Sunday, 31 May 2015


I had enormous difficulty in dealing with our latest colour.  In Africa we are bombarded with colour.  Wherever you look  it is there everywhere you look, whether it be in our landscape from the bushveld, the semi-tropical coast in Kwa-Zulu Natal, or the Cape Winelands and everything inbetween.  Snow – sometimes in the mountains but it does not stay long as the sun is sure to be evident within the next day or so.  Everywhere you go whether it is to the markets with the array of the different peoples of our land dressed in bright and vivid colour in the latest fashion, African prints, or the beautiful Indian Sari’s.  An amazing vibrancy in sound and colour, and added to that, the spices in heaps from Saffron to Red Hot Chilli. 

Our light from an artist’s point of view is spectacular and very different from the light in the Northern climes.

Thanks go to my son, the Engineer, who came up with this idea for me, and from which comes the title of my piece.

The dictionary definition of a prism is that it is a solid whose ends are similar, equal and parallel …. a triangular prism of glass or the like for resolving “white” light into separate colours.  This causes light of different colours to be refracted differently and to leave the prism at different angles, creating an effect similar to a rainbow.  This can be used to separate a beam of white light into its constituent spectrum of colour.

Therefore without the beam of white light I have used, the colour would not be visible.

This is a different take on the colour we were given but I had fun and it did allow me to use the seven colours of the rainbow to illustrate this idea.  After all we are called “The Rainbow Nation”.



  1. Ah ha - very clever. Funnily enough I was listening to the radio the other day about glass and they were talking about how it refracts light - and still I didn't make a connection. Love what you have done. Rainbow Nation indeed.


  2. A very clever way around the White Dilemma, Patricia. You did something similar for your Grey challenge, too, using the neutral colour as a foil for all those bright umbrellas. Well done!

  3. What a creative take on the challenge. I love your reference to the rainbow nation. Engineers can indeed be so helpful for our art - my husband is an engineer too and is always coming up with creative solutions to my technical problems in the studio.

    1. I have to agree about the Enginers, sometimes his ideas are too weird to be able to transpose into art, but I did a piece about a year ago when I needed lines to go in an exact direction to give me the correct perspective and he made it work and look so easy.

  4. Very clever. Great way around the colour challange.

  5. What a fun interpretation and very cleverly executed - definitely worth taking a close look at the detail. This definitely defies the theory that art quilters can't do points!

  6. What a great idea. One of my early thoughts was how to creep lots of colour onto a white base and you've done it perfectly. Will this go to the Festival of Quilts next month?

  7. What an idea and you carried it out so well. Glad I'm not married to an engineer to make these challenges even more challenging.

  8. beautiful interpretation patricia
    so well executed

  9. As an (ex) physicist, I can really appreciate this piece. I like the way you've coloured in the colours within the prism, it gives them a softer quality that really works. Love the way we all interpretate the challenges differently.

  10. I really like the idea and it's beautifully done.