It seems like not too long ago fluorescent colors were a big no-no in the art world and art materials industry. There was no way you could make those colors be eye-popping and archival at the same time. But now, the concern over light-fastness seems to have been beat out by the popularity of hot fluorescents. Nearly every country participating in this year’s Winter Olympics donned fluorescent accented gear. In these grey days of the never ending winter, joggers along Summit Avenue light up my day not just with their athletic determination to weather the weather, but their fuchsia and chartreuse shoes, mittens and ear warmers. It seems that there is life out there and it isn’t all bleak.
With the need for some sun scorching color, let’s throw archival concerns into its own corner for the moment. Let’s embrace Golden’s High Flow Acrylics in fluorescents (duly noted “Lightfastness Poor” on the label), and Sakura’s new Gelly Roll Moonlight fine point pens, and Faber Castell’s soon to be released fluorescent Pitt Pens and Speedball’s new fluorescent & Night Glo screen and block printing inks. And let’s not forget the fluorescent paint markers from Montana and Molotow, the neon Sharpies and the Bistro Chalk Ink markers as well as the UV-reactive, professional grade, Irojiten colored pencils from Tombow. With all these neon marks, we could generate enough heat to melt this ice jam and have art spring us into the next season.