Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alice Schille

Horse Race, Siena, 1901-10. Watercolor, 9 x 11". Courtesy Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, Tennessee.
Trafalgar Square, London (night), 1909-10. Pastel and watercolor, 12 x 9". Private collection
Nice, 1909-10. Pastel and Watercolor. 10 x 7". Private collection
Alice Schille (1869-1955) was born in Columbus Ohio, and studied in New York and Paris and was influenced by progressive art movements. She was a world traveller, painting throughout the US, Europe, North Africa and Latin America. Her medium of choice was watercolor but she also worked in oils. Her subject matter included still lifes, landscapes, gardens, mothers and children, market and harbor scenes. Her paintings of the working class Jewish and Italian neighborhoods on the Lower East Side are some of the most exciting watercolors ever rendered of urban life in New York.
Schille's work evolved from Tonalist naturalism, through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (including Pointillism) to include the influence of Fauvism as well as an exploration of the faceting of the Cubist methodology. Her later work also reveals the influence of Rivera and the Mexican muralists. (William H. Gerdts)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Letter O

O has been written the same way since early Semitic times, but since there were no vowels in the written language, this form signified a guttural "C" sound, from the word cayin (eye). The Greeks assigned it the "O" sound. (Rose Folsom)

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Difficult Indigo...

Around 1878, Emil Fischer* and his brother determined the structure of fuchsin, (a cherry-red dye) and were then able to develop a scientific method of synthesizing it. This procedure was used by many chemists who were trying to create new synthetic colors. The biggest challenge was to synthesize the 'king of colorants', indigo. By 1880, a German chemist, Adolf von Baeyer completed the synthesis of indigo in his lab, but couldn't find a synthesis that was cost-effective on an industrial level. After 20 years and 20 million marks spent, he succeeded. In 1904, Germany exported 9,000 tons of synthetic indigo, and 3 times as much in 1913. Whole regions were ruined - in India and the Caribbean; the English indigo trade disappeared and the shipping trade of Marseilles, wholly dependent upon it, also collapsed. (Delamare and Guineau)

*Emil Fischer - Organic chemist (1852-1919) devoted to the graphic representation of molecular structures, study of the major types of organic chemical reactions,and the study of colorants.