is 21F7.

Today, computer platforms such as Macs and PCs can display millions of colors. Hence, the classification of color is a serious professional or vocational endeavor. Knowing which particular green to use - out of a possible forty greens that are at one’s disposal – one needs to be fluent with a color language, and that means you will need to choose a color system.

There are many color systems at one’s disposal (e.g. Munsell, Methuen and CIE). A modern color system that is widely in use is the Pantone Matching System (PMS). Lawrence Herbert, who later bought the company, introduced PMS in 1963. The motivation behind the development of PMS was to allow designers to "color match" specific colors when a design entered the production stage - regardless of the equipment used that produced the color. PMS has been widely adopted by the commercial art industry, graphic designers, reproduction and printing houses, textile and fabric companies.

Pantone recommends that “PMS Color Guides” be purchased annually, as their inks may become yellowish over time. Color variance may occur within editions if different paper stocks are employed (e.g. gloss, matte or uncoated), while inter-edition color variance may occur if there are chemical changes made to the specific paper stock (e.g. production variations in paper coatings etc.)

A solid matte formula guide from Pantone (Edition, 2005).

Pantone Color Matching System
The Pantone Color Matching System (PMS) is largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing colors, different manufacturers in different geographical locations can refer to PMS in order to ensure that their colors match one another, without needing further communications.

One such use is standardizing colors in the CMYK system, which is a four-color system (e.g. cyan, magenta, yellow, black) process. Note: Black is denoted the symbol “K” instead of “B” to avoid confusion with other colors such as “Blue”. The “K” symbol is indicative that black is a “key” color since its use is to lighten or darken colors generated by using mixtures of cyan, magenta and yellow.

CMYK four-color process used in printing.

Process colors are created using screens of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. They are used in creating four-color process images, just like the images above.

A majority of the world's printed material is produced using the CMYK process. There is a special subset of Pantone colors that can be reproduced using CMYK. Those that are possible to simulate through the CMYK process are labeled as such within the company's guides. Over 3,000 Pantone process screen colors, and their screen values can be found in the Pantone process guide.

In the example above, Pantone 185 PC is printed as a solid by using Pantone 185 red ink. Specific percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used to create this color; that is, 0% screen of process cyan, 92% screen of process magenta, 76% screen of process yellow and 0% screen of process black - simulates Pantone 185 PC (red).

Most of the Pantone system's one thousand one hundred and fourteen (1,114) spot colors cannot be simulated with CMYK, but with 13 base pigments (15 including white and black) mixed in specified amounts. The Pantone system also allows for many special colors to be produced, such as metallics and fluorescents.

Spot Colors are created using a print of a Pantone solid color - such as the image given above of Pantone 185C (red). Note: Pantone gives the Red, Blue and Green (RBG) screens in order to reproduce it on a computer screen. Pantone also gives the HTML hexadecimal number of the color in order for graphic designers to reproduce it using HTML code (see below) in the construction of websites etc.

If we compare how the same color looks as a spot color versus a process build color, the image below has Pantone 185 red solid on the left, and the CMYK build (92% screen of process Magenta, and 76% screen of process Yellow) on the right.

"Spot" color (left) versus "Build" color (right).

The colors do not match exactly, which is why Pantone have developed its color bridge. The Pantone color bridge has all the Pantone solid colors, side by side, with the CMYK color build on the right, so you know exactly how Pantone solid colors will look when reproduced in CMYK. They also give screen-based colors such as RGB (red, green and blue) and HTML (hyper text markup language) hexadecimal codes for web design.

RGB system. This system generates the colors on your computer screen.

Pantone colors are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, "PMS 130"). PMS colors are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation (to describe the colors of flags). In January 2003, the Scottish Parliament debated a petition to refer to the blue in the Scottish flag (saltire) as "Pantone 300". Countries such as Canada and South Korea and organizations such as the FIA have also chosen to refer to specific Pantone colors when producing flags. U.S.A. states - including Texas - have set legislated PMS colors of their flags.

The Lone Star (of Texas) Flag. Adopted on 25th January 1839. One third of the hoist is blue containing a single centered white star. The remaining field is divided horizontally into a white and a red bar. The flag was designed by C.B. Stewart. The table below rigorously specifies the color fields of the flag when using differing media.

RGB Values
Dark Red
193 C
Navy Blue
281 C