Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Color Lab - Fushcia and Blue

It seems this color scheme is everywhere. I am in love with it. Oh dear, I feel another transformation coming on in my apartment. Sometimes I wish my apartment were done. (Are our places ever done?) Good thing I live in a small place, it helps to control my design OCD a little.

Catherine from Mill Valley's entry in the Domino Decorating Contest. I followed this contest closely and this was my favorite by far. I love the pale blue and the fushcia and chartreuse pillows! Gorgeous! Romantic, colorful and peaceful all at the same time. Makes me want to paint pale blue. But I think I'll do a canvas instead of the walls.

Blue is a color that is surprising to me. It's one of those colors that I never thought of much and now am in love with. Especially love it with pink.

My favorite vintage store recently had a blue sofa. It was actually a deal at $598.00. But, I passed it up even though I dearly loved it and the owner was willing to put it in lay away.

When I saw this cover of Domino, I really regretted it. Oh well, I think I'll just recover my sofa.

This is the most beautiful cover (except for the animal hide) that I think I have ever seen. Those colors are to die for! Love the blue sofa, the orange dress and the pink pillows. This cover is definitely inspiring my color scheme. Also really love the Moroccan influence.

Here's a little corner of my kitchen where the influence is evident. I am sure I will be working more with these colors.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Color Lab - White Walls and Grouping Paintings

Image from Australian Vogue via Desire to Inspire.

I've been painting for a number of years, but didn't really believe I was an artist. Years ago an art professor, who I respected, told me an artist should never hang their own art in their home, to do so showed arrogance. I took that to heart and I believed him for a long time.

As my readers know, my paintings have been hiding in a closet for a long time. No more. I am bringing them out. And hanging them. And grouping them - which is totally new for me. I never used to group art because I didn't like competing images. But now I love playing with groupings, and it's all because of Kim and Jo at Desire to Inspire.

This is one of the first pics I saw when I discovered their marvelous blog. And it influenced me profoundly. I began to think, what if I turned my place into a gallery? What if I covered a wall in my paintings? I had already painted my walls white to accommodate art.

Here are my first attempts at grouping:

First attempt, June 2007. Thanks to Holly at Decor8 for featuring this during orange month.

Second attempt, September 2007.

Third and current attempt, October 2007.

This particular grouping pleases me. I tried to make the paintings appear as steps. Also, I incorporated canvases painted in a solid color. I often create canvases in one solid color, as a way to contemplate a particular color or combination, and to experiment with living with a color (for example I recently painted the silver canvas because I am intrigued by silver at the moment.)

Sometimes these canvases receive more paint, sometimes they stay in their simple form. I hand paint borders on the canvases to look like mattes, and I custom mix all of my colors.

Kim and Jo thanks for being a daily inspiration! And I am happy to report that I am an artist, it's not arrogance. It's fact.

P.S. This photo inspired me in another way as well. I adore those aboriginal lamps and want to experiment with making lamps. I will keep you posted!

Color Lab - Torn Between Two Color Schemes

As I stated below, I'm torn between two color schemes:

1. Turquoise/orange/white

2. Fuchsia/ice blue/white

I love them both, but think I am favoring No. 2. But could I add orange to it? Again, Urban Outfitters can be looked to for inspiration. As I've stated, I'm not really a pattern person, and don't really like rugs, but just look at the colors in this rug from UO! It could easily be a painting. And it proves that orange does indeed look great with fuchsia and ice blue. (Well, I think this color is actually magenta, but you get the idea.)

And look at this groovy candlestick, also from UO! Combining both warm and cool colors. Hmm. I think this would look great in my place.

Color Lab - found objects

Almost anything that is pleasing to you can become a color scheme in your home. No colors really clash and color schemes can be updated easily. There is nothing more fun to contemplate than colors, objects and shapes and how to balance them in your environment. In fact, these happy dilemmas often help me make it through my mind-numbingly boring day job.

I found these beads on the street, on different days. They are profound to me because each appeared when I was contemplating that particular color. Turquoise and orange. And then olive, a new color for me.

I recently bought this olive pillow at Old Time Pottery for $1.99. I wasn't sure I liked it at the time, but I love it now.

My color lab

Over the next few days I hope to demonstrate how I experiment with color in my home and to present a few of my theories on the relationship between art and decor.

My apartment is my lab, and color for me is all about experimentation. Usually I begin to obsess about a color, bring it into my home in a small way and then try to reconcile the color with the existing decor. When I am contemplating decor, or a painting, balance is always foremost in my mind. Lately, I have been experiencing color crisis in my home.

Previously, I had painted my walls fuchsia, as you can see here. I painted them white because I don't like the way my art looked against the fuchsia. The red sofa, was unintended, but was a deal. Vintage furniture is usually built better and costs much less than new pieces. The cranberry rug was also unintended, only$12.99 from Target!

I'd like to do the following to this scheme: cover the sofa in royal blue and have the ottomans painted white. I'd also love to paint the floors white, but this is a rental. Oh well, some day when I own an atomic ranch.

Indecision and overstimulation plague me when considering decor, and I find I am attracted to two distinct color schemes.

1. Turquoise/orange which I wrote about here.

2. Fuchsia and ice blue. I love the idea of warmth mixed with coolness.

No matter what combination I use, it would, of course, include lots and lots of white.

Today I was perusing the Urban Outfitters site and was reminded of something my father told me. "There is no such thing as original thought."

I am not much for pattern, but I find this bedding gorgeous. The pale-corally orange, the blue and the olive look great together. This bedding would be great inspiration for a color scheme, or could be used to update a blue/brown decor that is becoming tired. Even though it didn't, this bedding certainly could have inspired my current pottery display:

Note the pale orange Haeger vase, and the olive bamboo bowl, colors very similar to the UO bedding. Pieces I love, but that will probably be edited out (sold), because I think I'm going to go more with the fuchsia/ice blue decor. Oh dear, what about the turquoise lamp that I am on the hunt for?

And how will I incorporate my orange pillows and my olive pillow into this color scheme? Such fun dilemmas. Whatever I decide, it's all about using what I have. I seldom buy anything new, and if I do, I have sold something old.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lamp Tramp

I got it bad. I am obsessed with lamps. They are like pottery or sculpture to me. I am on the lookout for a ceramic or glass turquoise lamp for my place. I wrote about this obsession here.

Of course the lamp will have to be organic in form, and will have to come from a thrift store because I am cheap. I know this lamp will materialize. Whatever I put out into the universe always materializes.

I think this particular obsession may have started when I saw Polly and Ben's Sherman Oaks Shangri-La via Apartment Therapy LA's flickr set. This stunningly gorgeous home sported lamps definitely worthy of envy.

I could live there and not change a thing. I love the midcentury modern pieces tempered by Asian pieces. I love the liberal use of white, I love the clean and sparse nature of it. And, of course, the turquoise lamps.

Look what Design Milk posted today! These gorgeous lamps from Swank!

I am in love.

Here is a lamp I found on Desire to Inspire. It is not turquoise, nor ceramic, but is organic in form. I don't think it would fit in my place, but, sometimes you just need something unexpected, right?

I totally dig it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Congratulations Madam VP or the Girl with IT All

Image by Neryl Walker.

SNL - congratulations on being promoted to VP! SNL is truly the it girl. She has it all. She's beautiful, kind, smart, funny, skinny. She's got a great husband and kids and a beautiful home. And, of course, a great collection of pottery, just what every girl needs. Honestly, I don't know where she gets the pottery sickness from.

SNL did this painting. Isn't it gorgeous? Looks old to me. Like an Asian painting of bark. Beautiful. I love the way the vases pop against the brown.

SNL - I am so proud of you. Thanks for always being an inspiration and for being so supportive of me as an artist!

I'd like to thank Creative Influences' very able assistant photographer, GG for his help with this post.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Blogging - Apartment Therapy's Third Annual Color Contest

I'm sure bloggers are buzzing about AT's I've Got Color Contest, but as editor of Creative Influences, I just have to get in on the action. My apartment is currently experiencing color identity crisis so I didn't enter this year. But, I have been following the contest closely.

I didn't feel as blown away this year as last year. Maybe that's because last year it was novel to me, and the omnipresence of chartreuse (one of my favorite colors) last year. This year I got tired of seeing brown and the homes seemed more traditional to me. I'm clearly biased. I like modern decor and I'm snobby about it. Also, I have trouble with homes where each room is simply painted a different color without some sort of integration or flow. I like all the rooms in a home to relate to each other.

The comments were much more tame this year too. I actually missed the snarkiness as I found it very entertaining. I kept my own snarkiness down when I commented.  With no further adieu - I'd like to present Creative Influences' top five winners of this year's contest:

No. 5. Michael and Mindy's Sunny Chicago LoftI've been writing a lot lately about my love of white with silver, and this a fine example of that. And their touches of yellow are pure poetry. Yellow is one of my least favorite colors - then again I used to say that about orange. I find it difficult to use, it requires skill and restraint as it must be done in small does. M&M have done a lovely job with their home. They also did a great job redoing a tired shoji screen. I'm very inspired by this because I'd like to do something with my own tired screen, but I'm not much of a DIYer. M&M - thanks for being an inspiration!

No. 4. Eva's Italian Lesson. I was utterly enchanted with this entry. The presentation was extremely skillful. First, her title drew me in, then the pic of that door. So cute, it made me want to enter the place. Then she wrote in Italian! I loved this mini-trip from my mundane activities. I felt so proud that my favorite blog is worldwide and so diverse. Eva's color palette is beautiful. I got very excited because I have curtains very similar to her orange and pink ones. I had a little trouble with the yellow in her place as it seemed a little incongruous and would have liked to see a corally-orange instead, but like I said yellow is a difficult color. Thanks, Eva for being an inspiration!

No. 3. NinaRibena's Lighthearted & Playful Colour. This was a totally fun entry. I am not usually very taken with children's rooms, but Nina has the cutest play room I have ever seen. In addition, I am in love with that pop of chartreuse in her living room. I love Amy Butler's fabrics, but they are just a tad too trendy for me. However, I have to admit that fabric does look sweet on that sofa. And I am in love with that rice paper lamp. Nina's home is a fine accomplishment. It is light airy, fun, happy, colorful and simple. Thanks Nina, for being an inspiration!

No. 2. Heather's Aqua in Austin. Turquoise is a color I am madly in love with these days and Heather uses it skillfully. I believe with strong color, you don't need much in the way of accessories, and Heather exhibits Herculean restraint in the use of her accessories, letting the walls become the art. She has just the right amount of red pops. And I absolutely adore her art. Not sure what they are - perhaps photos she had enlarged onto canvas. This place totally rocks. Thanks for being an inspiration Heather!

No. 1. Drum roll, please. Creative Influences' winner of AT's 2007 Color Contest is Kemi's Contemporary and Classic Harmony!

Isn't it interesting that my winner also used yellow? It was Jessie from My Mod Style that first got me thinking about yellow, which I wrote about here.  This is one of the finest uses of yellow I have ever seen. Done in small does, with the shocking pink, I am in love. I also love the way she gave us a shot of her entry way so we can see how the color is fully integrated into her place. I adore the Urban Outfitters Chandelier hanging on the wall above the bed, the lights beside the bed and the yellow bedspread. Her place is much more complex than it first appears, because it is clear she decorates with a soft hand and exercises retraint. It took me a second look before I recognized the facsinating multi-layering of this place. It would have been very easy to go over the top with those bold colors, and the addition of the earthy elements, yet her place at once demonstrates complexity and simplicity. Amazing. Also, love the addition of the lucite. Kemi, thanks for being an inspiration and congratulations on a stunning achievement in decor!
Now for my shameful self-promotion. I would love to see one of my paintings in her home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Painting as Experimentation II or Evolution of a Painting

When I paint, I rely on intuition. Sometimes my intuition is really strong, and other times not so. A canvas will let me know when it is done. I am merely a conduit for the image that is inherent in the canvas and trying to emerge.

Some paintings require very little paint. Others want thick layers. Some sit for a while as they are and then later beckon for more paint.

In my first episode of Painting as Experimentation, I wrote about current recurring motifs: angels, halos, auras, movement.

There is another motif I would like to add, and that is rain. I love rain, and have been spending a lot of time lately trying to develop rain on canvas. Here is a canvas that has evolved over the past year, entitled "Couple in the Rain." These kind of multi-layered paintings amuse me. As they hang on my wall, I love contemplating just how many incarnations a painting has. And when they've had many, I try to leave clues of what they once were.

This is actually the second incarnation of this painting. I tried to leave clues of what it was before. Sorry for the poor image. I only recently began documenting my creative journey. Thanks to SNL and BB who gave me my first digital camera. And here is the painting in my dining area.

It pleases me that it looks like a window. But I wanted to see the couple more clearly, and the canvas wanted orange added. So its next incarnation was this:

And here it is in my dining area:

I am currently working on all white installation. And wanted more rain on the canvas. So its next incarnation was this:

I was not happy with this version. So knew immediately that the painting had more lives. The canvas wanted a more subtle rain, and I wanted to incorporate shiny metallic paint.

So, here is its current incarnation, which I am pleased with. The auras are clear, the angels look ghostly as they approach the rain. I think I'm going to continue this experiment and make the painting more tactile by building up the rain. I'll, of course, keep you posted.

Here is a detail of the ghostly-angels with love piercing their hearts. I hope this image conveys a sense of somber romance. Just like rain.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogging - House and Garden

OMG - did you see this month's edition of House and Garden? You just gotta check out Gwyneth Paltrow's house in the Hamptons. I am having serious house envy. I absolutely adore Gwyneth's style. Incredibly chic, casual, simple and stunningly beautiful. Just how I imagine that a young princess would decorate. I could easily move into that home and not change a thing.

Well the old axiom that great minds think alike certainly is true. Those of us who suffer with design OCD know that as soon as we write about something, or think about something, poof there it is! And this is certainly true of Gwyneth's gorgeous dining room. She paired pink plates with the appetizers plates from CB2 that I wrote about here. Looks gorgeous!
And I had just written about Tord Boontje here. Now I had written about an affordable Boontje light. But this princess of the silver screen chose a not-so-affordable chrystal chandelier by this incredible artist available at Unica.
The disparity in prices amuses me. The appetizer plates are about $2.95 and the chandelier is about $29,000. The look is beautiful.

Gwyneth was reading my mind. Or maybe I was reading hers, or... it really doesn't matter. We already know that Gwyneth can rock the silver screen, now we know she can rock decor.

Great style Gwyneth. Thanks for being an inspiration!

More Silver and White Inspiration

Below I wrote about my obsession du jour - silver and white. Here are more lovely silver and white images.

Enja Wong silver dollar prints. Aren't these stunning? Organic simplicity at its finest. Available from CB2.

Starburst wall art available from West Elm. (SNL - I'd like to see this over your fireplace - after we paint it white. Do you think BB would be mad?)

Rumba vases. Very beautiful and reasonably priced from CB2. Isn't it hard to believe that these are actually stoneware? This mercury-looking glaze is a fairly new process. Amazing. One of each please.

Tuxedo silhouette lamp from Vitamin D(esign).

Look at this gorgeous ceiling lamp from Prospetto! Reminds me of a sea anemone.

"Moonlit Vases" by Takuya Tokizawa available at the Artful Home.

I suppose I am a lover of objects, I feel a little like a curator. And it feels great. I am curating an online gallery. Totally fun. Ah, if only real life were as fun.


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