Right Brain, Right Brain.

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One day when my eldest daughter was 4 years old she came to me and said, quite frankly, “Mummy, I have an art brain, there’s just no room in my brain for anything else except art.”

Being an art brain myself I was naturally thrilled with this idea. When you have an art brain you not only see the world in visuals, you hear it, smell it, taste it and feel it in visuals too. We picture EVERYTHING. As delightful as this is, it can also be a little challenging. When my daughter started to learn to read and write she would literally copy the font script that her words on the paper were printed in, be it arial, helvetica, futura, you name it. It was a struggle to try explain to my little person the differences between fonts and why they were all right but essentially all look different. It was very confusing to her.

At such a young age she knows exactly who she is and where her strengths lie – from dress design to painting, from building 3D models to writing songs. As an adult, I’m still figuring this out. I find myself now trying to keep her out of the boxes that life and society wants to put her in. In school, art becomes a subject along with science, maths, english etc, but for her art is her entire way of thinking. It’s how she sees everything. I find myself using art to teach her maths, I use art to explain science, I use art to help her remember those tricky english words with funny illogical spellings.

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Pablo Picasso put it perfectly. “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up.”

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Using the example of the Mercedes ad by Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv, Israel, the text for the right brain reads: “I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”

I remember when I was younger, I would paint everything, the taps outside, the birdbath, my big white cupboard doors did not stay white for very long. I’m thankful for understanding parents who gave me the space I needed to be colourful and free. I hung coloured bottles from my trees in my garden, yes my parents had one of ‘those’ hippie houses at the hands of their daughter. I can only chuckle when I see the same characteristics reflected in my child. And I look up at my grandmother who was and still is a painter. She has painted all her life and still has her easel next to her bed in her room as she chases 90.

I am very proud of my art brain kid, she has already taught me so much more about parenting than any best selling book or Google could ever do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-left brain at all, after all I married one, I am just so deeply in love with my right brain, it’s everything I ever wanted to be.

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If you have an art brain child we’d love to hear from you. Please share your child’s most recent creation in the comments below so we can celebrate them with you!

Cheers,

la

Yellow

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I hate the colour Yellow. I never really realised why until recently. My mom had painted my bedroom a lemon yellow when I moved out of home, and it was in this bedroom that I slept when I went home to bury her. Waking up in that happy lemon yellow room when happiness seemed so far away. I asked Katie what colour she thought we should start our colour sessions with and she cheerfully suggested yellow. I am generally a fan of all colours so I’m hoping that this post will help me mend my relationship with this sunshine hue.

So here it goes, yellow is a primary colour. It sits between orange and green on the colour wheel and it is the complimentary colour to violet.

When I read that yellow is the most visible colour on the colour wheel, I actually didn’t believe it at first, because I mean, have you seen how loud red is?

But when looking into it further, it’s true. Yellow is the first colour that can be seen by the human eye from a distance. And that’s why we have yellow traffic cones, yellow school buses, yellow caution vests in times of emergencies. And yes, yellow is indeed the colour of caution!

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Psychologically it is a colour of gentleness, calm and happiness, but it is also a colour of duplicity, jealousy, deceit, contradiction and cowardice.

In some parts of the world, like Iran and China, it is said to be the colour of wisdom, harmony and courage.

Thanks to webexhibits.org we know that:

  • “The oldest yellow pigment is yellow ochre, which was amongst the first pigments used by humans.

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  • Egyptians and the ancient world made wide use of the mineral orpiment for a more brilliant yellow than yellow ochre.
  • In the Middle Ages, Europeans manufactured lead tin yellow. They later imported Indian yellow and rediscovered the method for the production of Naples yellow, which was used by the Egyptians.
  • Modern chemistry led to the creation of many other yellows, including chrome yellow, cadmium yellow, lemon yellow, and cobalt yellow.
  • Yellow is light with a wavelength of 570–580 nm, as is light with a suitable mixture of somewhat longer and shorter wavelengths”

Extra points to ponder:

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  • The yellow on a color television or computer screen is created in a completely different way; by combining green and red light at the right level of intensity.
  • Indian yellow is a transparent, fluorescent pigment used in oil paintings and watercolors. Originally magnesium euxanthate, it was claimed to have been produced from the urine of Indian cows fed only on mango leaves. It has now been replaced by synthetic Indian yellow hue.

So putting the facts about yellow aside, I have spent this last week looking for yellow in my environment. I saw beautiful yellow desert flowers, bringing gentleness and colour to an otherwise arid earth. I saw my son playing with his little yellow truck in his little yellow shorts. I saw my 4yr old daughter colouring in with a freshly sharpened yellow pencil and I saw the sun gently setting to shades of burnt yellows.

So at the end of this week I say well played yellow.  You have opened my heart to your gracefulness and shown me joy. The colour that now comes to mind when I think of my 3 beautiful children.

Well played.

la

Ghadah Alkandari

They say the best revenge to any break up is success. If that is the case then Ghadah Alkandari has won this round. This Kuwaiti artist and blogger has shone both locally and internationally and most recently at the Contemporary Art Platform in Kuwait.

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She found herself in an isolating, lonely place after the loss of a long term relationship and started making these simply gorgeous, perfectly put together paper Polyhedra. One after the other they kept coming. In brilliant combinations of striking colours and patterns, each one took 1 hour to fold and construct. I walked into the first room at the CAP and I was greeted by the first installation called ‘Until Love’. The title represents her personal journey of recovering from hurt and searching for new love. She vowed to make these complex polyhedra until love came around again. It is amazing to think of  the thoughts and emotions must have gone into each of them over a two year span and here they lay in front of me on the floor, perfect, fragile and unapologetic.

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Her art work progressed effortlessly as I walked into the second gallery. Moving from these complex structures of individualism, suppression, and isolation, to her collection of paint on canvas, titled ‘Until.’

Ghadah takes us on an emotional journey alright. From the jagged, hard lines of raw emotion to more flowing lines in her acrylic on canvas works. These, second phase works, if you will, feel more calm, open and gentle. They speak of friendships and new relationships formed – of empowerment, support, company, and in the end fulfillment.

I adore this artist, besides being a brilliantly talented visual communicator, she has an amazing relationship with colour and she is able to inspire her audience while telling her very human story.

Her exhibition will  be running until February 22 so head on over. You don’t want to miss this. The Contemporary Art Platform can be found on the mezzanine floor of the Lifestyle Centre in Shuwaikh Industrial area, Block 2, str 28.

Pop on over to her blog ‘Prettygreenbullet’ to get inspired as well.

Cheers!

la

Inspiration from the streets

Lindy-Ann and I find that when we are feeling uninspired we need to look at other art forms for a fresh perspective. If you have been following me on Instagram (@dgdesignsnphotography) you may have noticed lately that I am really inspired by the urban art scene here in Tel Aviv, Israel.

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What is urban art?

Urban art is a term that refers to the various art forms found in or about a city. Including graffiti, architecture, sculptures, street photography, and the application of yarn or Perler beads to buildings.

To be honest, I have missed out on appreciating urban art for a long time. Even though I worked as an interior designer at a firm just south of Dupont Circle in Washington D.C., I just hurried past on my way to the Metro. It wasn’t until someone asked me what my favorite thing about Kuwait was and I tried to think of something other than my amazing friends, that I realized it was the urban art that spoke to me.

Driving is worst thing about Kuwait, seriously Israelis do not compare. However, it was sitting in traffic at the longest streetlight rotations of my life (10 minutes long!) when I started to look around and  noticed that the bridges were painted with themes of the Gulf. I pointed them out to my Liz, who had been driving the same roads 2 years longer than me, and she was amazed she had never noticed them.

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As I started to look for inspiration around the city, I found that there really is art everywhere. In Kuwait there are also the swanky blue and white water towers, the geometric and iconic Kuwait Towers, and my favorites spot with painted steps and graffiti by the fabulous the Cocoa Room restaurant. (If you are in Kuwait it is a must!)

Now living here in Tel Aviv, I’m inspired on a whole other level by the gorgeous Mediterranean, landscapes, and ancient ruins melding with modern urban art. There are sculptures of people climbing walls, giant flower pots in the center of traffic circles (kicars in Hebrew), and streets of graffiti. There is literally art everywhere, it is a photographer’s dream.

We recently went on a graffiti tour of the Florentine neighborhood in Tel Aviv, with a fantastic tour guide, Guy Sharett from StreetWise Hebrew. He educated us on a few artists, shared about the gentrification plans for the neighborhood, and helped us slow down and see hidden gems around us. Guy also noted that there is a clear distinction between a street artist and a kid with a can of spray paint, there are unwritten rules of respect among the artists and a vandal doesn’t abide by them. Unfortunately, this along with some of the edgy content lends to the negative stigma of graffiti as an art form. I walked away thinking about how these artists are sharing in creation of the city’s culture and that their art is out there, however temporary it may be, for people to appreciate or if nothing else, start a conversation.

If you are feeling uninspired or negative about your current city, I challenge you to take a closer look and notice the urban art around you. See what speaks to you, some of it won’t and that’s ok, but you may be surprised.

cheers,

kdg

Exploring Colour

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Colour is an amazing gift in life. A blessing of visual flavour.

It influences an individual’s perceptions whether they realise it or not.

Colour can be used to attract attention and identify a certain style. A person will generally make an assessment of a brand, object or space within the first 90 seconds and 90% of that will be based on the colours used. It is important however, to note that the psychology of colour can affect different people in different ways. Factors such as age, gender, and culture all play an important role.

We could write for hours upon hours about colour and it’s power and influence, so instead of writing the world’s longest blog post, for the sake you, our reader, we will breaking down the subject bringing you regular doses of related posts to inspire and enlighten you to the depth and beauty it adds to our world, sign-up to follow along.

Lets start at the very structure and core of colour theory.

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The Colour Wheel

Our starting point is the 3 primary colours; Red, Yellow, and Blue. These are referred to as primary because they cannot be made by mixing any other colour together. They are the 3 pillars of  all colour.

When you mix equal parts of Red, Blue, and Yellow together you will create Brown, which in the colour world is a neutral mix of colours.

Now when you mix 2 primary colours together in equal parts you will create a secondary colour. The make up the secondary colours are:

Red + Yellow = Orange | Blue + Yellow = Green | Red + Blue = Purple.

Now take it one step further. When you mix an equal part of a primary colour with an equal part of a secondary colour you create a tertiary colour, for example:

Blue + Green = BlueGreen &  Red + Orange = RedOrange

The Colour Wheel

Opposite colours on the colour wheel are referred to as complimentary colours. For example: red is positioned directly opposite the colour green. Green and red are complimentary colours. But why are they called Complimentary colours? Because when you mix equal parts of Red and Green (or Blue + Yellow) together you create  that neutral brown, as we mentioned above. Hence, completing the colour circle, and complimenting each other.

With this knowledge future articles on colour should make a lot more sense. We will learn how colour affects mood, styles, perspectives. We will learn where certain colours derived from and how they were discovered over time. We will teach you how to create colour pallets from ordinary moments in life and what to do with them.

There is definitely more to colour than just first appearances. They have personalities, and should to be known, understood and deeply loved! Can you tell we are passionate about colour? What is your favorite color, how does it make you feel? We would love to hear from you!

xoxo,

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