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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Pigment to Dye For

 A Peeling Tree K Howell 2011  Pastel on Paper 14 cm x 21 cm
      Outside it smells of sun and elderflowers. To be honest, I'm avoiding updating my artist's statement and find I'd much rather contemplate the etymology of cyanide.
     Deep blue is a good place to begin. I tend to substructure studies with blue. This elder tree is typical.
      Elder trees are the source of so many good things. As we all know from our diligent study of the Harry Potter text, the easily hollowed elder branch makes a fine and powerful wand. Fragrant elderflowers are followed by richly purple berries, both of which can be made into Very Nice drinks. Drinking the essence of tree has benefits. Elder syrups can be effective treatments for colds and flu. But obviously you want to make sure the seeds and stalks are removed, as they contain cyanide-producing glycosides. A more conclusive cure.
     The body is perfectly capable of detoxifying small amounts of naturally occurring cyanide. The idea is to avoid ingesting quantities. I try to remind child number three of this guideline, as when there are pears in the house she tends to eat them in their entirety and look at me blankly when I ask what she did with the core.
     When Prussian blue pigment was accidentally maufactured around three hundred years ago, the name ferrocyanide was also invented for the 'blue substance with iron' produced as components of the dye. Prussian blue pigment was used for blueprints. A working plan in blue.

     Back to the beginning, it seems. This means I have to write a statement now. Curses.   

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