enormous tiny art 12 - crayola and braille

Crayola - all16 :: detail
crayola 16 pack

what did i do this summer in the studio? i did this.

if you know me, you know that i'm fascinated with color. and when i taught a color theory class last fall that just intensified. i've always been curious about how we name colors. how the perception of color is a highly individualized affair [your turquoise may be different from my turquoise]. how color so effects what we like, how we feel... a while back i read victoria finlay's book on color - it added to my interest in knowing about the historical significance of pigments.

wild watermelon :: detail
wild watermeolon

then i read somewhere that since crayola crayons more kids are able to name more colors with esoteric names - not just the standard blue or light blue but cerulean and periwinkle.


when i was a kid my mom transcribed braille for awhile. she had this typewriter and she would sit and "translate" books and documents. i LOVED the braille. i thought it was cool that my mom could read the elevator plaques in braille with her eyes. it was like a secret code. i could't believe that you could make the whole alphabet and a bunch of words with a series of 6 dots. 

fern green :: detail
fern green
so i decided to try and match my embroidery threads to crayola color names [did you know there are 133 PLUS a whole bunch of "specialty" ones?]. i picked 16.  1. because i liked 16 names that matched my threads and 2. because crayolas come in standard packs right? 8, 16, 24.

then i thought i'd embroider the names in braille with french knots. it's sort of a tongue in cheek joke right? if you are blind and can't actually see the color you still get to know what it is. if you are sighted and want to name the color you don't get to know the actual name unless you can read braille. in the end everyone gets to "read" the color in their own way. 

luckily deb at nahcotta gallery thought they'd be great for the enormous tiny art show - which by the way has so much good AFFORDABLE art it makes my head hurt. [in a good way]. 

you can gander at my pieces and purchase them if you are so inclined here.  

and there's the whole set of them on flickr [and below - if you are in a reader or on a phone the slideshow might not work, but...]

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


betsy said…
I loved reading more about your process for these pieces, lj. They looked gorgeous in person. Deb displayed them beautifully and they are right at the front of the gallery when you first walk in. They looked amazing. xo
Sophia said…
Sonya Philip said…
These are so wonderful. I love how the smooth surface contrasts so sharply with the crumpled, paper-like fabric outside the embroidery hoops. And hanging threads just kill me.
Anonymous said…
Wow, what fun. As well as quite lovely.

KUDOS to you and to your Mom for having inspired you.

annamaria said…
I get so excited reading about your thoughts processes, particularly about how your personal story becomes entwined with a larger story and then you in the middle create this artwork that is something totally new.Love!
Heather said…
I just love art like this - visually pleasing and interesting, and has an idea behind it that is meaty enough to stand up to and reward an intellectual curiosity about what the artist was doing!
anika said…
I love this series! I think I first saw the images on flickr, and I was so drawn in and wanted to know more. Thanks for sharing the thought process behind it--really very interesting. I was also excited to see that it's part of ETA 12. I always enjoy seeing the art that's in those shows--kind of a dream of mine to be a part of it one day!

I have the book on the history of color that you mentioned, and it's going with me to the beach this week to be read! Color is one of my very favorite things. I think naming conventions and even naming trends for color is such a fascinating topic, not to mention how we each can perceive color so differently.
Katrina said…
hooray, you! hooray, hooray, hooray. love this project. love that this was cooking up in your studio this summer and i had no idea. congrats another great show. (and hope you are not totally sinking in the start of school.) xoxo.
Jesse Lu Bain said…
Lisa, I love your love for color. ;)
Gracia said…
"in the end everyone gets to "read" the color in their own way."

Yes! I really like this idea. And the work you made based on this idea. A tremendous deal. Woo! Hooray! from Nth. Fitzroy.

And I always like reading about your process. How you introduce the idea, and the sense of play...

g xo

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