Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Artz has 50 Shades of Blue

50 shades of Blue. That is the name of the show we have going on at the Schertz Civic Center. What does blue make you feel?

Blue comes from the Germanic word blao.  The earliest blue dyes were made from woad a plant also known as Asp of Jerusalem or from indigo also a plant. 
Blue pigments were made from minerals such as lapis lazuli a semi-precious stone found in Afghanistan. In 2500 BC the Egyptians created the first synthetic blue pigment by heating to 900 degrees a combination of copper, lime, silica and alkali. 

                                             Lapis Lazuli 
In Egypt blue was sky and divinity. The Romans believed blue to be a color of mourning.  They also associated it with Barbarians such as the Celts since they painted their faces and hair blue. Byzantine art depicted Christ and Mary in deep blues.  In the 12th century blue became associated with humility, holiness and virtue. Saint Louis became the first king of France to dress in blue a color that was once only worn by peasants. 

Blue became the color of liberty and revolution; thanks in part to the War of Independence in America. By the 19th century blue became the color of government authority was used in the uniforms of the police, being considered a color that was serious and exuded authority without feeling threatening.

The Impressionists favored blue in their paintings not only for the color but to create moods, atmospheres and feelings.

Picasso used blue to create melancholy.  Kuznetsov used blue to create exotic and fantastic atmosphere. Kandinsky used blues to symbolize eternity and spirituality. Matisse once wrote, "A certain blue penetrates your soul."
The English language uses blue to describe an emotion.
To be blue in German is to be drunk.
Blue represents boys.
In China the face of the villain is painted blue in the Opera. It is the color for ghosts and death.

Blues is a music genre inspired by the music of Africa.
Bluegrass is a genre of music that comes from deep in the Appalachian Mountains inspired by old Scottish and Irish ballads.
To be true-blue is to be a loyal friend.
Someone with blueblood is a member of the Nobility. Queen Elizabeth wears a blue sash at state functions to symbolize her status.
Cold water taps are usually marked by blue.

This week the Schertz Area Artz Council shows us 50 Shades of Blue.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Artz Augustus

August is named for Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus. He was the adopted son, grandnephew and heir of Julius Caesar. He was the founder of the Roman Empire and its first Emperor.

The month was originally called Sextilis because it was the sixth month. It had 29 days. Augustus chose this month because he had won many important battles, including the conquering of Egypt; which followed the death of Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt before it became a Roman province.

 Wanting no less days in his namesake month of August than Julius Caesar had for July, 2 more days were added to the month.

Augustus died on August 19 14 A.D.
                                    Cameo of Augustus with Aegis

Today on August 19 let us remember Caesar Augustus, Roman Emperor and the art he inspired.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gladiolus Artz


The birth-month flower of August, it symbolizes strength of character. Gladioli are a member of the Iris family and are considered an herb. They bloom in late July and throughout August. There are 260 species and they are native to sub-Sahara Africa with about 10 of the species native to Eurasia.

The flowers of the wild barely resemble the lush full blossoms of the hybrids we buy in stores. 
The flower spikes can be anywhere from 4 feet tall to about 12 inches. The blooms all grow on one side and the flowers are bi-sexual.  The blossoms on a spike are all the same color.  The color range is amazing and even some grow with stripes.

Parts of the plant can be poisonous and parts can be used for healing medications.  For example the dried and ground stem base when mixed with goat milk produces a tonic for colic.

Gladiolus comes to us from the Latin word gladius which means sword.  It is sometimes called sword Lily thanks to the sword shaped leaves. We also get the word gladiator from this same Latin.  Legends tell of glorious red flowers, that bloom on sword shaped leaves and spikes where blood from a sword has dropped.

This week we present Gladiolus Artz.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August's Artz

In honor of August I thought we would focus on an artist named August. Johan August Malmström to be exact.

He was a professor at the Swedish Academy of Arts from 1867 to 1894, manager of the Academy from 1887 to 1893, as well as an artist.

He was born October 14 1829 in Motala Sweden. His father was a carpenter and sculpted ornamental pieces for the local parish church. His mother had a love for literature she shared with August and influenced his love of history and Norse mythology.

An injury to his right hand when he was younger exempted him from hard work and enabled him to pursue his love of art. Not only did he paint but he drew illustrations for several publications, designed patterns, and furniture and made tableware.

August died October 18 1901 in Stockholm Sweden.