Green, Green, My Heart is Green

Green, Green, My Heart is Green

webEHere’s looking at You kid…with the greenest eye.

Inspired by a post on ORANGE, written by Anna Nahman of L’Essenziale Home Designs, and a little walk i took today, I decided to write about that most Life Affirming of all colors…Green.

It is the Fall season…Autumn…a time in many locales of oranges, rusts, sometimes brilliant reds, and greens that are fading into yellow…but here in Santa Monica, green, bursting at the seams and filled with blooms of color, abounds.

Fall is also a time of new beginnings…new school year…projects, growth and cycles of all kinds.

Therefore…join me please, as I celebrate the glory , growth, and greatness of Green!

3Cmkting13C Marketing Group gets Green Power!!

cc2Green gradations on exterior architecture can brighten even the San Francisco fog!

LAgreengradAnd the Los Angeles “version”…bright light, Chartreuse.

Green 0311Bulls eye…Kelly green seen between two buildings hits the visual mark!

blushThe tart, green apple “taste” of this yogurt shop, (in terms of Synesthesia) stirs up the appetite!

GreenDoorjambGreen paired with its opposite/compliment red (or in this case, pink) makes for a striking interior image.

lady_aThe complimentary red ladybugs stand out against the green background, making a strong statement.

green2Soft, weathered greens flow across wooden poles which form a fence, and blend naturally into the landscape.

green3Verdigris is  the natural patina which forms on the surface of  copper, bronze, or brass as it is exposed to air and water, wind and weather over time.  It’s aqua-green tints work well in natural settings.

WEBBGreens don’t have to be brilliant to be beautiful…a soft grey green exterior punctuated by a wooden door melds perfectly with the dark  green vines which trail over it.  There is a melancholy to Autumn…after all.

But…let us not end on a melancholy note…let’s end with the glory of green…WEBd

Oct122012_6378WBpushing its way through the grey pavement, a go-getter…growing…growth…grown…it just won’t stop, or give up.

And neither should we.

Happy Fall Everyone!

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The Power of RED: Doors

The Power of RED: Doors

Why use red on a front door?

(Or a side, service or interior door, for that matter?!)

It seems that all can agree that RED is energizing.

Here we  explore why…and why red so often greets us as the port of entry into all sorts of spaces.

val_bAn earthy, pink-toned red works well on this door, which receives in strong sunlight, with the warm-toned earthy brown house body color.

soulA deep, strong red door offsets buttery yellow walls, and stands out in a large Pilates studio space without dominating it or taking away from its serenity.

gu_aNot a front door here, but strong bright red works just as well on this service door, providing contrast to the complex taupe field hue which dominates the exterior.

WEBaStrong red makes this door quite visible and shows us where to go,  even behind bars, albeit, decorative ones!

WEBbComplimentary greenery flanks this glistening red door, giving it even greater “pop”, and attracting us to the entrance, and the house.

WEBcThe red door leads our eye to the entry, and offsets the quite brown of the shingles, and potentially somber black shutters and trim.

WEBdA less brilliant red makes a quieter statement, but a strong one, nonetheless, the color offsetting the dark steps, and drawing our eye up to it..

WEBeNestled within the entrance alcove, this red door gives relieves the expanse of  ochre colored stucco surrounding it.

WEBfThe red of the door is picked up as an accent color in the trim, and Victorian detailing and ornamentation, adding a sense of fun and whimsy to the entry.

WEBiRed on the front door of a Santa Monica mortuary: life affirming, warming, comforting, path finding, getting us where we need to go…inside top face loss, establish ritual to move through it, and do what must be done.

WEBjRed side doors of the same mortuary…again, letting us know where we need to go. keeping us energized and focused, doing what we need to do.

WEBkAnother “cottage” beauty…this bright  red door fairly beams out its cheerful, inviting, life-affirming greeting, and seems to say…come in!

What do You think about Red Doors? Do you have a favorite? Please share about it with us in the comments, and your thoughts on why Red Doors persist as a theme in our architectural color culture!

Here’s to energizing entrances to all sorts of spaces!

Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part One

Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part One

Our February 13th “Color Muze” segment on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, focused on the fascinating concept and phenomenon of “Synesthesia”, or “Unity of the Senses. I learned about Synesthesia through my color seminars at the IACC-NA (The International Association of Colour Consultants and Designers North America) from Mr. Frank Mahnke, President of the  IACC-NA and the Director of the IACC Education/Accreditation Programs conducted worldwide. Mr. Mahnke lectures on the  psycho-physiological effects of color, light and the human reaction to the built environment, as well as the role of color as information and communication in the field of marketing.

In my first Seminar with the IACC-NA, I learned about how colors (the visual) can provoke associations with our other senses, (smell, touch/the tactile, hearing and taste), as well as affect our perception of weight, volume, size and texture.  In the words of Mr. Mahnke , “It seems that the centers for processing sensory information are linked with each other, leading to crosstalk between the senses.” If this is true, and it would seem from the evidence of our senses that it is, then the concept of Synesthesia is an important consideration in any and every color decision we make, with potentially profound consequences emotionally, physically, aesthetically, and even spiritually!

Let’s look at some examples.

Considering Temperature: Painter, designer, teacher, writer and theorist Johannes Itten wrote about experiments that supported the thesis that we can feel a 5-7 degree difference in temperature in rooms painted blue-green, and red-orange.  When we consider the associations with blue-green (water, coolness), and red-orange (fire, heat) this would seem to make sense!  What experiences have YOU had temperature-wise, being surrounded by architectural color?  Does blue/green always feel cooler, and red/orange warmer to you?  Does it depend on the value, saturation, intensity, tone and context of the color?  And what about the color of that color- its hue?

What about Volume? We can see through experience, that lighter, cooler  colors seem to recede, thus making a room feel larger,  (giving it more “room”) while warmer, more saturated, and darker colors seem to advance, and take up more space in a room, thus making it appear smaller.  Have YOU had this experience? As a color designer, have you used these principles?

Can color affect our perception of weight and size? Darker, warmer and more saturated colors tend to seem heavier, and the areas they cover seem to be larger, while paler, cooler and more pastel colors seem lighter, and the areas they cover, smaller.  Thus a darker, warmer, and more saturated color will seem to bring a ceiling “down”, and the opposite for  a paler, cooler and more pastel color.  Can YOU see this effect in these two ceiling areas?  The effect may be complicated by the fact that the area surrounding both is in the hue range of cream to white!


The above are just a few of the infinite examples of “sensory crosstalk”, or Synesthesia, which I suspect pervades our daily lives far more than we are conscious of.

In a subsequent post, I will explore Synesthesia in terms of our five senses: the visual effect of color as regards to our sense of hearing, touch, taste and smell.  In other words, What scent does the color lime green conjure up?  What flavor would rosebud pink be? Does cobalt blue “feel” rough or smooth?  These are illuminating exercises to try for ourselves, and I am going to discuss just how to do that.

As an example, during her interview,  I queried special guest Rebecca E. Parsons (co-host and creator of Artistically Speaking Talk Show) about her chosen Word for 2011: SOAR.

“What color would you assign to this word, and the meaning it has for you at this time?” I asked her.

“Aqua” she replied, without missing a beat.  This only makes sense.  Rebecca lives in Florida, on island, near the water, and walks on the beach nearly every early morning.  The Aqua color of sea-blue water  which reflects the sky, with its associations of both airiness / expansion, and sublimity / depth would make it the perfect expression of Rebecca’s intention to  dive into her dreams, and Soar with them, making her cre8tive life vision a reality.

You can hear my Muze with Rebecca, as well as her complete extraordinary and  inspirational  interview with co-host Lyna Farkas on Artistically Speaking Talk Show on your computer anytime you wish.  I hope you will tune in to it, as well to Artissima, Blog of ArtiFactory Studio, for Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part Two, and join our Color Full exploration.

What a luscious, luminous world we have as finishers, decorative painters, muralists, artists, artisans and humans, to explore! Please join our Color Muze on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, and Cre8tive Compass Magazine, “where we honor your passion, and your vision, in this community we are co-creating”

Have YOU had an experience with Synesthesia lately?

If you feel so inspired, share YOUR sense and sensibility with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all experiencing this thing called Life, together.