Letter to a Young Decorative Painter

Letter to a Young Decorative Painter

WEBa25 Years of Painting

Recently I received  an email, the gist of which was the following:

Hello Debra,
I had an opportunity to view your website and I love your work. I commend you on your business. I recently began my endeavor in running my own decorative painting business, only to realize I have no idea what I am doing.
I have the creative background as well as sales background, but have no idea how to find clients.  I was part of Home Adviser, but they have no real category for someone with my skills.
What advice would a creative mind and business owner as your self give a fellow creative mind? I was given the advice to contact someone who is in the same industry as myself from another city  and ask questions,  being that I am not your competitor. I look forward to your response.
Respectfully,
Rene

Now, I don’t know how old in human years Rene is, but I do know that he has just begun his professional journey as a decorative painter, and thus is a “young” one, in terms of business years!

WEBb

Here is what I emailed back to Rene, with a few additions and modifications, to make it  more useful for You.  It was interesting to review what I have done over the years to create, sustain and build my business, and how much it does take!  I realized this list could be valuable to just about anyone pursuing creative entrepreneurship…and entrepreneurship is always creative!

Hello Rene,

Here are my recommendations:

  • Get a good Website, absolutely, to share and showcase your work.
  • Start a Blog, focusing on the kind of work you would like to do, etc.
  • Network with Interior Designers and Architects, as well as Painters, Paint Stores, and others in the Building/Built Environment field.
  • Take an entrepreneurship or business class, or whole program, and put together a Business Plan.
  • Have a selection of good-sized Samples, depicting your strengths, and the kind of work you most like to do, most want to do, and from which you think you will get the most business.
  • Create brochure, and a postcard, as well as a business card to go with your Site…they should all work together, as your business Visual Identity.
  • Start an email newsletter, and start building your Mailing List.
  • Put your card and brochure in Local Paint Stores.
  • Selectively, Do Some High Profile Work, at a Reduced,  or no Cost, for 1-3 Clients…to get your name out there, and showcase your skills and abilities. Have a party to celebrate it, at the job site if you can, when completed.
  • Follow “Seth Godin for rich, daily doses information and inspiration. You can research his work  through Google/Facebook. Sign up to receive his daily blog posts in your email inbox.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Do something to grow your business every day, and keep plugging!

 

WEBd

Here is how Rene responded:

Hello Debra ,
What it does in my opinion is simply show support that creative individuals as ourselves are willing to provide one another.  I truly appreciate the advice, and I have already set up a meeting with a client to provide my services at little or no cost, simply to attract his high end neighbors.  If I can ever be of assistance to you in any way, I would be happy to help. I thank you again and I wish you well always.   I would love to share my work with you as well.
Respectfully,                                                                                                                                                                                                                Rene

Have YOU ever looked back at all the things you have done, to establish, nurture, build, sustain, and grow your business?  I am certain that if you make a list you will be amazed at all you have done, and at all it takes. I look forward to elaborating on mine, and going into greater depth with it, for myself and others. It’s a fascinating and rewarding process!

Here’s to all of You creative entrepreneurs!

WEBe

 

 

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Brand of Colors: Color Etiquette for your Graphics

Brand of Colors: Color Etiquette for your Graphics

When friend, colleague and client Debbie Josendale  founder, creator, and president of 3C Marketing Group LLC contacted me to get my opinion on the colors in the graphic below, I dove in headfirst, and delivered an analysis of not only the colors, but their placement, qualities, and distribution.

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It is a process I find fascinating, and I never tire of both studying, and analyzing how, why, and where colors work best  for the purpose they are being employed…or not.  When the colors are “not working”, sometimes a slight tweak will do the trick; changing the placement, value, chroma, or saturation of a color, or how much of it is being used.  Other times, a greater overhaul of the color palette may be requited.

Debbie knew that something was not right in the graphic above…not in balance. She knew the feeling she wanted communicated wasn’t quite there yet.

I saw immediately that the central “bar” of color, surrounding the word “AUTHORITY” was too dark, and needed some brightness and warmth to fully communicate the idea of “AUTHORITY” as a positive, powerful, and in essence, beautiful thing to the viewer.  I suggested that instead of the deep, almost blackish green (on my screen, and in this age of individual internet screen and printers, who knows what any given pair of eyes is seeing…), that a a mixture of the top green, and bottom blue, IE, a warmer, clearer, yet still strong,  teal be used, to distill the positive message of leadership and problem-solving.

I also suggested that the lighter, brighter green, used at the bottom of the graphic be moved to the top, and the deeper blue at the top be used at the bottom, to “ground”  the “page”, as is done in architectural color consulting. Deeper, darker, and stronger color used on the foundation, or lower part of a building can “ground” it, making the building as a whole look more rooted, stable, and solid. By moving the green to the top of the “page” or view, I felt a more expansive, airy, and optimistic feeling could be created.

Finally, I advised that the top blue block, encasing the Map Marketing (TM) Method lettering be altered in some way that again, would make it less heavy, and also differentiate from the blocks of color below.  This is challenging, as this lettering/text serves as a logo, and thus changing even its scale could be tricky.

3C Map Marketing_ver3 no crop marks

Well, Deb  and her team made the majority of the adjustments I advised,  to the graphic.  Above you can see the beautiful teal color which replaces that dark blackish-green surrounding the word AUTHORITY”,  relieving it of that “black hole” feeling. Not only was the green from the original moved from the bottom of the piece to the top, but a cooler hue of green, closer to the central teal, and less yellow  is used, bringing the piece as a whole into greater color harmony. The blue at the bottom is also adjusted to be closer to the teal, a greener blue, rather than the original “royal” blue, and is now separated from the “title” color bar/block at the very top.

We are still working on what can be done with that top color block, which I feel still, is too strong and heavy, visually “bearing down” on the rest of the graphic. The left side of the top color “block” overhangs the words in color read sideways, which are surrounded by the white background, giving it the sense of being off-center, and bearing to the left.

Enlarging the white text inside that top blue block would alleviate this to some extent, but my advice would be to lose that top block of color altogether, and make the text itself blue, and maybe a bit larger and heavier, to fill the space.
We will see what 3C decides to do!

In any event, the general consensus is that the graphic as a whole is much improved, and better communicates the feeling its creator wants to project. Voila the power of color, how much of it is used, and where!

You can hear our “Color Muze” discussion on Rebecca E. Parsons‘s blog talk radio program, “Artistically Speaking Talk Show” on this subject, preceded by a wonderful interview with paper artist Helen Hiebert.  You can also catch previous “Color Muzes” here, in Cre8tive Compass Magazine.

From all of us to all of You: here’s wishing all of You the  right color mix for You and Your color needs…today!

Creating Color Harmony

 Creating Color Harmony

On  April 21, I chatted with on her Artistically Speaking Talk Show about the “Art of Color Harmony”, based on the work of  Michel Eugène (M.E.)  Chevreul.  Chevreul was a contemporary of the painter Eugène Delacroix, and he penned “The Principles Of Harmony And Contrast Of Colors: And Their Applications To The Arts” in 1855.  He was a chemist, Chevreul’s color principles influenced great European art movements including Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism and Orphism.

Rebecca’s interview guest on the program that day was Rachel Rockwell, of Bubbly Nature Creations.  They discussed food photography, and Rachel generously offered tips for the novice, and aspiring photographer.  Rebecca suggested I use Rachel’s images to illustrate this post, and I  discovered something in common to these two, separated by over 150 years..soap! Chevreul’s research “enabled him to elucidate the true nature of soap…which led to important improvements in the processes of candle-manufacture.” Rachel started her blog as a way to document her soap-making!   Such… synchronicity!      But onward…to The Art of Color Harmony, illustrated by Rachel Rockwell, and Rebecca E. Parsons.

We discussed six ways of creating color harmony, three “Harmonies of Analogy”, based on similarity, or relatedness, and three “Harmonies of Contrast”, based on differences.  Interesting to note that “harmony” can be achieved by what would seem to be opposite principles…read on! (A word of advice: have your meal first..these images may have a mouth-watering effect!)

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What Chevreul called the “harmony of scale” involves putting together colors closely related in  value (lightness/darkness) and hue (the pure color itself).  Above the chocolate browns  create a most delicious tone-on-tone effect, relieved by the  complementary (opposite each other on the color wheel) red and green of the strawberries.

Har1b

Here we see a similar “harmony of scale” effect, with a gradation of color in the cake’s frosting, going from darker, brighter and more intense/concentrated at the bottom, becoming almost white at the top. Earthy and colorful touches break up the harmony of scale, to add “the harmony of contrast of colors”…but we will get to that!

Har1

Not food photography above, but a lovely example of harmony of scale…pink on pink, with just a slight shift in value to the darker on the embellishment!

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Analogous colors (those next to each other on the color wheel, of similar value create the “harmony of hues” when put together, such as the oranges, golds and orange-browns above. They are beautifully offset by the complimentary blue box behind, which makes the whole composition pop.

Har3Photo by Rebecca E. Parsons

The third “Harmony of Analogy” described by Chevreul as “harmony of a dominant colored light” relates to, as I understand it, the harmonious effect of a “dominant tinted light” on varying hues and values. Above we see, gratis Rebecca, an assortment of variously flavored cupcakes of different hue, some darker, some lighter, illuminated by a warm light.  The color of the light is a unifying factor in the grouping, composition, and harmonious effect.

We now come to Chevreul’s three “Harmonies of Contrast” in which color harmony is achieved through differences, IE, contrasts. We begin to see how many different paths there can be to harmony…is there a lesson beyond color theory in all this…?

Har4

I am not sure what the delicious-looking drink above above consists of as far as ingredients go, but it can be seen as an example of what Chevreul terms,  “harmony of a contrast of scale”. One basic hue, speckled with  much darker value of that hue creates a kind of tone-on-tone texture.  or, so it looks to be in the photo. In any event, the effect is that of unified harmony,  and titillates our taste-buds!

Har5

By contrast (no pun intended) the “harmony of contrast of hues” is illustrated above. Related colors (red plus white equals pink) in highly differentiated values (white the lightest, the pink the mid-tone, and the red, though bright, the darkest) set each other off by virtue of their difference…not only in value, but also in purity, and chroma.

Har6

Finally, we arrive at one of my favorites, the “harmony of contrast of colors“. Here is where the ideas of “the attraction of opposites” comes into play. We see how colors far apart in value and hue can be combined to create relationships that are dynamic and visually arresting, yet harmonious nonetheless. In the image above, we see aspects of the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue represented and cooled by white. The colors have a great deal of contrast, yet create a harmonious whole.

Har7

Harmony can also be created by the presence of two complimentary colors,  (again, colors which are  opposite each other on the color wheel) such as red and green!  Notice how the green garnish sets off the reds of the tomato, and focuses the composition? Still harmonious, but powerful!

And, what can be more powerful at last, than harmony?

Here’s wishing YOU the peacefulness and power of harmony; in Art, in Work, in Life.

Here’s to a harmonious world.

Cheers!

Media Medley

Media Medley

Being in the process of updating, retooling, adding and subtracting (mostly adding…subtracting is a whole other challenge!) my presence online, including  Website , Linked In profile, Pinterest, Etsy Store and more…I thought I would share some of my media offerings in an Artissima post.  Maybe You will get some ideas of media You can generate, to support, express, and promote Your work and business!

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

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I had the good fortune of knowing a talented videographer (he is no longer working in the field, and does not accept inquiries…so, I won’t mention his name here), who filmed one of my projects, and put together a beautiful little video on it.  Although made several years ago, this video still feels fresh and relevant, because of his skill, and creativity.  Thank you Allen!

The Video Showcases an Image Central to My Site

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The amazing and dedicated Carolyn Edlund, who “inspires artists to build better businesses”  through her ventures  Artsy Shark, and the Arts Business Institute was kind enough to interview me about how I built my decorative painting business.  The interview was done in two parts, and forms a “document” that can be shared with others, offering tips and guidance to support them on their journey!  Thank you Carolyn!

Use your Mind to Share your Heart, and Your Hand to Share your Voice

1cath

I was honored to participate in a project filmed for HGTV‘s Curb Appeal, entitled, “It’s All in the Details“, helmed by the inimitable John Gidding, architect, designer, and showman extraordinaire, and for the record, a great guy! John was kind, supportive, and a real team player on his show, where he stars, manages, designs, interacts, and even picks up a paintbrush!  Thank you John, and the HGTV‘s Curb Appeal team, as well as Johlt Productions…what a great experience.

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Artistically Speaking Talk Show   is the brain child of  Rebecca E. Parsons,  Having met the wonderful artist/artisan   Lyna Farkus  through none other then Twitter (!…the power of social media, folks…),  who was at the time co-hosting with Rebecca, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the two of them.  What a fun, and gratifying experience was this interview , as are all the interviews conducted on the show.  A must-listen to for any artist, artisan, entrepreneur, “ladypreneur”, “solo-preneur”, crafter, and more. Thank you dear Rebecca and Lyna.

Create Success..Believe…Gratitude…

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One thing can lead to another…after the  Artistically Speaking  interview, Rebecca and Lyna asked me if I would do a monthly segment on the show, offering “tidbits of color wisdom”.  I was delighted to become part of the team, and “The Color Muze” segment began airing each (well, most) third Sundays of the month, at 7:15pmEST/4:15pmPST.  It is a joy to share color information, experience and exploration garnered through 5 years as a color consultant/designer, and training through the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers.  After each show, I write up the Color Muze segment into an article, which is then published in Rebecca’s  online magazine, Cre8tive Compass  in the Color Muze section.

Muzing on Color

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As You can see, there are many ways to share, support, inspire and connect through media. The internet offers opportunities for video, audio, and text, through its myriad channels.  Presenting yourself through these channels is not only promotion, marketing and PR, it is also reaching out, offering information, lending a hand through your own experience, teaching, and interacting with others.  Who knows who You might meet, touch, awaken, or work with next?  Media is also its own art form, whether it be composed of sound, images, words, or a fusion of of these, it is always an adventure, an exploration, a new frontier, and, a little bit of a risk.

But then, putting Yourself “out there” always is, n’est-ce-que pas?

So cheerio, and bon voyage, and see You later…Have a Great Trip!

Humors, Hues, and Healing: Color Symbolism of Yesteryear

Humors, Hues, and Healing: Color Symbolism of Yesteryear

Sunday July 15, 2012, on our Color Muze  for Artistically Speaking Talk Show, the Blog Talk Radio brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Rebecca E. Parsons, we delved into the mists of antiquity to explore what my teacher, Frank H. Mahnke, of the IACC-NA (International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers Seminars) has called, “Mystical Color Symbolism.

Rebecca interviewed my old friend and colleague, Joy Conway, decorative painter extraordinaire, owner and lead artist of  Funwalls Studio in Albuquerque, NM, a division of her evolving, green  artistic enterprise, nmVerde. Joy is also part of Vintage and More,  selling vintage items and antiques as part of a collective effort.  Although “vintage’ is not necessarily “antiquity”, we found plenty of tie-ins!

We “muzed” about the four-fold system devised by the ancient Greek physician  Hippocrates,  (b. ca. 460 B.C, often termed the “Father of Western Medicine”,  which connects the four major “humors” (human bodily fluids) with the four “temperaments”  (one might term these, personality types) and their color counterparts.

Bear in mind that the hue of each  humor, IE, black bile, yellow bile, blood and phlegm (this is not for the faint of heart!) does not necessarily correspond to the color related to it.  No, blood/sanguis, even though physically  a shade of red, is related to the cheerful color of yellow, and element of air.

The  term for a cheerful, optimistic, hopeful personality…or, temperament is sanguine!  Perhaps this humor, blood, runs healthily through the veins of one of this temperament, helping them to be positive, and upbeat!

Let’s take a look at the this fascinating  four-fold system.

The humor yellow bile, or “cholos” is associated with  the element of fire, and the  choleric temperament: passionate, touchy, quick, violent tempered, and active. The choleric temperament is strong, faster changing, a tensed mental state directed towards the outer world.  It’s color is red, in modern systems symbolizing  aggressiveness, activity and strength.

The humor black bile, or “melas cholos” is  associated with  the element of earth (not water, as one might intuitively expect given our natural association with blue) , and the  melancholic temperament: sad, with a tendency towards melancholy and depression.  The melancholic temperament is strong, but slower changing, a tensed mental state directed towards the inner world. It’s color  range is  blue, blue-violet, and black. It’s counterpart in contemporary color symbolism would be “feeling blue”- IE, sadness, melancholy, and depressiveness.

The humor blood,, or sanguis” is associated with  the element of air, and the  sanguine temperament: warm-hearted, lively, cheerful, impulsive, with a positive approach to life.. The sanguine temperament is weaker, faster changing, a relaxed mental state directed towards the outer world.It’s color is yellow, which in our modern system symbolizes cheerfulness, vitality, and high-spiritedness. Yellow, in the Hippocratic system relates to the element of air, and the humor of blood,  is the color of the sun, and sunlight…perhaps the “life blood” of our planet earth?

The humor  phlegm  (we all know that one, yes?!) is associated with  the element of water (which makes sense when you think about the relationship of phlegm to dampness) and the  phlegmatic temperament:stolid, calm, reserved, and hard to rouse to activity. The phlegmatic  temperament is weak and slow changing, a relaxed mental state directed towards the inner world.  (Think about when you have a cold, and just want to curl up in bed and let the world go by). It’s color range is green, green-blue, and white. Green, in more modern color symbolism, can express withdrawal, quietness and reservation.

Just for fun…here is an excerpt (found on http://www.fisheaters.com/fourtemperaments.html)  from the 11th c. Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum, attributed to John of Milano, giving the basic run-down as to the effects of too much of one humor or another: 

If Sanguin humour do too much abound,
These signes will be thereof appearing cheefe,
The face will swell, the cheeks grow red and round,
With staring eies, the pulse beate soft and breefe,
The veynes exceed, the belly will be bound,
The temples, and the forehead full of griefe,
Unquiet sleeps, that so strange dreames will make
To cause one blush to tell when he doth wake:
Besides the moysture of the mouth and spittle,
Will taste too sweet, and seeme the throat to tickle.
If Choller do exceed, as may sometime,
Your eares will ring, and make you to be wakefull,
Your tongue will seeme all rough, and oftentimes
Cause vomits, unaccustomed and hatefull,
Great thirst, your excrements are full of slime,
The stomacke squeamish, sustenance ungratefull,
Your appetite will seeme in nought delighting,
Your heart still greeued with continuall byting,
The pulse beate hard and swift, all hot, extreame,
Your spittle soure, of fire-worke oft you dreame.
If Flegme abundance haue due limits past,
These signes are here set downe will plainly shew,
The mouth will seeme to you quite out of taste,
And apt with moisture still to overflow,
Your sides will seeme all sore downe to the waist,
Your meat wax loathsome, your digestion slow,
Your head and stomacke both in so ill taking,
One seeming euer griping tother aking:
With empty veynes, the pulse beat slow and soft,
In sleepe, of seas and ryuers dreaming oft.

But if that dangerous humour ouer-raigne,
Of Melancholy, sometime making mad,
These tokens then will be appearing plaine,
The pulse beat hard, the colour darke and bad:
The water thin, a weake fantasticke braine,
False-grounded ioy, or else perpetuall sad,
Affrighted oftentimes with dreames like visions,
Presenting to the thought ill apparitions,
Of bitter belches from the stomacke comming,
His eare (the left especiall) euer humming.

So, what does all this say about our use of color, and the use of color in the architectural space?

I can’t give a definitive response to this query, but take a look at these interiors, and let me know what you think!

Red for the bed…a couple’s romantic red bedroom.

Blue for you…this is where you will stay as a guest in this house…in the blue guest room.

Mellow yellow? The blue guest room’s yellow and deco bath.

Green for clean?  This green room is the complementary master bath for the red bedroom above.

What does it all mean? Have we changed that much since 460 B.C?  Certainly not our “humors”, nor their hues. If we truly peruse and analyze the ancient Greek scholars, we can probably discover methodologies and means timelessly revealing of the human body, spirit and psyche.  At any rate…it is a fascinating  area of study and contemplation, and one befitting our Color Muze,on  Artistically Speaking Talk Show and  Cre8tive Compass Magazine.

if anyone is interested in further humor-ous (or other) exploration, please consider checking out these sites for further fascination, fun and fancy…and maybe a few insights along the way!.

May YOU live long, and healthy.

http://www.greekmedicine.net/b_p/Four_Humors.html

http://www.thecolourworks.com/pdfs/Hippocrates%20the%20Four%20Humours%202.pdf

http://thecolourworks.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/hippocrates-galen-the-four-humours/

Artistically Speaking…I Presume?

Artistically Speaking…I Presume?

This post is a bit of an ode to a beloved endeavor that many are involved in, but one intrepid woman spearheads…”Artistically Speaking Talk Show” on Blog Talk Radio, helmed by Rebecca E. Parsons, of REP Media.

Working out of her Florida island home, studio and office, Rebecca cre8tes, cre8tes, cre8tes…radio, web, her online magazine, Cre8tive Compass, artwork, writing, and  more.

As she says of her magazine,

“Cre8tive Compass Magazine is ALL about exploring, creating and most importantly LIVING the creative life. Our mission is to inform, enlighten, encourage, delight and entertain you.  We also want to give you ideas to enjoy every minute of your creative life and lifestyle.

She is a tireless advocate for artists, entrepreneurs, “solopreneurs”, bloggers, crafters, bakers, cuisine artists, and all who make, cre8te and craft their life, or long to.

“Cre8Tive Compass and REP MEdia produce and present Artistically Speaking Talk Show…giving voice to a new generation of creative entrepreneurs. Every Artist has a story…we tell them here.” –Rebecca E. Parsons

You can hear some pearls of Rebecca’s  wisdom and experience here.  This show aired Sunday  6/10/2012, and in it,  she jumps into the breach created by a cancelled guest, and unrolls her magic carpet of blogging, branding, and beneficence tips, taking all of us listening for a ride.

She is joined at the last by the outstanding Quinn McDonald, Founder and Chief Curiosity Officer of Quinn Creative, offering “…life- and creativity coaching, writing services and training in business writing, presentations and business communications.”

I am honored to serve as the Color Muze for both Artistically Speaking Talk Show, and Cre8tive Compass Magazine, and have the opportunity to work, play, learn and grow with Rebecca and her cohorts and guests each third Sunday of the month, at 4:15 PST.

Please join us, as we laugh, learn, engage and share our way to greater awareness, understanding, embodiment, and enjoyment of our cre8tive and giving selves and lives, and as Rebecca says, “Have a blessed day”.

Absolutely!!!

Thank you ‘becca….GrAtItUdEs…from all of “US”!

You certainly ARE a “‘Trep” for the intrepid!!!

Muz-ing on our Color Choices

Muz-ing on our Color Choices

Each month, usually the third Sunday of the month, at 4:15 PST, I have the honor, and the responsibility, of visiting the inspiring and informative Artistically Speaking Talk Show, brainchild of the extraordinary Rebecca E. Parsons, as the Color Muze…and then translating our colorFULL “muzes” into a monthly articles for Rebecca’s online magazine, “Cre8tive Compass“.

The bottom line is…how do we make our color choices?  Why do we choose the colors that we do…and what can help us make the most gratifying color choices for any particular purpose?

From what we take in,

to what we  live in,

to what we put on.

How does color affect us, and how can we cre8te color effects?  Are we talking paint effects, or the effect of light?  How does color make us FEEL emotionally, (what are our color associations?) or   physically (through our senses), or  spiritually, and on an energetic level?

What is actually happening in our brains when we “see” color?  And…what is up with that Color Wheel, anyway?

Analogous colors, complementary colors, warm and cool colors, tertiary colors…what do all of these terms mean, and how can YOU use color theory in Your own precious Life?

So…check us out!  Rebecca broadcasts live every Sunday night, beginning at 3:30 PST…and the Color Muze visits most third Sundays of the month, at approximately 4:15pm, PST.  You will hear marvelous and inspiring interviews with artists, entrepreneurs, crafters, bloggers and bakers, and enough bite-sized pieces of color info to make a meal!

As always…feel free to call in to the Show, make a comment here,  on the Cre8tive Compass site, or either of our Facebook pages.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all cre8ting our own rainbow of this thing called Life…together!

The Colors of Healing

The Colors of Healing

In November of  2011 I chatted with  Rebecca E. Parsons  on her fascinating  Artistically Speaking Talk Show , on Blog Talk Radio   where she interviews a wide range of artists, coaches, and other creatives, such as mixed media painter  Sarah Ahearn Bellemare.  As the show’s   Color Muze , it is my job to offer fun, interesting, colorFULL and salient color tips each third Sunday of the month, at the end of the interview.  The Color Muze  is then transformed into an article, and published in Rebecca’s   Cre8tive Compass Magazine , and my own blog, Artissima, the blog of ArtiFactory Studio.  We strive to make our Color Muzes both delicious AND nutritious…to keep the learning sweet!

On November 20, 2011, our Color Muze took a turn to the metaphysical, and the arena of  psychosomatic medicine. We discussed an approach to healing with color I had learned about during my studies with the  IACC , ( International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers), based on the “Chakras‘, or energy centers existing outside of the body, which, according to our teacher and color expert, Frank Mahnke , “are in communication with the automatic nervous system and the regulation of hormone secretion.  These energy centers are divided into seven chakras and each chakra corresponds to one of the seven spectral colors.”

We had so much colorFULL fun during our Muze, looking at the list of these, and their correlations, which, gratis Mr. Mahnke,  I share with you, Gentle Readers, here and now.

   The Vertex chakra corresponds to VIOLET…representing  wisdom and  spiritual energy, and influences the pituitary gland.

The Forehead  chakra  corresponds to INDIGO…representing intuition, ( the third eye), and  influences the pineal gland.

The Larynx chakra corresponds to BLUE… representing religious inspiration, creativity, language, and communication, and influences the thyroid gland.

The Heart chakra corresponds to GREEN and PINK… representing  love, sympathy, harmony, and influences heart and thymus glands.

The  Solar Plexus chakra corresponds to YELLOW…representing  knowledge and intellect, and is the seat for tension, and influences solar plexus and adrenal body.

The Spleen chakra corresponds to ORANGE… representing energy, and  influences the  spleen and pancreas.

The Basis chakra corresponds to RED… representing life and reproduction, and influences sex glands and sexual organs. (Can’t help thinking about VALENTINE’S DAY here!)

And, what happens when colors such as complimentary BLUE and ORANGE are placed next to each other?

We invite you to  listen to our Color Muze from November 20th, along with the wonderFULL interview with Sarah Ahearn Bellemare, and find out!

What experiences have YOU had with Color Healing?

If You feel so inclined, please share them with us here…Muze with us!

We love to hear from YOU!

Remember, we are all healing through this thing called Life, together.

Wishing YOU Health, Peace, and Color in Your Life.

A a liner note, the above pictures were taken at the magical and marvelous San Francisco event, “Bouquets to Art”, held each MARCH, at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, (FAMSF).  Follow the link, and check it out if you are in the Bay Area at that time (it is coming up next month!)  You won’t be disappointed…”Bouquets” is bound to add sweetness, AND color to your life and senses!

Cacophony to Calm…Compensating with Color

 Cacophony to Calm…Compensating with Color

Can color “theory” heal?   If healing means balancing, compensating, and otherwise enhancing the quality of a space, object, light source, or even our bodies, then I believe it can.

Our April 17, 2011 Color Muze  on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, “muzed” about how color can be used to adjust our perception of sound, or the lack of it, and thus balance or “heal” an environment through our sense of seeing, and its potential effect on our sense of hearing.  This is an aspect of the phenomenon of “Synesthesia”, or “Unity of the Senses”, as IACC-NA (International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers-North America)  lecturer, Frank H. Mahnke, terms it.  The idea being  that our perception of color can associate with our perception of another sense, such as hearing.

Warm colors (from red to yellow-green on the color wheel), associate with loudness.


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Cool colors (from green to red-violet on the color wheel) associate with quietness.

This is reflected in our language, the way we talk about our environment, or even our feelings, in terms of color. I am not sure I have ever heard anyone refer to a quiet (or cool) red, though anything is possible!  On the contrary, I remember my mother describing feelings of anger as “Seeing red.”

By comparison, people may speak of a  quieting their emotions when they enter a room in which a “cool” blue predominates.

It is interesting to view the two together…(albeit different hues and values of red and blue).

Thus if we wish to compensate for noise problems in a space, we can add more “cooling” colors such as  blues, blue greens, perhaps even a cool blue-violet. Warm to hot colors such a saturated reds, and “hot” oranges or yellows will tend to exacerbate our sense of being in a noisy environment, which can be significant in any setting where concentration is important.

To relieve a “too-quiet” or tomb-like atmosphere in a room, and add energy, warmer (and lighter) colors may be applied, such as yellow-green, golden-yellow, reds, oranges or “hot” purples (red-violets).

It is fascinating, and fun to see the sound associations the Henrich Frieling, Director of the Institute of Color Psychology assigns to a range of colors:

Red– loud, trumpet

Pink – soft, delicate

Orange – loud, major key

Brown – dark, deep minor key

Gold-Yellow – fanfare, major key

Yellow – shrill, major key

Yellow-Green – high-pitched, minor key

Green – muffled when dull, shrill when saturated

Green-Blue – soft

Blue – distant, flute to violin

Ultramarine – dark, deep, more minor key

Violet – sad, deep, minor key

Light-Purple – weak, restrained

Crimson – powerful, stately

It really begs the question…what might a musician, singer, or music therapist have to say about this?  What about Sharry Edwards, pioneer in the study of Human BioAcoustic Biology…might she have a “color link” to her work and theories on healing the body through sound?

Perhaps a subject for another post…

Have you used color to compensate for too much noise, or not enough sound in your own or other spaces? Have you felt the effect of color healing in regards to your, or your Clients’ auditory environment?  What is YOUR experience with Synesthesia, in regards to the relationship of sight to sound, the visual to the audible?

If you feel so inspired, please share your insights with us here.  We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all seeking the balance in this thing called Life, together.

Here’s wishing you healing wherever you need it most, in your Life right here, right now.  Cheers!


Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Colors that Advance and Recede



Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Colors that Advance and Recede

On March 20, 2011, during our Color Muze segment on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, I had the opportunity to chat with hosts  Rebecca and Lyna‘s delightful guest, mixed media artist Kelli Perkins about color temperature, colors that advance and recede, and the relationship between the two.  Playing off our previous discussions of “Synesthesia“, or, “The Unity of the Senses“, the idea that colors provoke associations our senses other than sight, during this Muze, we focused on which colors seem to advance, and which to recede.  This effect is particularly salient as regards to architectural color, as it can be used to make a space feel larger,

or smaller….

For example, if we paint the walls a color that seems to advance towards us, the space itself will feel smaller.  Doing the opposite can create the opposite effect.  This technique can be used in any visual context.  Using colors that advance and recede can create movement or stillness, dynamism or placidity, agitation or peacefulness, in paintings, textiles, clothing, or anything that uses color as an element.  Artists, take this to heart.  Kelli does use color!  Warm, saturated, and often secondary (purple, green, orange) color!  She uses it intuitively and instinctively, even giving herself luminescent purple hair in a self-portrait.  Check it out, you have to see this!

But what makes a color seem to advance or recede?   And, what qualities do those colors have?

Well, for one thing, how warm or cool a color is perceived to be plays a major role.   If we consider the color wheel, we can see a warm half of the wheel,  red through yellow-green, and a cool half, green through red-violet.  In terms of our perception, warm colors seem to advance, and cool, to recede.  When we talk about color “pop”, it refers to the advancing quality of that color, making it “pop” out at us, like the brilliant orange vase in this room.

Warm to hot colors will seem to advance, making the surfaces sheathed in them seem to be closer to you, thus making a room seem smaller, cozier, and, of course, warmer.  Often, we want this, and a cavernous space may need it to feel livable.

Cool to cold colors will seem to recede, making the surfaces they sheath feel farther away from us, thus visually adding space, or volume, to a room.  This sense of space can be calming and refreshing, especially on a hot day!

By the same token, dark, saturated colors advance and make a space feel smaller, and more intimate,

while pale, light colors, with less saturation add volume by receding. offering a sense of spaciousness, and potentially, rest and relief.

And for sure…strong, bold busy pattern advances!  This intimate boudoir becomes yet more magical, fantastical and fun with the addition of this totally HOT fabric wallpaper and curtain!

Smaller, more subdued pattern also recedes.  Here the cool blue elegance of the drapes is warmed up by the detail, which brings them to the same plane as the surrounding white walls.  The walls themselves recede in lightness of color, advance  in warmth of tone, and recede  in absence of pattern!  Wow.  This advancing and receding stuff can be complex.  Almost like a math problem. But, ooh, how fun to contemplate!

An interesting discovery can be made when considering our use of language, vis-a-vis not only color, but temperature, AND the idea of advancing and receding.  Let’s listen to what we say, what we think, and how we describe relationships, or even our own emotions  and personalities.  When someone, or even our self, is being or feeling cool, or cold, we often describe that behavior as distant.  Or, visa versa, if someone seems remote, or distant, we may jump to the conclusion that they are “cold” or “cool”,  emotionally. We may even feel cold or cool ourselves, when we feel emotionally distant from another person, experience,  or something we see, or do.

Conversely, when we feel intimate and close to others, to our experience, to ourselves, to Life,  we may feel warm, or even hot (!).  How often do we say, “I feel so cool and cozy!”?  Never, I would venture to guess.  Not if we aren’t characters in a J K Rowling fantasy!  When we feel warmth towards or from another person, they feel “close” to us, and we feel close to them. .  It would be hard to feel close to someone, to our authentic selves, or to our experience, and feel cool or cold. When we say, “Person X is so warm, I feel so close to him/her.”, we are equating emotional temperature with emotional proximity, and the idea of emotional color advancing and receding within ourselves and others.

There is much to contemplate here, and this could be the subject of a whole new post.  Have you ever felt the temperature effect, either emotionally, or physically, through color?  Have you used color deliberately, to expand or contract the perceived volume of a space? Have you noticed your own telling use of language to describe either?

If you feel so inspired, please share your insights, discoveries, and experiences with us here.  We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all, hopefully, advancing through this thing called Life, together.

Here’s wishing you both color and emotional mastery, magic and adventure.  It’s hot!