I am so excited to be participating in my very first Blogging Event!  Okay, I guess it’s not that big a deal.  But I’m still excited.  Daisy Yellow is hosting a Building a Rainbow Challenge, and I volunteered to host Purple. (Luthien is hosting Blue today.)

This actually came at the perfect time, since it gave me something to obsess over while I was sick.  About all I could do was sit on the couch and drink tea, but at least if I was assembling an extensive purple Pinterest board, I felt like I was doing something productive.  Incidentally, I would like to register a complaint with the zoological community over the large number of animals that are named “Purple” but are actually blue.  Humph.

(Click on the inspiration images to be taken to their sources.  I did my best to make sure I was pinning photos that had attributions.  Pinterest may have its faults, but Tumblr and several other sites make no attempt at all to track the source of an image, something I find incredibly irresponsible.  Tumblr in particular is quite ubiquitous and therefore insidious.)

A couple of things I discovered in my searching: the word purple was first used in AD 975 (“violet” as a color waited until 1370); some scientists think early life forms may have used a compound called retinal in place of chloropyll, in which case the planet used to be mostly purple instead of mostly green; and practically any color you can name has been the color of death and mourning to someone somewhere.

Purple is a color I associate with certain people.  Christine, my best friend in high school, loved purple.  Admittedly we were friends more because neither of us cared much what other people thought than because we actually had anything in common, but it was fun to hang out and our boyfriends were in a band together so I had someone nice to sit with at gigs.  (They played hard rock with incredibly depressing lyrics, which presumably made sense at the time.)  And then in college there was Purple Dave, who was one of the kindest people in my church; and Alex, an amazingly beautiful housemate who identified as a dyke and had draped her car’s seats in purple fabric; and Kat, who was a very close friend for about a year and a half until she suddenly decided she hated me, hated God, dyed her hair purple, and never spoke to me again.  So that was fun.  Now purple is the color of younger friends, girls I like and girls I can help.  One such girl recently asked for one of Beauty’s purple sippy cups: she says it helps her stay happy when she’s studying.

I love how purple changes its character depending on what colors it is paired with.  It becomes electric or high-tech with green or yellow, romantic with pink, mellow and comforting with blue, glamorous with blacks or grays.



For my purple project I made an explosion book (also called a squash book), mostly because I’ve never made one before and I wanted to try it.  It’s a very little one: about an inch and a half square.  The paper is plain printer paper covered in gesso, since I like using what I have on hand.  I decorated it with watercolors and acrylic paint and metallic gelly pens.

The covers were bits of cereal box, covered with paper and painted.  You’re supposed to glue one to each end of the folded paper, but I forgot and painted one of the ends and glued that cover to the string instead.  It still works, more or less.  The string is too short.  Anyway, the stripy one is watercolors and the butterfly one is acrylic and gelly pen (for the border).  The butterfly itself is a stamp I made a couple weeks ago.

Side one was just watercolors.  I was considering adding flowers or something, but I think I like these swirly things just as they are.

The same side, flattened out so you can see it properly.  The watercolor went on smoothly for the most part, but in a few places I’d gotten oils from my fingers on the gesso.  I don’t mind.  It adds some interest.

I really liked the dimensional aspect of this project.  Everything looks cooler when it’s all bendy and geometrical.

Beauty came to help.

Side two is acrylics and gelly pen.  Here I was experimenting more with other colors – what does purple look like with red and yellow and green and gold.  Okay, mostly I was just doodling.  Still, I had fun.

The metallic purple swirlies were originally just going to be around the flower, but I found I really liked them as a continuous element to tie the pieces together a bit.

This was really fun to photograph as well.

So there you have it – my work here is finished.  I guess I can stop obsessing about purple now.

What do you like about purple?

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6 Responses to Purple

  1. Jazmin says:

    What a fantastic post! Just as entertaining to read as it was to view all the great pictures and art. :)

  2. so cool! I don’t know how you folded that, but I love that it closes up into a tiny little square!!
    Shannon Ganshorn

  3. Pingback: an art journal rainbow | inkstitch

  4. angenita says:

    Wow you did a great job being a hostess! Thanks for so much information about a color. It’s a great idea to explore a color this way.
    I like the messyness of your art. And the closeup is just beautiful!
    Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog, always fun to read them.

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