Friday, February 10, 2012

Color in My World

Right now as I look out my window it is gray, cloudy, and dreary.  Except that when I look to the left, there are 10 male cardinals sitting in a wonderful array of red against the gray, dreary world.  I am so amazed when I look at a cardinal up close and personal.  There are so many shades of color in their feathers and the orange in their beaks.  With all that, there is the black accents and gray little feet.  Actually the females beaks look more orange because of the contrast with their feathers.

Why am I going on and on about colors in feathers?  Well, I found a new tool that Sherwin Williams sent me in an email yesterday.  It is called Chip It.  I have it on my Favorites on my Tool Bar.  I can take any photo that I can find and use it to create "chips" of color from that  photo.  There are other sites that do the same.  There is also a site that the woman herself pulls paint colors from photos and they are not computer generated.

Okay-first of all- I remember all too well how interesting it was in my art classes to learn about how color works, etc.  Some of my instructors would tell us to look at various museum pieces and study how the artist used color to create the composition.  We often were required to sit in museums or galleries and try to draw a similar composition.  We were never warned that there are laws to prevent one from "copying" someone's work.  We never did feel like we were actually duplicating someone's work-just studying methods and skills of the artists.  I will never forget the "lessons" I learned at the Art Institute in Chicago.  They had just opened their Impressionistic wing, and I was in AWE of the works displayed.  I was able to get close enough to think that the artist had to nuts to use that technique or those colors or whatever.  But from across the room it was magnificent.

Now I know that some people think that my taking any photo that I find on the Internet and chipping it is breaking some copyright law.  But I am not trying to duplicate the photo or picture.  I just want something to help me extrapolate the colors from the chosen picture.  Then I will try my best effort to translate those computerized chips to real-life yarn colors.  I want to use it as a tool to "see" colors instead of the entire composition.

I am right now knitting a Fair Isle vest.  I originally was inspired by a photo of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  The friend that commissioned me to knit this goes there every year and I felt that was an appropriate choice of inspiration.  I showed him my choice of colors in yarns, and he wasn't really excited about the darker blue color.  My color palette was going to be darker blue and ivory.  So I waffled back and forth, knit a swatch to get my thread count, etc.  Then I made a brave move to do what I am doing now.  It is darker brown, oatmeal, and a lighter brown as the primary colors.  I haven't been comfortable with this choice since my original idea was blue.  But the other day I looked at the knitting from across the room, and it was RIGHT!  I had made the right choice. 

But I had struggled and struggled and tossed and turned to get those colors from the photo.  Now that I have the chip it program and other programs, I am hoping that it will be easier in the future to pull colors.  Our brains do funny things when we look at pictures or photos.  I am hoping to use this as a tool to help "see" color.

So right now I am happy to just look outside and see my red dots on the branches.  Have you ever looked at the colors in a finch.  They don't turn bright gold until after winter season.  So it is a brassy yellowish green.  The purple finches have wonderful stripes on their vests. 

So while we languish in this dreadful time of the year when we have to put up with clouds, drizzle, maybe snow, gray, look for the color surrounding us.

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