Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday snippets

in which our plucky heroine notices a momentary halo...

Apparently the bike lanes on the nearby primary street were just repainted, which process also includes the liberal sprinkling of reflective glass spheres. As I was riding home on my bike earlier today, my shadow was cast ahead and slightly to the right, the sun not having reached full height in the sky. A curious effect of a small but bright rainbow*, was following along slightly ahead of my shadow, apparently from the excess of microspheres, and a slight, quick, turn of my head showed that the rainbow formed an pennanular curve around my cycling shadow self. It was a most curious effect. I tried stopping to see if I could capture it with my cell phone camera, but the effect seemed to be predicated on movement somehow. In difficult times any glimpse of beauty is a benison.

*edited to add, that the scientific name of the phenomenon is called "a glory", and there is, of course, an optical explanation. Thank you to my Berkeley friend Flieg for the additional info.

Back in the dawn of time, when I was a child (and the soft hot rocks made it difficult to keep the crayons from melting...) instead of giving crayola colors amusing descriptive names like "inchworm", and "jazzberry jam", the colors had simple names like "blue-violet", and "yellow-green", for example, which made it more obvious how combining colors led to more interstitial colors. This painted example of the color wheel (I made up outline coloring wheels to share with my charter painting students) is one possible useful and handy way to think about colors. I assumed everyone learned this in grade school, but not necessarily.
This is a more complex split primary color wheel; by starting with a warm and cool color of each of the three primary colors, more subtle secondary colors can be created. I realised once I started that this color wheel was a bit beyond the needs and available time for a single hour and a half introductory painting class. It was fun, however, to draw up the master for this, I got to use some of my geometry templates and triangles...

I should mention that in fact, I did teach a new workshop on Saturday - Introduction to Charter Painting. It was intended for encouraging beginners to try their hand at charter painting, which is basically "illumination made easy". Charters are xerox copies of SCA award scrolls (certificates), with the calligraphy already done, and the design in place, as outlined motifs. Hence, painting a charter is a bit like coloring in a coloring book, only with gouache paint instead of markers or crayons, and often with a bit of additional embellishment. I greatly enjoy painting charters as a form of meditative relaxation, so encouraging others to also give it a try was not a terribly difficult step. I think that the class was pretty well received, and with some editing of the handout sheet, it could also be taught as a fun short workshop for modern folks as well...

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