Friday, December 3, 2010

Inspirations and Diversions:
How the French Do It

Jacques Pépin for a new generation: Epic Meal Time.

Apparently, these guys are from Montreal.

From sharpening knives, deboning, and trussing, to their use of sausage meat as a binder and mayonnaise made from bacon grease (instead of vegetable oil), their knowledge of classic techniques and of the science of cooking is quite breathtaking, really.

I don't know whether to cry, or take notes.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Design Lesson:
Mood and Experience
Part II - Cool and Hard

Yesterday morning, I met with Clayton Rodney, technical manager for the Edmonton Opera. Clayton graciously agreed to answer my questions and chat about lighting design and how light, texture and colour can be shaped to effect a particular mood. He was so sweet and engaging that our "quick coffee" turned into a 45-minute long conversation.

Besides enlightening me on how to use my Roscolux swatch book, and warning against using green to light people (in the language of light, green equals dead), Clayton did a quick and dirty tutorial on how to light people and backdrops, and we talked about focal areas given a limited budget, how silk and frost filters work, modifying light with a filter vs. in the fixture itself, the beauty of #99 chocolate, and hard vs. soft lighting, among other things. As we wrapped up the meeting, he also told an entirely my style joke that I very gullibly believed. It made me wonder if we might eventually be friends, and not just colleagues, some day.

I knew he wouldn't have a simple answer for my last question, as there are rarely simple answers to conceptual creative problems (everything gaining meaning by its relationship to many other things, like threads in a tapestry), but I asked him anyway: are there guidelines or rules for light and what it says, e.g. hard vs. soft or blue vs. gold? He said, of course, that there are no hard and fast rules, but if he was lighting a production that was very modern or contemporary, perhaps New City Suburbs-style Gothic or dark in mood, that he would likely think to use very high contrast light and dark lighting with a cold, hard edge, whereas, if he was doing a vintage-style production with antiques and lace, he would more likely use a warm colour palette with softer edged light.

So, while Part I brought you warm and soft, this collection brings you cool and hard. Enjoy!
  1. Alexander McQueen's Fall/Winter 2006 runway show - A hologram of Kate Moss

  2. KM3D-1

  3. If you have blue and red 3D glasses, now is a good time to break them out.
    Created by AnOther Magazine with artist and filmmaker Baillie Walsh, KM3D-1 is an experimental, multi-dimensional image-movie, first seen at Alexander McQueen's autumn/winter 2006 fashion show.

    Using state-of-the-art Phantom HD cameras, the film was an experiment in 3-D technology. Although you can't watch 3-D on You Tube (at least, not yet), the short back then was a remarkable achievement in filmmaking, way before Avatar hit the movie screens.

    The film starred the beautiful supermodel Kate Moss, and was also groundbreaking for it's use of holographic technology, making Kate appear on stage almost from thin air and giving her a three dimensional appearance.

    Here is the film as it looked on screen.

  4. The Knife: Silent Shout: An Audio Visual Experience

My friend Scott is teaching me how to drum. After 8 years of classical piano training, adding in feet is quite the challenge! Una corda and damper pedalling just can't compare.

Design Lesson:
Mood and Experience
Part I - Soft and Warm

I'm looking into making future event projects more interactive and, as part of my research, am investigating lighting technique, film and projection, and how they contribute to mood and atmosphere. For you: a collection of videos in two parts!
  1. Patiences - A short film produced, directed and photographed by Peter Wunstorf

  2. As a cinematographer, Peter worked with Ang Lee on Brokeback Mountain and is currently shooting a TV series in Vancouver. We were very fortunate to have Peter consult on the lighting for a photographic editorial we did this last August.
    Eve has gone to the cottage where their rendezvous take place.

  3. Days of Heaven - Terrence Malick

  4. When Peter and I were discussing the mood for the editorial, he suggested I look at this film. Much of the film was shot during magic hour...
    A euphemism, because it's not an hour but around 25 minutes at the most. It is the moment when the sun sets, and after the sun sets and before it is night. The sky has light, but there is no actual sun. The light is very soft, and there is something magic about it. It limited us to around twenty minutes a day, but it did pay on the screen. It gave some kind of magic look, a beauty and romanticism.
    - Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography

    Though the film was set in Texas, the exteriors were shot in Whiskey Gap on the prairie of Alberta, Canada and a final scene shot on the grounds of Heritage Park Historical Village in Calgary.

  5. A Trip Down Market Street, 1906

  6. A 104 year old film clip of the view from a street car/cable car ride in San Francisco. The first 35mm film ever, I'm told!

    The accompanying track is Air's La Femme D'Argent, from the Moon Safari album.
    It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car. The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing! The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. How many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the horses? Talk about going green!

    Great historical film! Watch the scampering as Joe Public race away from autos, horses, cable cars and bicycles.

    This film was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall, and shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!) was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing, but true!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Design Lesson: Anticipation

Design Lesson:
Make It Like You Mean It

My friend Scott and I were having a conversation yesterday about Darren Aronofsky and how he made Pi. The aesthetic of Pi was a consequence of its low budget, but because the film was so successful1, the style that might never have happened, had Aronofsky had "enough money", has since been recognised as a unique style worthy of merit and attention.

I thought of that conversation when I saw this video on The Year In Pictures blog.

I'm pretty sure that pyramid of white buckets is in fact a pyramid of Fniss waste baskets...followed by Lack coffee tables, Lack bookshelves on casters, Skruvsta swivel chairs in Idhult white, Henriksdal chairs, another Lack coffee table, a Lack side table, and more swivel chairs.

Remember this video?

A little ingenuity goes a long way. A lot of ingenuity, even more so.

So why am I bringing all this up? In anything—be it your life, work, a party, a house, whatever—where to focus your limited resources (and by limited, I mean not-infinite) is always a consideration. Our lives are bound by limitations of time, money, food, and a myriad other justifications. Preston Bailey, an internationally recognized event designer who has produced events for the Royal Family of Qatar, even says he has yet to have a client who lets him do whatever he wants and spend whatever he wants.

Last Friday, I met with a lovely lady named Tracy, who won the draw at Bridal Expo for a 2-hour consulation and two customised Moroccan lanterns from yours truly. Together, we looked through her ideas and I offered my suggestions, encouragement and answers to her questions. The last questions she asked were if I had any suggestions for hard-and-fast rules, how to make a wedding more fun and successful, and common mistakes to try and avoid, and this is what I said (more-or-less) to her:
The first thing to remember is that this event, your wedding, is for you and your fiancé (Hi Jerry!). More than anything, you want your event to be an expression of you, your future husband, your life together, and the love you have for each other. Your guests are coming to celebrate with you, and when they walk into your wedding, it should feel like they are walking around inside your life (rather than simply an impressively decorated room). It should feel like somehow they know you better for having come to be with you.

Beautifully coordinated colours are important, yes, but your wedding will ultimately be most successful and fun if you are having fun and enjoying yourself, which in turn, comes from being honest about yourself and sharing your life with your friends, family and colleagues. Feel free to pull ideas and details from your life, your fiancé's life, and your life together. If you like watching movies, maybe pull quotes from your favourite films and use them around the room. If you like to travel, maybe you can use your favourite travel destinations as table numbers. Do you like going out on a Saturday night or staying in? What do you do for fun? How can you incorporate that into your wedding?

Probably the most common mistake I've seen, and that I've made myself, is to try to do too much. It's better to have one spectacular display (think "room centerpiece") and simple, yet elegant, tables than to have all your tables look like you didn't have enough money to finish them the way you really wanted. If you have a really inventive and artistic escort card display at the entrance to your reception, people will remember it, talk about it, and admire it. If all your tables and decor are so-so, then few people will notice anything, if at all. In other words, however you decorate, simply or lavishly, make it look intentional.
Make it like you mean it.

1 Made with $60,000, it grossed $3,221,152 in the U.S. alone, and continues to sell well on DVD.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Inspirations and Diversions:
Come to Mama, Big Daddy

I'm embarking on a quest to reduce refined sugar in my diet. But it'll have to wait a day or two...

My sister sent me and Aaron several boxes of chocolate from Theo in Seattle:
Coffee Salted Caramels
Grey Salted Vanilla Caramels
Pink Salted Vanilla Caramels
Marshmallow Big Daddies
and...*drum roll*
Peanut Butter Big Daddies

I realise you probably don't need to see an up-close sample of my bite pattern, but I wasn't about to sacrifice the pleasure of first bite for the sake of real or imagined sensitivities. Note the layers (from top to bottom) of peanut butter, caramel, and graham cracker, topped with roasted peanuts.

Theo chocolate is certified organic and fair trade. I'm in ideological and flavourological heaven.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Some Like It Ruff: Part II

Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth in Elizabeth: The Golden Age

I like ruffs.

While preparing to shoot a Gothic editorial, I thought it would be interesting to make a ruff—a dramatic one, like Elizabeth!—but then decided to take the art direction in a more Victorian bent. Both are well-suited to the Gothic aesthetic, but decisions have to be made to keep things tight.

At some point, though, I'd like to revisit ruffs, and possibly use them in a shoot. It's amazing how much information is out there once you have an idea of what to look for. Ruff Sex, from Coilhouse Magazine, on ruffs in fashion and film, was a great primer for an arty dilettante like me. (Scroll to the bottom for links on how to make your own ruff!)

For the more involved, the lovely lady below, a brain-injury researcher by day, makes costumes (including Elizabethan ruffs) and documents them and her related research on Extreme Costuming. She made this Elizabethan embroidered jacket entirely by hand, including the orange embroidery! Each dot in each and every pea pod is a tiny stitch. (Love the set-in sleeves.)

"For the modern re-creator, the cost was not materials, but time. The jacket cost less than $100 total in materials, but took 1,947 hours over a year and four months to complete. I really did spend all my spare time on this, almost to distraction..."
And then there's this jacket, which took over 4000 hours and 250 people to make.

Click here for a story about it in the Boston Globe. If you have even more time, click here to read "The Embroiderer's Story", a day by day chronicle of its construction on on Plimoth Plantation (the non-profit museum that commissioned the jacket).

My research into Elizabethan costuming has birthed a yearn for a joust. Yes, a Renaissance Fair is now on the bucket list. All the feasting, and no small pox!

Ahh, history as it was supposed to be.

Some Like It Ruff: Part I

Dominion by Natalie Shau via Wicked Halo

I like Natalie Shau. You can see some of her work on deviantART, in addition to her professional site. I ran into her while researching Elizabethan ruff construction for a photo editorial that we shot this summer.

When I was in art school, work like that featured on deviantART was aggressively frowned upon. Different schools and countries tend to get known for different styles of art, sure, but anything illustrative or fantasy was somehow less worthy than Monet, Manet, Matisse or Motherwell at the school-that-shall-remain-unnamed. I admit I debated posting her work here, in part because it's quite a bit darker than what I usually look at (and some of her images show boobies!), but more because of that school-instilled bias.

I guess, in posting it now, I wish to establish a line between the creative thinker then vs. now. A divide and a bridge. A signpost. Now that time has granted me sufficient intellectual and emotional distance from educational rhetoric, it's nice to (re)discover a love of illustrative art. I remember that sense of wonder I felt as a child, reading bedtime fairy tales, and I am glad of it.

Here's to freedom.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Inspirations and Diversions:
A Bird & The Naturalist

Oh Kanye. Is it ok to be a punk when you're that good?

And while I've got your creative attention, come see a fashion show at Strathcona Pool this Saturday. The inimitable John James will be showing her neckpieces (styled by me? we'll wait and see).

Off the Deep End from Parlour Magazine on Vimeo

Admission is free, but it's a fundraiser to save The Pool, so donations are welcome and encouraged.

Speaking of fashion shows, we went to a bridal fashion show tonight. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Aesthetic Philosophy:
Delfin-Postigo House
and Why I Don't Read the Words

I never read. I just look at pictures.

I had a bit of a brain fugue just now. I knew I wanted to start with an Andy Warhol quote, but couldn't remember Andy Warhol's name. I could remember that Andy Warhol featured in the film Basquiat, played by David Bowie, and that Andy Warhol and Basquiat were friends, so I googled "Basquiat friends", and lo, there was Andy Warhol beckoning from line 8 of the Career section in Basquiat's Wikipedia entry. These sorts of things are endlessly interesting to me: how memory works, how the mind stores information, and how every mind functions entirely differently according to the person who uses it.

Today brings us to the home of David Delfin and Gorka Postigo, a fashion designer and a photographer respectively. I found these pictures somewhat laterally, via Door Sixteen via Apartment Therapy via Yatzer. All photos are by Manolo Yllera.

I love how they juxtapose dark and light, rectilinear shapes and organic surfaces, emptiness and density. The tension between these contrasts transforms the usual calming effect of an all-white interior into something more moody, raw, and sexy.

The pedigree of the art on the walls and the things furnishing the space is first class. David and Gorka's collection includes pieces by Wolfgang Tillmans, Diane Arbus, Louise Bourgeois, Charlotte Perriand, Maison Martin Margiela, Isamu Noguchi, and Jean Prouvé.

While I'm not sure how I feel about the art, expecially in the bedroom, I can see how their choice of graphic (sometimes obscene) works add a necessary layer of intimacy in what could easily become a showhouse. There is an overall in-your-face boldness, but I still feel that real people live here.

They even have Pez!

Love the rugs.

For the longest time I've looked only at pictures and avoided reading the accompanying words. In the last couple years, however, I'd started reading articles and captions again to find out specific facts about whatever was being depicted in the image (i.e. who was in it, what was in it, who made it, what was it made of, where was it, etc...). I almost forgot why I actively started the practice of not reading words until today.

Reporting in the truest sense strives to maintain some semblance of an objective view, though most recognize that this is practically impossible. There will always be a filter of experience tinting what people see, do, say, think, etc...and it can be difficult, when someone feels strongly about something—love it or hate it or love it—to not proclaim, "This is the best thing since sliced bread! Look at this, it's better than the rest!" Everyone makes judgements about everything, and likewise shares them, but reporting is already a primarily one-way communication, and where non-objective reporting tends to fall short is a failure to acknowledge differing points of view. It's one thing to read, "Fashion designer David Delfin and architect-turned-photographer Gorka Postigo have an amazing art-filled home in Madrid"; it's quite another to read, "The marriage of these two individuals under one roof is the epitome of sexual elegance" (emphasis in original article). Perhaps it is simply a difference in voice between sources (i.e. Apartment Therapy and Yatzer, respectively). I'll leave that call up to you.

The "best" people in any field walk a fine—and sometimes treacherous—line between working to the fullest of their ability and knowing their limitations. If they recognize there is a unique audience for each idea|project|task|situation, often where the line falls is determined not by ability, but rather by an asking of whether or not the idea|etc... contributes in a desirable way to the life of the person doing the asking. This is one reason why “curiosity” is often cited as a shared trait among best people. Even if they aren’t initially good at something, if they are curious or interested, they will learn and become good at it.

The line gets hazy when interest is confused with taste. I personally don't like the colour red. Of all the available colours of Le Creuset pots, red would be my last choice. But I love the red cookware Aaron and I have because of who gave it to us (our friends and family) and why (our wedding), and I'm currently working on a wedding featuring red as one of the focal colours. As much as I don't like red, I can appreciate that it has particular characteristics and connotations that lend particular desirable effects. If I was to make choices based simply on whether or not I liked something personally, my world would be appreciably smaller.

In reading the Yatzer piece, I found myself getting caught up in the meaning of the words. The article, even the order of the images, develops an overt heroicism that I find unattractive, however much I like love the interior. It's that kind of talk that led me to leave art school years ago—the kind of talk that haunts children, and continues to haunt them as they grow into adults.

Every idea, every thing, has a set of purposes and intentions, unique to a time and place. Recognizing that, ideas|things become tools—methods of communication—as opposed to edicts. Enjoy things for what they are, take everything you can, and appropriate what you can't by transforming it to suit your specific purpose.

So let it be written.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Dream Home for Madley

In the words of the Coryn Madley:
I have found a new home in the mountains of Topanga…. It’s up on a mountain, past a goat farm and a friendly horse who likes to stand by the road eating grass, thru an old oak grove that looks like the sherwood forrest of my imagination… I am so excited to make art and tea and all of it. Here are a few images taken by Jeffrey Tower, my partner in crime. More to come….. sometimes dreams do come true.

Can you imagine? If I wasn't so happy for her, I'd be jealous.

Click here to see the rest of the images.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lament: A Sad Day

Very wet snow today. Humpy (a.k.a. Stacy) collapsed.

Aaron found her crumpled over the back rail.

It's funny and ironic that she was built for Snowflake (Gala), and today, she died by snowflake(s). Hopefully she can be restored to her former glory.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

This love is like...whoa.

"SNOW" - Megan + Narbeh's Sweden Thriller Concept from PACIFIC PICTURES on Vimeo.

Narbeh and Megan commissioned this video for their wedding. The soldier in the beginning is Andreas Wilson. Read more about this video here. And while you're at it, check out the blog that led me there, here: Maharani Weddings.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Design Lesson:
Inspiration Boards

Aaron and I took a trip further northwise yesterday evening to deliver a décor package I prepared for Shaun Scade and Stephanie Emmerzael of Scade Photography, the winners of our Bridal Fantasy draw

TWO + 2 + 2 = WIN!

When asked,

If "fortune favours the bold",

Stephanie answered, "I do things that scare me". For that, Stephanie and Shaun won a set of 2 apothecary jars and a 2-hour consultation with yours trulies (truly, times two), including a décor package prepared exclusively for them. What I want to share with you today are excerpts from that package, known as inspiration boards.

Sources from right to left, top to bottom: willow installation, David Stark Design; willow chandeliers, John N. Parra Photography, via The Knot; willow orb, David Stark Design; branch chandelier, Metropolitan Home; twig centerpiece with nest,; spring branches on table, S.R. Gambrel, via Habitually Chic; curly willow centrepiece with orchids, Yifat Oren and Associates; bunched wheat centrepiece, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine; 'LOVE' twig art, Laurent Bayard, Unknown book published by Ryland, Peters & Small; willow arrangements and picture frames, Sabine Scherrer Photography, via The Knot.
Inspiration or mood boards, as they are termed in the design industry (i.e. event, fashion, interior, garden, etc...also known as "vision boards" in personal development circles) are collections of images, words/quotes, and swatches (e.g. fabric, trim, paper), arranged on a board or page, that act as a go-to for the design of a project.
A mood board is a type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team. The mood board may be used as a frame of reference during the design process in a variety of abstract disciplines...

Mood boards...are not limited to visual subjects, but serve as a visual tool to quickly inform others of the overall 'feel' (or 'flow') that a designer is trying to achieve.
Mood Board, Wikipedia
Inspiration boards are an excellent tool to help focus a design, as they allow designers to compare and contrast different colours, textures, projects and ideas and understand the relationships between them. Putting together an inspiration board can show a designer where they need to strengthen or play down an idea, introduce a new texture, or take a colour away. Think of inspiration boards as snapshots of an overall design.

The inspiration board above focuses on branches and grasses, as incorporating natural elements into their wedding's aesthetic is very important for both Shaun and Stephanie. In our interview, Stephanie brought some willow twigs taken from two arrangements in the entry of Shaun's dad Gordon's home, which is also where they all operate Scade Photography together. I'm glad I got to see inside, because it is set up very invitingly. They have a print set up on a dark-stained easel in the entry, flanked by willow branches in massive black pots—simple, dramatic, and beautifully effective. (If you ever see a similar composition in one of my events, you'll know where I got it from.)

The following boards center on the colour blue, particularly sapphire blue, the featured colour chosen by Stephanie and Shaun for their wedding. Stephanie's engagement ring originally belonged to Shaun's mom, and was part of a 4-piece set, once worn together, and now split between Shaun's sisters and Stephanie. Incorporating sapphire blue was a lovely way to honour his mom's memory, too, as she passed away last November. For their wedding, they plan to refit the ring into Stephanie's wedding band. (These boards also include touches of rusticity. Though Shaun and Stephanie plan to host their reception beneath the stars at a golf resort outside of Edmonton, there is an event space on site as a backup, and it is entirely wood panelled inside.)

Sources, clockwise from top left: blue-lit winter ceremony, The Knot, via tying the knot; blue aisle runner, Looking for the right wedding colour scheme?, My Wedding Planning Guide; blueberries, Blueberries For The Win, Gapers Block; blue bouquet, Tapestry Flowers; blue boutonniere, Jill & Pete in Muir Beach, The Knot; Smycka dried plants, IKEA; blue corsage, Real Oasis; calligraphed place cards with blue ribbon, WEDDING-CALLIGRAPHER.COM.

Sources, clockwise from top left: blue balloons, David Murray Weddings, from Style Me Pretty; Handfasting Ceremony, Style Me Pretty; turquoise and brown stationery, Style Me Pretty; paper wrapped hurricane candles, David Stark Design; turquoise chairs in barn, Style Me Pretty; engagement photo with blue piano, Hans and Catherine's Engagement Photos, Style Me Pretty; blue table runner, Crafts'n'Favors; cookie buffet, Martha Stewart, via no fuss Fabulous; "Two" letterpress letters, Style Me Pretty.

Sources, clockwise from top left: film negative seating board, FÊTE; photo frame wall, unknown source; house numbers, The Home Depot; floral design with blue water in vase, The Knot; lit haybales and trees, FÊTE; uplit trees, Flickr; floating candles in blue room, Preston Bailey; blue martini, Science of Drink.
After looking through the package, Stephanie messaged me to say, "Shaun and I were blown away with all of the work you and Aaron did. Thank you SO MUCH!! you are amazing." It's always nice to hear that our work is appreciated, and I'm sure our décor package for them will be very useful in the months before their wedding. I'm eager to see what they create from it.

Update: Here's a link to Stephanie's blog post on planning for her and Shaun's wedding, including photos of the design package we prepared for them - The Emmerzael-Scade Wedding update.

inspo (via Urban Dictionary)

Slang for Inspirational. The type of Music used at the end of a Romantic-Comedy film. Generally used to inspire good feelings.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Out and About:
Kidd Pivot, Dark Matters

Aaron and I saw this in Banff. Beautifully stunning and darkly comic. If you get a chance, check it out.

Inspirations and Diversions:
Pixel in Heaven, Have Mercy On Us

Click me, please. (But turn your volume down first...)

If there truly is A Great Pixel In The Sky governing the letter and spirit of things, let us hope it.she.he is benevolent.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Aesthetic Philosophy:
A Turquoise World Is Not Enough

I love blue. It speaks to me. Like many artists and designers before and with me, I've learned to draw on all colours with equal dexterity, tailoring palettes to each client, purpose or project, but for myself and in my home, no other hue comes quiveringly close to big sky blues and watery turquoises. No colour holds sway over my consciousness like midnight blue and International Klein Blue, nor sings like the sapphire-domed mosques of Samarkand...or this blue mini-village (a house!) in Rotterdam!

Photos: Stijn & Marie (via The New York Times Magazine)

Stormy blues recall summers on the Pacific coast, foraging for shells in ever-fading light. A singular vibrant hue achieved by layering Mr. Sketch blue and turquoise, infused with some anonymous chemist's syrupy rendition of blueberry and mango, awakens ancient memories of art-making in the sun-dappled light of my parents' dining room floor. Blues are unbound oceans and thrown-open windows, densely alive with both past and future history.

I'm glad to see blue at the forefront of The Great Western Collective Consciousness (blue, or rather turquoise, so consumes Erin of House of Turquoise that she blogs about turquoise interiors all day, every day), but I've been observing trends long enough to know that for every in there's also an out. A proliferation of periwinkle pillows now inevitably leads to a box of blue tchotchkes destined for Goodwill later.

SO...nearly 719 words, 23 pictures, and 3 videos later, let me tell you how it really is:

I write about blue (and turquoise) because I love it (them), and I keep blue (and turquoise) because I love it (them). If yellow was my favourite colour, and yellow happened to be the Pantone Colour of the Year and yellow accessories started popping up everywhere, heck, you'd probably have just read...790 words dedicated to the jaunty wonder that is yellow.

Stephen Drucker, Editor-in-Chief of House Beautiful magazine, writes
I've been a decorating magazine editor for thirty years. I've patiently endured decades of the so-called "science of color."

I've been through "prisons should be painted pink because it calms down the inmates." OMG, love love love pink, let's not make shivs, let's compare tattoos.

I've read "studies" that show people who like purple are individualistic and people who like yellow are happy and people who like red are outgoing. No shit.

I've sat through endless color "forecasts" about how everybody's going to buy yellow towels for their bathrooms this year because it's the hot fashion color. Trust me, they won't.

Color is like sex. It's mysterious. It's unknowable. It never looks the same twice. No two people see the same thing. No two people feel the same thing. I once went to China on a cruise ship. Eight hundred of us got off the ship wearing white, because it feels festive and shippy and says "I'm on a cruise." In China white is the color of mourning. We looked insane.

Color is mostly unpredictable. Explain this: My biggest selling issue at House Beautiful in three years was a "color issue" about neutrals.


Why are we so determined to make color into a science? Why can't we just leave it alone and enjoy it?
(Read the complete article here on Huffington Post.)

Look to colour not as an answer, but rather as a starting point for a question. What colour(s) do you like? How do particular colours make you feel? Do you associate memories with colours? Only by asking questions, by searching yourself for the right questions, by experimenting, by simply being curious...can you truly create a colourful event, interior, outfit, et al. that resonates with your unique and inscrutable soul.

Let colour be a discovery! Go forth and multiply! Paint the town red, if it be red that sets your loins afire. Put on pink in Paris, and experience the romance of la vie en rose. Play mime for a day and (silently) ask yourself, "Does it matter if it's black or white?" Colour is fun! Have fun with it.

And with that, one for the lovers,

the leavers,

the libertines,

and the dreamers.

It is not the form that dictates
the colour, but the COLOUR
that brings out the form.





After a several seasons in supporting roles to grey, yellow and violet, blue and turquoise are the stars of 2010, as evidenced by these recent magazine covers, and now I'm seeing blue everywhere. I caught myself in Anthropologie, drifting towards a knobbly turquoise mid-centuryesque vase, drawn by the depth of its colours—not unlike the mottled blues of these plaster walls in Morocco:

Pantone has named PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise as the Colour of the Year for 2010.
Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.
Vipp, a Danish design company established in 1939, is featuring an entire range of limited edition accessories in a zippy shade of turquoise, aptly styled Mermaid Blues. (The colour for 2009 was Yellow Cab, and 2008 was Purple Cut.)

Apartment Therapy, a favourite shelter blog, is featuring articles such as Turquoise Touches In The Kitchen.

Blue has always been around in one tint or another, but whew, when it rains, it pours.

(Ah, vintage Madonna. I'd forgotten she had dark hair!)

P.S. The title of this post is taken from a quote by Hans Hofmann.
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