The Artist Meets a Chemist: Fun with Colours

Friday February 27, 2004 – 7:30 p.m. at the Almonte Public Library

Speaker: Donald Wiles

Topic: The Artist Meets a Chemist: Fun with Colours.

Don Wiles, a retired Carleton University professor and former Chairman of the Chemistry Department, is also a local farmer on the Peter Robinson Road west of Almonte.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Don Wiles developed an early interest in radiochemistry, a subject on which he is one of Canada’s leading authorities. He obtained a Ph.D. from MIT where, most importantly, he met and married his wife Elisabeth (Billy). Some years ago Don created a course on “The Chemistry of Art and Artifacts” that became quite popular and led to the creation of a book of the same name. While he claims no expertise with art, he does know his chemistry, and he is a magnetic speaker, eager to share his knowledge with others.

Don Wiles has this to say: “The Artist meets a Chemist seeks to uncover parts of a very large subject. I will discuss the nature of colour and how humans perceive colour with their eyes. The talk will also introduce how coloured pigments are made, and how we blend these to generate still other colours. I hope to spend some time discussing the deterioration of coloured materials, patinas, and forgeries. There will be lots of opportunity for questions and further discussion.”

To find out more about Don Wiles, visit his personal website:


%d bloggers like this: