#137 Hot & Humid

137 Hot & Humid
#137 Hot & Humid
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#137 Hot & Humid was eas­i­ly inspired: 

July 2019 is the hottest month in recorded history

Glob­al warm­ing used to be a phrase I’d pret­ty much ignore, but no more. It’s real­ly hap­pen­ing, & I feel worse for the ani­mals (from hip­pos & whales to the tini­est insects & fish) than I do for the humans; after all we caused it. Let’s hope it’s not too late to reverse the dam­age. Here’s a Newsweek arti­cle on the subject.

July 2019 is the hottest month ever record­ed, accord­ing to accu­rate, sys­tem­at­ic, glob­al ther­mome­ter mea­sure­ments of sur­face tem­per­a­tures — that means only since 1880. Still, it’s the hottest July in over 100 years.

Going back fur­ther, start­ing in 1639, with the inven­tion of the rain gauge & evap­or­ime­ter, & sev­er­al years lat­er, the barom­e­ter & con­den­sa­tion hygrom­e­ter, new instru­ments made it pos­si­ble to stan­dard­ize the record­ing of mete­o­ro­log­i­cal data from place to place. More at earth​magazine​.org

Too hot to cool off

Zero table fan
This is the cute lit­tle fan our fam­i­ly grew up with in the 50’s & 60’s.

It’s so hot — mean­ing every­body in town is run­ning their a/​c at max — that my air con­di­tion­er keeps cycling on & off due to lack of pow­er, so to save it from burn­ing out I just turned it off & sur­round­ed myself with a bunch of box fans, table fans, and even a lit­tle per­son­al fan. (They are also keep­ing the place cool for the cats.) Inter­est­ing how fans keep us cool: By blow­ing air around, the fan makes it eas­i­er for the air to evap­o­rate sweat from your skin, which is how you elim­i­nate body heat. The more evap­o­ra­tion, the cool­er you feel. (A fan alone actu­al­ly increas­es room tem­per­a­ture from the heat gen­er­at­ed by the motor.)

Concept & design

I’m cre­at­ing this piece in 100º weath­er with no air con­di­tion­ing (rea­son explained above) so there was no lack of inspi­ra­tion for the art­work. Swel­ter­ing sun, and humid­i­ty that caus­es glass to fog up, lends itself to the very device I used in my teens to learn the art & nuances of hand let­ter­ing: draw­ing on the bath­room mir­ror right after a steam­ing hot show­er. I used to draw on the mir­ror, my fin­ger repli­cat­ing the exact shape of a ful­ly loaded let­ter­ing brush or mark­er, some­times using the side of my thumb, some­times using my fin­ger­nail, but always pro­duc­ing nat­ur­al script & hand­writ­ten style let­ter­ing. I still do that to this day. (Fin­ger­paint on that slick paper accom­plish­es the same thing.) That’s where the amper­sand came from in #137 Hot & Humid. The rest of the design was inspired sim­ply from the heat & humid­i­ty I cre­at­ed it in.

Here, cool off:

 Please comment here.

chaz sez

Want more?
Rants & raves most­ly about design, some­times about the universe.

An occa­sion­al bit of use­ful advice.

Production notes for #137 Hot & Humid:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Block Berthold, Boli

Ampersand: Boli
Artwork images: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Fan: apart​mentsi​like​.files​.word​press​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​1​0​/​z​e​r​o​-​f​a​n​.​jpg
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

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Desimone? Damn good!

#65 Black & Blue


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My favorite col­ors are black & “char­lie blue.”

Black is actu­al­ly my very favorite col­or & yes, it is a col­or. (See “chaz sez” below.) “Char­lie blue,” as my friends know it, is any­thing between Cray­ola Blue Green to cerulean to turquoise to cyan (one of the four print­ing ink col­ors). Amper­Art #65, Black & Blue, fea­tures CBG as I call it, cyan, and one oth­er blue which I’ll get to lat­er. All my favorite blues are some­where in-​between CBG and cyan.

I am not fond of sky blue, navybaby blue nor roy­al blue. They are cold. (Yes, I know, my very favorite col­or—black—is def­i­nite­ly freez­ing. But we’re talk­ing blue here.)

There is a very deep blue that does tin­gle my col­or bone. That’s cobalt blue. My first mem­o­ry of that col­or is my father’s blue cuff links. Also the knob on his steer­ing wheel to help turn the tires before pow­er steer­ing (that acces­so­ry became ille­gal because when the steer­ing wheel snapped back the knob could remove a fin­ger or two). & the cool red tail lights with the blue dot in the mid­dle, which cre­at­ed a mag­i­cal col­or effect.  They’re pop­u­lar again today but I remem­ber the orig­i­nals on my dad’s 1950-​something auto­mo­bile. Prob­a­bly no oth­er rec­ol­lec­tion of cobalt blue is stronger for me than the bot­tle of Vicks VapoRub. That stuff felt ice-​cold as the col­or of the bot­tle it was pack­aged in. I’m also par­tial to cobalt blue because it is the favorite col­or of my moth­er and my broth­er Rob. So that is the oth­er blue in this Amper­Art piece.


Just look­ing at this Vicks jar opens my sinus­es! Oth­er prod­ucts in cobalt blue bot­tles were Noxze­ma, Phillips Milk of Mag­ne­sia (sounds appe­tiz­ing, does­n’t it?), Bro­mo Seltzer, Nivea and Blue Coral.

In fair­ness to navy, roy­al blue, sky blue & all those that are not my favorites, com­bine them with var­i­ous oth­er col­ors & they cre­ate out­stand­ing col­or schemes. Of course, the same could be said for poop brown.

I am releas­ing #65 Black & Blue dur­ing the play­ful days of sum­mer, because that’s when I recall we’d get the most bruised up falling off our bikes, skate­boards, or just play­ing in the back­yard. I did, any­way. I was a real klutz. Still can’t ride a skateboard.

listen up! Black is a col­or! Not the absence of col­or, nor the com­bi­na­tion of all col­ors. It is col­or. So is white. So why do peo­ple say it’s all the col­ors or no col­or? Because they don’t know the def­i­n­i­tion of col­or. “Col­or” means the descrip­tion of the hue, val­ue & tone. Pure yel­low is a col­or that has a hue some­where between orange & green on the col­or wheel, a very light val­ue (high-​key, or very bright com­pared to very dark such as navy blue), & min­i­mal tone (gray­ish­ness; mauve & sage green have medi­um tone).

The col­or black is defined by no hue (red, yel­low, blue, etc.), the dark­est val­ue, & zero tone. White is defined by no hue, the light­est val­ue, & zero tone. So you see, black & white have no hue & no tone, but they are both colors.

If you want to have some fun with all the oth­er col­ors, check out the Cray­ola web­site, espe­cial­ly the his­to­ry & the Cray­ola Expe­ri­ence where kids (includ­ing big kids) get to play & cre­ate among all things Cray­ola, & see how they are made. If you can’t make it to the fac­to­ry in Eas­t­on, Penn­syl­va­nia, watch this video: How Cray­olas Are Made.

I love Cray­olas. (I won’t use any oth­er brand; the col­ors aren’t as pure, they’re waxy & they just aren’t Cray­ola.) I remem­ber when the box of 64 pre­miered, with the awe­some Built-​In Sharp­en­er. I prob­a­bly have the few stubs that are left of my orig­i­nal set some­where, but today I have The Ulti­mate Cray­ola Col­lec­tion — 152 dif­fer­ent col­ors! — on my desk. I use them fre­quent­ly, & always to sign impor­tant legal doc­u­ments. For that task, of course, it’s Cray­ola Blue Green.

Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Lettering: Hand-​lettered by Chaz DeSimone
Colors: Cyan, cobalt blue, Crayola Blue Green & black
Vicks ad: flickr​.com/​p​h​o​t​o​s​/​2​8​1​5​3​7​8​3​@​N​08/ “SaltyCotton” has nearly 2000 photos of vintage ads in pristine condition. An ad designer’s or collector’s eye candy overload!
Vicks jar: Joe Corr on pin​ter​est​.com/​p​i​n​/​2​7​4​9​3​0​7​5​2​2​2​5​6​7​2​7​32/ and etsy​.com/​s​h​o​p​/​o​w​l​s​o​n​g​v​i​n​t​age Beautiful collectibles and antiques.