Pandemic Pondering #197

As September slips gently into October it seems the pandemic has erased Halloween from many of the places it would normally be a quite obvious marketing season. ( Quite honestly I couldn’t be happier I have always hated it’s trashy threatening undertones) Mexican Day of the Dead is a whole different matter, a positive festival around the same topic.

The lack of Halloween has liberated me from disliking the colour orange at this time of year. 2020 the year of loving orange in October. Today started well with a spot of bright rust.

Followed by a gorgeous autumnal crema on my morning coffee

October is the time of the gourd and this year, so far, they are not being pushed out of the limelight by obese bloated pumkins.

Thank goodness there were some yellow squashes in this picture . It gives me the chance to lead into this zingy yellow Citroen.

With the absence of Halloween, Christmas has come a little early, so I managed to grab a little autumn colour enhanced by fairy lights, what’s not to love.

Without being overly contrived let’s hope that October goes swimmingly.

Pandemic Pondering #76

Living in Lockdown and the accidental rise of Orange. Yesterday, Pandemic Pondering #75 was about serendipitous gifts. It was not my best blog as it had two threads which I failed to entwine as well as I might have done. One of the serendipitous gifts, of yesterday was a retro, wind-up alarm clock.

In a gorgeous wake- up orange. It feels lovely to have a ticking clock in the house again. Something I hadn’t realised I’d missed until it was back.
As an Artist I’ve always loved orange , but in general non-arty life I am a little more cautious. I only have one piece of orange clothing. A bold, linen shirt from a market in Hong Kong. It doesn’t get a lot of wear as it feels a little shouty in the habitual grey weather of Cornwall but when the sun is out so is the shirt.

Early on in the pandemic lockdown I felt the urge to wear it. This was in April , not a month that usually sees this shirt out and about. Pre pandemic along with the shirt there were little pops of orange in our lives. This beautiful mug and the handbag hanging on the Newel post are by my elbow as I write.

Here is a snippet of orange in my art.

The arrival of the orange alarm clock made me consider my new fascination with the colour.During Lockdown the percentage of orange images in my archive has gone up 75% since the same time period last year. Fortunately I have two excellent colour theory books to read during the day before I finish this blog and maybe I can share some of my freshly harvested wisdom.

I wonder if subliminally orange is and has always been a secret pleasure. I have a favourite piece of Poole Pottery that I inherited from my parents. It has a prominent position in the same room as the newly acquired alarm clock.

With my newly attuned orange eye it completely fits the brief of a secret pleasure.

Edith Anderson Feisner in her book Colour, says” Orange is present in nature, in the setting sun, autumn leaves, fruit and flowers. It stands out well and creates a sense of warmth” From the same source Orange is a positive colour , it suggests warmth, fruitfulness, brightness,cheerfulness and spice. The only negatives are brashness and danger.
What came first the Orange or the colour?

Kassia St Clair,in her book The Secret Lives of Colour, is emphatic.Definitely the fruit,the fruit probably first cultivated in China but then quickly spread around the world attracting the name nãrang, nãranj,nãranga,nãranja,oranje and orange.

As a colour descriptive it only emerged in 1502 replacing the more cumbersome yellow-red. Kandinsky, a fellow synesthete, describes orange as a red brought closer to humanity by yellow.

A fellow blogger has told me that in Cornish the word Orange does not exist and it is still known as rudh- velyn , red-yellow. Thanks to Sandra , who writes a blog that I like to wallow in.

None of this is particularly helpful in explaining why I’m attracted to orange in the middle of a pandemic. The internet is not helpful, it seems far more interested in the increased worldwide consumption of Orange juice. Perhaps I should be drinking it rather than looking at it.Time to share my little obsession.

A flat-lay in the garden. Flat lays are beloved by Instagram, I’m not very experienced in doing these and they can seem contrived and dull, lacking in creative individuality but done well they can be spectacular.

Here is a little rust heart from the Love Tree. Pandemic Pondering #73

A Marigold from the garden.

The Orange Box Pandemic Pondering #38 and #23

The peony in a vase on the fireplace.

Our collection of early penguins.

A honey spoon on the coffee table. Pandemic Pondering #18

Oranges at Tate Modern. Pre Pandemic but only just. Contemporary art that we could eat.

Orange, I’m still not sure why.

Pandemic Ponderings #23

Beware the simple task!Painting the decking is a simple task, it usually takes me a day of moving stuff, cleaning, painting and moving stuff back. In normal times getting supplies is a simple matter of going to the local industrial estate to click and collect.We were fooled by two half full cans of our favourite decking paint in the shed. Two of them should have rung alarm bells but it didn’t. Given the luxury of time the deck painting this year has the added glamour of a borrowed power washer, a scrub with soap and some gentle moisturising.With two of us painting this was going to be simple. We would each start at opposite ends and meet in the middle.All went well, the sunshine was fabulous and we made good progress. The paint looked a little different from what we were painting over but we were confident of drying resolving any concerns. Drying did not present us with a gorgeous dark charcoal. More like the charcoal of a barbeque, multicoloured from white to black.The decking paint possibly from two different summers had not overwintered well. On reflection our decking takes a tin and a bit to give good coverage. We had used the partial left over tins left from two previous seasons. Loads of time made us hugely tolerant. We would just consider this an undercoat.In Britain DIY businesses are running click and collect services during the lock down so buying a new supply of our regular Decking Paint shouldn’t have been a problem. Well that was a rabbit hole I hadn’t expected to disappear down for quite so long.Locating the paint was easy enough on many sites but having it in my basket and purchasing it any time before Christmas proved to be impossible. It seemed a multi grey deck would be the look for us this year. To say nothing of the stern warnings about my frivolous purchase being way down on anyone’s delivery schedule. In the face of such opposition I gave up.Our town has one of those huge, cheap outlet stores for food and many other random things you didn’t know you needed. We were in there for some essentials when Charcoal decking paint from an unknown brand grabbed our attention.So cheap we couldn’t not buy it. Two tins so we could use the same technique of both painting at the same time. Not all Charcoals are the same, this one was quite a vivid, lively grey. Not our thing at all but needs must and we finished the job, same technique. When we met in the middle we matched. Then the internet got involved. What you need with grey decking apparently is a ‘ pop’ of vivid orange. Asking an artist for vivid opens up a world of tangerine/orange/ yellow/red or in our case some old theatre prop paint in fluorescent orange. Swifter than you can say Seedless Jaffa an old fruit box that we use as a garden coffee table was turned into a fluorescing creation of truly orange vibrancy.In a heartbeat the decking was restocked with chairs for five people , the vibrating orange table and various planters. Not only that but the cheap out of town store had forced us to buy solar panel Christmas lights, so at night we twinkle,and like something from science fiction the fruit box glows.The simple job took 4 days …