March 25, 2009

Theme Thursday - Mineral


Make Sure You Get Enough Vitamins and Cadmium Yellow

Vincent Van Gogh apparently ate paint straight from the tube and so did
Emily Carr’s monkey Woo. Maybe they were just looking to supplement their mineral intake.

Many pigments found in today’s oil or acrylic paints are synthetic or vegetable based but many are still based on minerals mined from the earth.

The making of paint was one of the earliest technologies humans developed. By using different coloured earth, or grinding soft rocks to a powder, multi-coloured images could be made. The colours found in prehistoric cave paintings come from
Red and Yellow Ochre; types of iron oxide. In Tutankhamen’s tomb, alongside the artifacts, a small paintbox was found containing powdered Gypsum, Orpiment, Hematite and Malachite.

The colour of paint is derived from the small coloured particles suspended in a carrier oil or a binder.

White pigments were made from lead which is now replaced by the less toxic zinc and titanium. The mineral
Cerussite was used to make lead paints that Queen Elizabeth I wore as a cosmetic.

Cadmium yellow is made from Cadmium Sulphide. The name Cadmium originates from the Greek kadmeia, meaning Cadmean earth which was first found near Phoenician Prince Cadmus’s city of Thebes.

Many of the blues and greens we see today are derived from copper. Malachite is a green pigment used from antiquity until the 1800s. It is essentially copper carbonate.

The name "
Cobalt blue" comes from the German Kobold; a goblin that haunts underground places such as mines. Cobalt was thought pollute other mined elements such as silver. The pigment Cobalt Blue is an oxide of cobalt made by roasting cobalt ore.

The rare gem
Lapis Lazuli has always been highly prized for its vivid blue. Lapis Lazuli is ground to make an ultramarine pigment for oil paints. Medieval artists used it for the blue in Virgin Mary's cloak.

Vermilion is a sulphide of mercury found naturally as Cinnabar. Cinnabar pigment is used in
Chinese carved laquerware.

Beautiful Manganese Blue was a favourite of fresco painters. However, it was found to be highly toxic and ingestion or inhalation could cause a nervous system disorder. It is no longer sold.

Another class of pigment consists of the earth tones, such as sienna or umber. Umber is a natural brown clay of iron and manganese oxides. When heated it becomes burnt umber

Magenta was originally called fuchsine and in 1859 it was first made from coal tar dyes. The name of the colour was soon changed to magenta, after the Battle of Magenta fought at Magenta, Lombardy-Venetia.

I think it all looks good enough to eat!

31 comments:

Colette Amelia said...

very very interesting! Thanks for the great info!

Ronda Laveen said...

The colors in the photo are mesmerizing. I like your new profile photo. I very much enjoyed this post. So much 411 here. Thank you, truly. Thank you!!

Megan said...

I learned something today! Actually, more than one somethings. So thanks!

Rinkly Rimes said...

The paints look good enough to eat but I think I'll fight the urge.

runmotman said...

never really thought of where paint colors came from...but if i had i'd of guessed vegetation..i'd of been mostly wrong.

subtorp77 said...

I am so loving this week's topic. I've learned a few new things, I'd not known. Thanks for this colourful look into mineral uses :)

Penney said...

this was so...interesting.. Really goodlooking enough to eat!
Just Penneys

Jaime said...

interesting post. maybe wwe shouldn't discourage kids from eating their paint at school... they could grow up to be famous, paint eating artists like Van Gogh

Mariane said...

Oh ! Thank you so much for this great post. I loooove colour. Wonderful :o)

The Clever Pup said...

Oooh, Jaime, I'm not recommending THAT.

Don't eat paint - it's not good for you.

Brian Miller said...

what a colorful post. maybe that is where my kids learned to eat things sucha s paint or glue.

Candie Bracci said...

superb!

Marianna said...

Thank you for the info (and the linguistic analysis on the words:-)! I enjoyed it and learned a lot lol

take care
peace and love
xoxo

Wings said...

Never thought of paints when thinking of minerals! Good call!

Holly Jolly said...

WOW ! ! ! Thank you so much for all the color and information! Love it when I learn!!!
~Holly

willow said...

Very clever post! I find it amazing how those artists concocted their own paint from raw materials. They do look good enough to eat!

The Clever Pup said...

Hi Willow,

I read somewhere that Renoir said if it had not been for the invention of teh paint tube there would be no Impressionism. No one could paint en plein air if they had to mix their own paints.

Dakota Bear said...

I relish information, so thank you for your post it is most informative.

Polly said...

Very interesting. I wish I could paint! I always felt that paining is such an incredible talent, not everyone can do it. I learnt to play piano, and whether I do it well or not - I'm playing. But I could never paint. What a shame, I could taste all these paints. Polly x

Dot-Com said...

Educational and great. Thanks for sharing.

giulia said...

Wonderful, H. Just gave me some more ideas/words for work-in-progress. Esp. re: the blue pigments. The lapis. Hmmmm. Must go think on this. More, please. xo, Susan

Patrice said...

No mystery as why an artist loves color - just look at those pigment glow!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

most excellent....but please don't eat those pigments!!!

that is some great pic....yours?

Kris said...

Powdered paint always makes for a great photo.

The Clever Pup said...

No - don't anybody eat paint. It will make extremely sick.

The photo I found on Wikipedia commons.

Leah said...

I'm still swooning from that photo. Saturated color is enough of a drug for me!!!

Poetikat said...

Maybe that's why all those kindergarten kids were eating the paint! They were just supplementing their poor diets of Wonder Bread and Cap'n Crunch.

Kat

K. said...

Purple was the patrician color in ancient because it was expensive to create. One of the necessary ingredients was rare.

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Hi Clever Pup,
I just love that cobalt.
That blue is so rich & deep.

Isabel said...

Definitely good enough to eat! I have not taste paint yet, but I swear my tea tastes a thousand times better in my favorite blue cup. Who says we do not eat color. I know I do...with the eyes.
Great photo! Thanks for the comment (and yes Il Postillo is one of my favorite movies, right next to Cinema Paradiso)

tony said...

Yes! All around us & in most things we see.You mined a lot of information!!!