Everything in the Garden: A Short Saga of Color and Light

Everything in the Garden: A Short Saga of Color and Light

WEB2Starting with a journey from the Inside Out…one extraordinarily light-filled early evening.  Sunlight beckons.

WEB3Sunlight floods the garden, causing my camera to capture what just might be a mini-UFO, standing out rad against the green.

WEB4Catching the roses blushing against stucco.  Compliments green and pink (“light red”) create old world charm.

WEB5Yellow windblown roses explode out of luxuriant green bushes. They seem to be reaching for something…moisture?

WEB6Red and white stripes hover shyly behind leaves.

WEB8A  twist of tendrils around a solo pink blossom.

WEB7Pièce de résistance du jardin…perhaps its highlight….this perfect peach rose.

WEB9Fresh and cool, these beautiful whites light our way home like stars when the sun sets.

WEB9aTo the purple side of pink.  These keep us in the Pink…and strike us pink at the same time.

WEB9cLines of moire…and shadow of palm fronds create optics on the wall…a trick of light, shadow, and the distance between things.

WEB9bA natural mural composition.  This arresting composition yearns to be painted.

 

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Let There Be Shadow

Let There Be Shadow

“There is strong shadow where there is much light.” —Johann Wolfgang von Gogh Goethe

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As we begin a new year, and the teen years of the millennium, there is a great deal of talk, longing and intention around new beginnings, fresh starts, new leaves, new chapters and so forth.

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Let a new day dawn.    I am all for that.

Let the new page be started, the new leaf turned,  the fresh chapter embarked upon, longed for beginnings begun, and previously stalled starts started.  Let’s find that rainbow at the end of the storm, that light at the end of the tunnel.

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But, let’s not forget, as the writer Goethe so pithily yet eloquently states, where there is light, there must also be shadow…and vice versa…we cannot have one without the other.

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So, when confronted with the shadow side of our own natures,

Halloween hands

even our own gifts,

Entry Shadow

 the coolness of the shade that we need as respite  from the sun,

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and the shadow of our own fears, challenges, anxieties and struggles in the so-called dark,

Light

as we move towards the light of fulfilling our longings and realizing our dreams,

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let us remember that “Shadow owes its birth to light.” ( –-John Gay),

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WEB4and not be stumped,

stopped,

or stupefied by

its presence,

but know…

that shadow will always be there…

a companion on our journey….

needing

to be acknowledged,

insisting,

on making its presence known,

 


so that we can continue

to feel the glory

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of the light.

Here’s to 2013!

The Importance of Being Earnest…

The Importance of being Earnest…

I recently received an email, in which a Client expressed his appreciation this way:

” I know in the big picture, our job on Corbett is tiny compared to all that you handle. However, you really made us feel important and that is genuinely appreciated.”

My (emailed) response included this comment, ” …by the way- you/Corbett ARE important to me!!!”

This exchange gave me pause for thought…



Why would a Client think that his/their project, in this case, color consultation for the exterior of a 3 unit condo building where he is the HOA president, was not important, or as important then other projects that I, or for that matter, my colleagues might have?

We have all heard the adage “The customer is always right.” as well as “Every client is important.”  But, what does that really mean?

For me it means that if I take on a Client, I make a commitment to them and to their particular project  within the scope of the work we are doing together.  So much of our work as artists, decorative painters, craftspeople, designers, architects and color consultants (to name a few) is collaborative.   We work WITH  the Client to realize their vision, and our vision of their vision.  If we don’t have their contribution, commitment, buy-in, or what-have-you, that process can become difficult, stymied, or downright impossible.  We may even get our head, or someone else’s, handed to us!

In other words, yes, every Client and their project should be important to us. It just so happens that the particular Client I have quoted here,  falls into the category of “dream” Client.  Along with his partner, he has been responsive, communicative, cooperative, intelligent, and generous with time and fee.  Add to this reasonable, fun and funny, and I think you get the picture.  This is a great Client, with a fun and engaging project, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with him and his partner.

I don’t value this Client and his project less because the Job in question is not as lucrative financially as some others.  Lucrative does not only refer to  the dollar amount received for a particular Job.  To me,  it means what I am getting out of the Job, vis-a-vis what I am putting into it. Is there positive return on all fronts: artistic gratification, compensation,  appreciation, and client interactions?  In essence,

and

must be upheld on both sides for a fruitful relationship that delivers results and satisfaction, perhaps even exceeding expectations.

I recently heard a marvelous audio interview with Wine Country painter Ann Rea, founder of Artists Who Thrive by Carlos Castellanos of Drawn by Success.  During the interview Ann brilliantly describes how she feels that she gets paid twice by those who purchase her paintings, prints, and other artwork. In money, yes, of course, but also in the appreciation of her work by her buyers and collectors, and the relationships she forms with them.

I think many of us know what she means.  We need to have our work connect with others and the larger world outside ourselves to have it really mean something, outside ourselves. So that our work, (and ourselves) do not remain in shadow, or behind bars.

So yes, every Client is important, and especially those with whom we can have a great rapport, grow, and create something that is more than the sum of its parts. When we find ourselves in the path of these dream Clients, all we can be is grateful…

to grow ourselves by working closely with them, realizing their vision, and our own.

Lucrative?  More like priceless!

What priceless Client experiences  have made YOU grow lately?

If you feel so inspired, share them with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all growing though this thing called Life, together.

 

 



 


Featured Work: “Mid-Century Retro”: Starburst, Atom or Tinker Toy?

Featured Work: “Mid-Century Retro”:   Starburst, Atom, or Tinkertoy?

When my Clients Ted and Mark expressed interest in a wall treatment for their guest room, they knew that whatever was done had to fit into the eclectic brand of “Mid-Century Retro” style they had developed throughout the rest of their home.

From their TV tables, to the artwork on the walls, to their shower curtain pattern, the colors, patterns, feel and sensibility of the interior design and objects recall the visual aesthetic of the 1950’s.

TV tabletop pattern

Touring their home, I observed earth colors re-imagined in plastic, textiles, dishware and furniture. Browns, yellows, beiges and ivorys were applied to patterns created by combining  repeated elements of line, shape and form.

Unadorned wall, a bit empty

Their sunny guest room needed adornment on the headboard wall , which captures attention upon entering the room. The wall color was already reflected in the pillows and bedding, and enhanced by the use of natural wood, pussywillow branches, and carefully selected artwork. Yet the wall felt bare.

Given the scale and function of the room, Ted and Mark were concerned about overwhelming it visually.  They wanted a treatment that would complement what existed, and add a sense of whimsy, depth, and dimension, without cluttering the space.

Ted, who had worked in graphic design, sketched out an image of  a “starburst”  which brought to mind molecular structure, resonating with their mid-century design sensibility.

TInkertoys? No, Molecular Structure

Or, to get more complicated, Tetrahedral Molecular Geometry.

Jack? No, Tetrahedral Molecular Geometry

I created a modular (molecular?) stencil based on his design, and cut the “line” and “circle” elements in a variety of sizes to mix and match, and create the visual impact we sought.

Ethereal Molecular

Assemblages of repeated parts, (lines and circles), were given depth and form through the addition of highlights and shadows, created with tints (white added) and shades (black added) of the wall color.

Line and circles were “built” into larger shapes and designs, just like some of us once built with tinker toys

The resulting treatment is reminiscent of designs and patterns that emerged with advent of the “Atomic Age”, and became integral to “Mid-Century” style. A nexus of science and design, perhaps so familiar to us now, that we may be barely cognizant of its origins.

Mirror Image Module Multiplies

Mirrors expand the space and subtle visual impact of the treatment. Values of light and dark add dimensionality and a soft “pop” to the shapes, which seem to do an dream-like, molecular dance across the wall.  Although it was not easy to articulate, this is the effect and feeling the Clients were looking for.

“The subtle starburst pattern enlivens our mid-century look. Our houseguests love the playfulness it contributes to the room.” – Ted and Mark, San Francisco, Ca.   August 2010

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