Thursday, April 1, 2010

Theme Thursday Yellow

'Tis a mixed bag, is yellow.

The color is associated with sunshine, knowledge, autumn, maturity and flourishing living creatures.  The Greeks worshiped the sun god, Helios who wore yellow robes and drove a golden chariot.  The Chinese attribute yellow to the active and flourishing male while the ancient Egyptians ascribed it to the female. All of this attribution denotes sensuality and power, colors I normally associate with red.  Hmmm.

The Yellow Cow  by  Franz Marc

Isn't this cow luscious?

Americans have always attributed the term "yellow" to fear and cowardice.
"Yellow" journalism is sensationalism and muck raking.  Yellow is the color of
jaundice and caution and aging but it also represents happiness, warmth, summer.

Yellow is the wedding color for people in Egypt, Russia, the Orient and some Balkan countries.  In other countries, it is the color of bad fortune.  

Yellow ochre is the oldest yellow pigment, dating back to pre-historic times.  A mineral known as Orpiment or arsenic trisulfide, is better known as King's yellow.  It was used  until the 19th century when it was replaced by Cadmium yellow.

Indian yellow is a transparent, fluorescent pigment used in oil paintings and water colors.  It was believed to have been made from the urine of cows fed only on mango leaves and water but there is no scientific proof of this.

Chrome yellow, Naples yellow and Lead tin yellow were all eventually replaced because of high toxicity in the paints.  As a result, today's yellows are made from synthetic pigments.

 Pigments through the Ages 
"Yellow was Vincent Van Gogh’s favorite color. He preferred yellow ochre in the beginning of his career, adding the newly discovered pigments cadmium yellow and chrome yellow later on.
Wheat Field with Crows  by Vincent Van Gogh
He transformed the light in his landscapes into pure color. Light signified to him the Sun of the South, lightness of spirit in addition to friendship and love. Van Gogh used yellow in context with its complementary color - blue. He saw power and the entirety of life in the combination of both colors . Yellow of Van Gogh mirrors his quest for cheerful and lighthearted life which he was never able to live and also expresses the creative energy innate in this artist. "


The Garden of Earthly Delights
      Hieronymus Bosch

Besides the naked folk, I find my eye going to the pretty yellow bird with orange head and white breast.  The upper right corner makes me think of wheat fields and the bird with a bright blue back has some lovely yellow detail.  Note the yellow feather detail in the lower right corner as well.

A gorgeous painting of the finest fruit, vegetables and flowers, not to mention the squirrel.  My eyes, however, are immediately drawn to the yellow apples (or pears).

Fruits and Vegetables, Roses in
a Glass Vase and a Squirrel

by Peter Binoit 


will said...

Which reminds me ...

They call it mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow

Saffron -- yeah
I'm just mad about her
I'm just mad about Saffron
She's just mad about me

Oh so yellow, oh so mellow

Brian Miller said...

excellent tt post...i love the color yellow...onc had a car that was yellow...the cow is way cool...and the garde, it just strikes me. hope you have a wonderful day!

nanny said...

Great post! Yellow is a wonderful color.....makes me think of spring and outdoors!

California Girl said...

POBOX hahahahaha! wonder how many others, if any, thought of THAT!

Brian: Thanks. I think these paintings are dynamite.

Nanny: Today is beautiful here, supposed to hit 70 after days of rain and gloom. Yea!

Tess Kincaid said...

I've always adored Wheat Field with Crows. WONderful post. Happy Yellow!

Ed said...

It's like a history lesson of all things yellow! Don't forget Big Bird...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wonderful post and great selection of paintings that you featured! along with vincent's i especially enjoyed seeing binoit's fruits with squirrel! of course i'm nuts about all things rodent.

i enjoyed learning the various bits about yellow, never realized it is considered a wedding color in some cultures.

thanks c.g. and happy theme thursday!!

Roy said...

Ah! I love Franz Marc and that whole Blaue Reiter school - August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Albert Bloch, and the early Paul Klee. I think I once made a flash slide show made up entirely of Blaue Reiter paintings collected on the Internet. I love Van Gogh, too. Great collection of yellow!

Tina said...

Thanks for posting these wonderful pictures! I really love the Van Gogh. The sky and the crows make me think there's something wicked on the way above the sunny wheat..

The Clean White Page

PattiKen said...

Wow, I really know a lot more about yellow now, thanks to you. "All of this attribution denotes sensuality and power..." I knew there was a reason I liked yellow.

Mine is here.

Ziva said...

What wonderful pictures. I like the naked folk. And the yellow, naturally. But especially the naked folk.

Marguerite said...

Beautiful paintings and post! Yellow is one of my faves.

Tom said...

great TT post on yellow! oh, and i have a little man living in my garden...thought you might like to know that.

Mike said...

Yellow is used a lot to describe cowardice. I always thought that was dumb.

(Maybe I should have put a disclaimer with my story?)

Leah said...

Great post, and the art looks fantastic against the black background.

Baino said...

Hmm learned quite a lot here today and not a yellow submarine in sight! My kitchen is yellow. I love it. Sunny all the time.

Mrsupole said...

I never knew there was such a history of poisons being used to make yellow colors. Those are some fantastic pictures and all the yellows in them really stand out.

It must be so wonderful to be able to create such a fantastic picture. I am artistically challenged and can barely make stick people recognizable.

My favorite color that I choose from the list is Lead tin yellow. A few of them look almost orange, must be that my colors are off on my computer screen. But I never knew there were so many yellows to choose from. I always thought Crayola just made them up.

God bless.

Mama Zen said...


lettuce said...

all those different meanings ascribed to yellow, they are so contradictory! fascinating. I wonder if its true of other colours in a similar way at all?

such a good post and I love the paintings you've included

Jeannette StG said...

Wow, you did a lot of research for this post! As you already have noticed the same color red or yellow mean different things in different cultures:) Because my son is teaching in China I happen to know that red is associated with "cheerful, success."
"I'm a Dutch girl living in California" LOL!

Tanna said...

Great selection of paintings, CG! Enjoyed them all. I am always fascinated by the differences in the way different parts of the world interpret. God, that was a horrible sentence... but, you get what I mean, I hope. Thank you for the informative... and attractive... post!