BOOKED (5): German Expressionism in “The Written Image” at LACMA

BOOKED (5): German Expressionism in “The Written Image” at LACMA

WEBl “The Written Image: Books and Portfolios from the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies” is a gem of a show at  LACMA, and a fitting accompaniment to the big exhibition  Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky,which you can read about here.

WEBmYou can read about the show, which is comprised of books and prints fusing visual art, writing and design, created in fruitful collaboration by expressionist artists, writers, teachers, innovators, book designers and publishers.

WEBpThe Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies “….is a research facility devoted to the study of the expressionist movement, which flourished in Germany during the early twentieth century. The center houses a collection of approximately 5,000 prints and drawings and a catalogued library of more than 6,000 volumes. This collection is available by appointment only to art historians, scholars, and students.” -http://www.lacma.org/rifkind-center

WEBaWEBbUtopia I-II: Documents of Reality“, by  artist, teacher and color theorist  Johannes Itten, with a cover designed by artist  Oskar Schlemmer, both Bauhaus teachers, was a first attempt at formulating what became the basis for most modern design school curricula.  Bauhaus was a new design school at the time. This original volume has a oddly quaint hands-on quality, its cover combining watercolor and metallic paints with lithography.

WEBeWEBcWEBdKurt Schwitters designed this cover of “The Cathedral”. Schwitters was a practitioner of  Dada, and the creator of  Merz: “Merz has been called ‘Psychological Collage’. Most of the works attempt to make coherent aesthetic sense of the world around Schwitters, using fragments of found objects. These fragments often make witty allusions to current events.” –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Schwitters#Dada_and_Merz  Schwitters said, “In the war, things were in terrible turmoil. What I had learned at the academy was of no use to me and the useful new ideas were still unready…. Everything had broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments; and this is Merz. It was like a revolution within me, not as it was, but as it should have been.” –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Schwitters#Dada_and_Merz

WEBfffWEBffAn richly textured book cover and design, made by artist Richard Janthur.

WEBgWEBhThe Expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka combined lithographs and text in this extraordinary work. The vivid colors and black outlines belie the adult subject matter, although the piece was commissioned as a children’s’ book.

WEBiWEBjI had not heard of the artist Carry Hauser before seeing this show, but was entranced by the combination of powerful woodcut image and side stab binding technique.

WEBkThe beautiful simple sewn binding and use of black in this piece by Josef Achmann allow the powerful image to take center stage. The words are masterfully integrated into the design of this piece entitled, “The small town“.

WEBnWEBoMax Oppenheimer, (not to be confused with the film director) achieves incredible detail in this etching and drypoint, “Untitled (Stag Hunt)”. The piece is small, and you really have to look closely. If you do, you will be rewarded by a glimpse of intaglio genius.

Not a large show, this gathering of works is intimate, yet requires time and effort to take in. It requires thoughtful observation, indeed scrutiny, and a reading of the historical period in which these (many collaborative) works were created.  Knowing more about the artists, writers, designers, and the political and cultural climate in which they were working will make your viewing experience all the richer.  As a lover of books and the integration of the verbal and visual, I found “The Written Image” to be the gift that keeps on giving. Revel!

 

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The Power of RED

The Power of RED

Whatever you want to say about it…the color RED elicits strong emotions. What are the associations and meanings  of this volatile color, and what does it symbolize to us?

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An effect of light: COLOR

From an energetic point of view, red is related to the Basis chakra (energy center), and influences the sex glands, and sexual energy.  It symbolizes life and reproduction.  Studies show that it is associated with both love and, to a lesser degree,  hatred,  as well as life, heat, fire and blood.

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Life Force

Red is arousing, stimulating,  and exciting, relating to both passion, strength, activity and warmth, as well as aggression, rage, intensity and ferocity.   One aspect, it would seem, that can be agreed upon, is that red is energizing!

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I am RED hear me roar!

 Synesthesia, the experience of a sensory “cross-over“, ” is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.“.  Thus a color may elicit associations with particular sounds, tastes, smells, or tactile sensations.  In the case of RED, is associates with loud sounds, specifically, the trumpet, as well as sweet and strong tastes and odors.  Red’s tactile association is firmness and solidity.

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Firmness, Solidity, Strength: holding it all together

What is in common here? Strength. No  half-way measures here…RED packs the proverbial “punch”.  Indeed, if we are punched, the area where we are impacted more often becomes red quickly, as the  the blow brings up our actual blood in response so healing/repair can begin immediately..  Seeing Red anyone?  Well, here’s hoping that doesn’t happen to You!

Let’s look at happy, healthy, healing and sometimes outrageous but always energizing uses of RED!

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Brilliant RED, setting off the adjacent gray, adds fire to this exterior architectural color scheme! Symmetry is avoided, but balance is achieved.

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Red does double duty here  energizing both door  and address numbers, again framed by cooling gray, which makes the red stand out that much more.

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The red door let’s us know exactly where to go to enter this charming Victorian, which also employs grays and blues and a touch of lavender as a counterbalance to the eye-catching accent door and architectural detail.

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The red side of this bar ties into other red hues in the flow-through living room, as well as the kitchen rug, and other details not pictured, such as a bright red teapot! Fresh white trim frames and accentuates it.

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Red is thought to stimulate the appetite, making it a natural choice for an eating area. In this home, the red of this dining room, and  the blue and gold of the adjoining hallway/entry and living room respectively create a potent triad of primary colors!

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Red associates with love and the heart, and thus is a natural, life affirming accent wall color choice for an organization like Dress for Success, which helps women prepare for fresh starts in their lives.

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The associations of red with grapes and wine may be obvious, especially to those for whom such spirits are their “life blood”. This red accent wall provides a vibrant frame around the vineyard scene.

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Red doesn’t always have to cover the wall to have an impact. Above, it is used as an energizing accent, and makes a statement in the context of the painting, textile, and rug. There is just enough to enliven a smallish room, and add warmth, layering and texture to the predominant hues of beige/cream, white and deep blue.

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The painting of red with turquoise blue in this narrow hallway packs the proverbial punch, and lights up our senses. The brightness and richness of both these colors holds our attention and really keeps us awake!

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Red and turquoise play nice together as strong accents on this painted chair, reminiscent of the Southwestern United States, in both imagery and hue.

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Setting each other off like black on white, the green background makes its compliment, red, pop! Loving ladybugs, anyone?

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Red is the perfect choice for a sidewalk “sandwich” sign, designed to attract attention, inform, point the way, and draw in customers!

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Flying high…the associations are here are clear!

What does RED mean to YOU?!

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.

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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!

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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…?

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

Intuitive Color

Intuitive Color

I have a bit of a confession to make.  As a color consultant, I go with my gut first- (after full-out discussions with the Client of course, and an assessment of their needs, wants, preferences and desires for their space, business or brand, and its color design).

I take a look at all the information, and at the raw data: the space, walls, architecture, logo, or existing visual identity, and then let my imagination wander.   After I identify my intuitive, initial, and well, gut response, I delve into my source material…my guides, charts, chapters and information garnered from my course of study at the IACC-NA (International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers of North America).

I cross-reference my initial, intuitive, and gut-level response with case studies, hard data, and historical info, and  analyze the color  choices from a number of vantage points including the psychological/associative, the sensory and the energetic.

In other words, how do colors make us feel emotionally, physically, and psychologically?  What emotions do we feel, or associate, what physical sensations do we experience, or associate, and what symbolic associations do we make with any particular hue..or combinations of hue?

Can we be healed by color? All of these effects, issues and questions come into play when choosing colors for the garden, the built environment, or a business, institution or organization.  There is no one right answer when determining, choosing or analyzing colors or color combinations for any purpose.  There are theories, the color wheel, associations, and our felt experience.  All of these must be brought to bear on our color decision.  Let’s look at some evocative color combinations in art, nature and life.  Evocative of…what?  Well might you ask.

Sometimes a complimentary ( opposite each other on the color wheel) color duo is necessary to add punch, accent or contrast, even within a range of softer, pastel hues.  Pale yellow and periwinkle blue cross into yellow and purple territory, creating contrast, without becoming jarring.

 Analogous colors (those next to each other on the color wheel), can work together to communicate a feeling, a brand,or a niche based on associations with nature. The analogous combination of blue and green  is a natural to express tranquility, life, truth, growth and hope.

Combinations of two secondary hues, such as green and lavender can create a feeling of both variegation and  harmony. The colors are contrasting, but also related, as they share the common element of blue.

We can look to the associations colors have with emotions to  better understand our reactions to them. Hatred can be associated with both red and black. This may be mitigated by the addition of white and pale yellow. How much each color is used is also a factor in how we respond to the color composition  as a whole.

Blue and orange, another complimentary pair, combine the tranquil and noble associations of blue with the happiness and joviality of orange. Tension or balance or…both?  We are held rapt by a sky both ethereal and dramatic.

Perhaps the employment of all three primary colors (red, yellow and blue) is the most dynamic of combos.  These colors, in near pure form, happily vie for attention in all their aspects, creating a brilliant, dynamic harmony.  This image keeps us awake, stimulates our minds, and enlivens our senses..  Like visual acupressure, all the points are touched..

Coming full circle, we return to the gradated harmonies of sea, mist, fog and sky…with the silhouette of a tree branch and a distant piece of the red-hued  Golden Gate Bridge thrown in for good measure.  Don’t “analyze this”…just let it wash over you…and trust your intuition, your gut response…they won’t lead  you wrong with color…ever.  ” This above all: to thine own self be true,” in color, and in life.   Is there a distinction?

Color for All Reasons I

Color for All Reasons I

We have so many situations in our lives when we are called upon to make color decisions.  Whether it be for our homes, our appearance, our mode of transport, our creative endeavors, our web presence, or our work….the colors we choose play a huge role in our lives.

Our color choices both express us…from the inside out, as well as affect how we are viewed..from the outside in.  Thus in our creative expressions, the “branding” of our businesses, and the sum total of our visual identities, color is a defining factor that communicates who we are, where we are at, and who we aspire to be, simultaneously.

I  recently had the opportunity to work with a beloved colleague who needed a color consultation for her marketing client.  The color purple had been chosen for the client’s logo, but my colleague thought the purple hue could be tweaked a bit, and wanted both a suggestion for a color to compliment the purple, as well as information on the meaning of the recommended colors.

After reading about the client and her business, and viewing the logo and the initial color of purple chosen, I knew the appropriate compliment was just that, the compliment of purple: yellow (well…gold/ochre tones of yellow).  Complimentary colors are those opposite each other on the color wheel, and just like black and white these dynamic duos set each other off, and well, compliment each other!

I know that blue would be too cool, and too close to purple, as it is one of its components. The same for red. I knew orange would be too bold with the purple, and green too varied.  All of these could be beautiful combinations, but not for the purpose we were trying to achieve, the communication of the client’s brand, or as I like to think of it, her essence; that which she has to offer.  It had to be gold…in an earthy, ochre tonality.  One way to tone down, or “kick back”  (bring down the intensity and brightness) of a color is to add a quotient of its complement, or opposite…in this case, purple!

I also recommended warming up the cool, ethereal shade of purple initially chosen by the client by upping its quotient of red, which would work well with the earthy tone of gold/ochre I suggested.

The meaning of the recommended colors was accessed from a number of vantage points, in regards to everything I was given to understand about the client, her message, her intentions, her history and life experience, her current situation, and future intentions, as well as her hopes, plans and purpose.  The colors had to reflect and communicate all of these, and feel completely authentic to her as well.

Please tune back in next week for part two of our series Color for all Reasons, and learn about the meaning of the colors for this very special client and her business. You can learn how You  can access the  colors that you choose from a variety of perspectives, that can illuminate, support and enrich your color choices, and hopefully make them less agonizing.

What color choices have YOU had to make lately, and how have you made them?

If You feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all adding color to this thing called Life, together.

Thanks for joining us on the journey…

Compliments of the House

Compliments of the House

Complimentary Colors = those opposite each other on the Color Wheel.

So… the compliments are opposites, yet they, “compliment” one and other…I.E.: set each other off…draw each other out, and balance each other!

Now…let’s have some complimentary fun, and celebrate these complimentary pairs.

Don’t get distracted by the green…

House Happy….

Fire and water….

Enjoy some compliments today…they are always there to inspire us, pique our interest, energize and awaken us.

Ciao!

Compliments of Artissima, and ArtiFactory Studio!

Color: Culture, Trends, and You


Color: Culture, Trends, and You

Over the summer, during our “Color Muze” segments on Artistically Speaking Talk Show,  we have focused on the Color Experience Pyramid, as outlined by color expert, Frank H. Mahnke of the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers .

As described in the posts, “Pyramid Scheme”  and “The Embodiment of Color”, we experience color on a number of different levels, and Mr. Mahnke has developed a  ” pyramid scheme”  to organize them. This schemata looks like a  broad-based triangle, and is composed of six levels, starting at the wide base with our biological responses to a color stimulus, and ending at its pointed tip, with our personal relationship to  color.  In other words, the Pyramid levels move from the general to the specific.

Here’s to the red, white and blue…and, yellow!?

We are influenced by our cultures, and this affects how we experience and use color, and our emotional response to it.   Top 1 Oil, a company that produces and provides, you got, it, petroleum products, uses the colors of the American flag in its logo, along with sunny, optimistic, and energetic yellow.   Do we feel energetic when we view this logo?

In addition to presenting a logo and branding that encompass all three primary (red, blue, yellow) colors,  supported by white, aka, purity, this color combination reads patriotism plus.  The yellow adds brightness and warmth, relating to an image of golden oil. What a message of hopefulness, buoyancy, energy (oil = fuel,/sunlight = energy = fuel) and forward movement!

Very few of us, no matter how individual we may want to, or feel ourselves to be, can resist at least some influence of current fashions and trends. The  Color Marketing Group (CMG) mwebsite states that they are ” the premier international association for color design professionals. Our mission is to create color forecast information for professionals who design and market color. ”  There is a whole world of those forecasting the next color trend, or “color of the year”, and like it or not, they exert great influence over what we see on the runways, on the road, on our walls, and even  on our bodies.

Yet, what goes into these trends?  There must be some combination of cultural experience, current events, environmental states, and the impact of history that informs them.

Mid-Century … modern once upon a time…

As I share in my post, Featured Work: “Mid-Century Retro”:   Starburst, Atom, or Tinkertoy?Mid-Century Modern design style, both in its “original’ format more than a half a century ago, and in its many personalized revivals, encompasses specific colors, textures, shapes, and patterns.  These comprise a style or trend, that was fresh, “a la mode”, and au courant” at one time, and has now become retro, beloved by some, whimsical to others, fun and even intriguing to many.

Paradoxically, Mid-Century Retro and its accompanying earth tones, burnt oranges, grey and gold hues can be seen as a current trend or fashion, even though its original style is no longer fresh and new, or in the van guard.  The fact that this style is nostalgic (depending on when you were born…or, not) can, pun intended, color our emotional and aesthetic response to the palette.

Finally…to the personal..our Personal Relationship to Color….

So, why do we love what we love?

I quote Frank Mahnke, who says, “…the “color experience”, or, how we experience color, is made up of the inter-relationship and connection of all the levels of the pyramid….we, within our life and according to mood, change color preference….An expression through color…characterizes us, and gives an indication of who we are as individuals.’

Serving up some  specific Color Choices…

Bright colors on an exterior mural….what the client wants to see outside her kitchen window…

The purple sunset sky desired by a young girl for her bedroom ceiling….

Magical colors on the exterior of a building brightening the foggy weather…

Knowing the “theory”…, color theory that is, can help us make these choices, and feel as though we are on the “right”  track.

Our experience of color through nature  is direct, primal, and  visceral.  Also, most likely, backed up by theory, if we really look at it.

Nature, color and art, are they separable?  What do You think?

What is the influence of culture and trends on your personal relationship to color?

If you are so moved, please share about it with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all coloring in this thing called Life, together.





Shedding Light on Color

Shedding Light on Color

What is color really?


We tend to think of color as being a property of, a part of, or existing within or on something.  We think of an object or surface having, or containing color.  As color is so emotionally, psychologically and even physically powerful, we concretize  it, i.e., we  see it as a Thing, unto itself.

But actually, as IACC color designer Frank Mahnke says, “Color exists only in our brain.”  He further explains, “Color is actually the result of different wavelengths of light stimulating certain parts of the brain. The experience of color depends on the intensity of light, the way it is reflected from a surface, and the colors surrounding objects.”


The Artist’s handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer states, “Each paint pigment owes its color to the kind of light rays it absorbs and reflects.  White light (daylight) is composed of a number of waves or impulses of various dimensions or wavelengths, any single one of which, if isolated, would have the property of producing a specific color sensation on the eye.  When a ray of white light falls upon a pigment, the pigment absorbs certain waves and reflects others; this determines its color effect.”


When we consider that white  light is composed of the color spectrum, we can then understand that the color that we see is composed of the light waves that are NOT absorbed by the surface we are looking at.  This may seem counter-intuitive, because aren’t we looking at a color that IS part of the surface we see, and not the color that isn’t?

Well, actually, no.

We are perceiving a color that is, to a great extent,  the light wavelengths NOT being absorbed by the surface, which ARE being scattered, or reflected “back to us”, and thus we perceive the surface as “being” that color that we see.  I say “to a great extent”, because our perception of color  is also affected  by ambient lighting, as well as the color of objects nearby.

When we think of the surface (actually, it is the material, or pigments on or in the surface, but for the sake of simplicity…) as absorbing the light waves we DON’T see, and reflecting back to us those we DO, then the whole phenomenon becomes a bit easier to understand.  In a sense, the colors we see are not really “there”, objectively speaking.  Indeed, one might say that our perception is a phenomenon of light.  Comprehending this, we can understand why the Impressionists declared that they were “painting light”.

However much we study the science, the facts as we understand them, and various color theories from Newton to Goethe, there is an aspect of color that remains a mystery, and perhaps rightly so.

The fact that color is not an inherent part of objects, but is, among other things, an effect of light, which is mutable, changes our perception of both ourselves and the world around and within us.  Our comprehension is tweaked, and may become  just that much broader.  Learning about, experiencing, and understanding aspects of color may color our view on hue, the world, our lives.  Color, and the art, science and magic of it really can be transformative; white light splintering into all the colors of the Rainbow…

What scientifically magical or mysterious aspects of color have YOU discovered lately?

If you are so moved, please share them with us here.  We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all coloring our way through this thing called Life, together




Ceilings: No Limits for 2011!

Ceilings:  No Limits for 2011!

As we  enter the new year, let’s take a minute to consider not limitations, but possibilities!

The ceiling, or  “fifth wall”,  imposes limitations of height, size and shape upon the room it covers.  A defining factor of any interior space, the color and treatment of a room’s ceiling can profoundly affect its ambiance.

Whether you wish to warm up or cool down your interior spaces this year, create more spaciousness or intimacy, or add formality or whimsy, try taking a  fresh look at your ceilings, and pondering their creative  potential.   Consider the ceiling a blank canvass with unlimited possibilities.  After all, the ceiling is our interior sky…and you know the old adage…”the sky’s the limit!”

Here are a few ideas to get you going…

Some folks like it hot…hot color, that is.  Like washes of strong hues on all the walls , and gradated color glazed on the stairway ceiling to express the warmth of a luminous sunset!

The gradated sunset colors overhead flow from yellow to orange to red to violet, as we climb the stairs and turn left into the second floor hallway.  Adjacent is a yellow and black deco bathroom, with a  glazed ceiling that matches the walls.

The theme of sunset also inspired this ceiling treatment.  The young girl who lives here requested a purple sunset cloud and sky treatment.   Five glazes in hues of blue, purple, plum, pink and fuchsia are blended in several layers over a ceiling surface  that curves down to meet the wall’s crown molding.

This kitchen tray ceiling seems made for a multi-color glaze treatment that enhances and accentuates it, adds warmth, depth and interest, and reflects the copper accents throughout the room. The folks  who cook here also appreciate the appetite-stimulating effect of the treatment’s tones of coppery-orange.

Baths and powder rooms are ideal for imaginative, mood-setting ceiling treatments.  The only rules: prepare the surface to be treated properly, and protect it with the appropriate varnish upon completion.  On the recessed ceiling of this bath, blue and pearl glazes are blended together to create a dreamy evening sky punctuated by stenciled silver stars.

The light fixture was the inspiration for the ceiling design in this colorful entry.  The stencil  based on it is set off by sponged and stippled glazes which wrap the entire room.  Mysterious decorative shadows are cast by the light shining through the ornate fixture, adding to the effect!

How about a little gleam and glimmer?  Three successive applications of gold and silver glazes lend depth, shimmer and texture to the entry ceiling of this designer showcase home.  The treatment adds elegance and glamor, and doesn’t compete with the light fixture.

This octagonal domed breakfast room is treated to successive applications of custom metallic gold and silver glazes which  create an effect of both subtlety and richness. If metallic finishes are  applied with a light touch in the right room, they add a bit of magic, and don’t overwhelm the space.

In another domed breakfast room,  the ceiling’s architectural details  are brought out by the application of three soft-colored glazes, applied and blended with sea sponges.  The treatment also warms up this fanciful room, one of many jewels in a magnificent Spanish Revival home.

Two young brothers inhabit this room where rockets zoom, and stars and planets glow from the ceiling above.  Two glaze colors are color washed over the ceiling’s surface, and custom stencils based on the boy’s bedding design are used create a fantasy tableau of outer space.

Have you been moved to create a fun and fabulous ceiling treatment, color choice, texture or application? If you feel so inspired, share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all in this thing called Life, together.

All the best for 2011!