color


last night we had the first of our workshops for our fall series-- 'color'.  it was such a lovely evening!  good conversation, snacks, and really good people.

here is the gist of what we talked about:

after a brief overview of the history of color theory (did you know that sir isaac newton created the first color wheel (that we know of) in 1666?) we moved on to talk about color in our homes; color on objects; the way that light affects how we see color; playing with the color wheel to learn about complimentary colors (those on opposite sides of the wheel-- colors that create a 'pop' when put together) and analogous colors (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel-- colors (like those above) that quietly blend with each other); color that is from natural pigments vs. color that is created by us-- but my main focus for the evening was about color schemes and how to put them together.

there are several different schools of thought around color schemes-- martha stewart tends to go for a monochrome look-- she will choose her color, whether a quiet minty- green, a cream, or a silvery lavender-- and then a whole house or whole room will be many variations on that color.  whatever the color, therefore, it becomes a neutral-- quiet, often fairly washed-out, martha stewart's color schemes are calming and very relaxing-- but a bit on the boring side for some people.

tricia guild and susan sargent, on the other hand--  are all about how color goes together-- lots of bold, saturated colors, all of them playing off each other in patterns and solids-- nothing calm (or boring) here!  for lots of people, this level of stimulation is exactly what they need to feel comfortable and at home-- while for others this color scheme is just too much.

and then there are those of us who like a white or cream background with a couple of accent colors along the way-- perhaps accents that are on the other side of the color wheel from our neutral, but are next to other accent colors used in the space--  my work falls mainly in this category and tricia foley's work is another great example.

what i find is that most of us fall into one or another of these color-scheme categories-- or personalities.  i asked the workshop participants to look at lots of photos from magazines, books, and catalogs-- were they tending to fall into one of these three groups?  across the board-- yes.  we all found ourselves more more strongly attracted to one color personality than to the others.  AND, once we became aware of what it is that works for us (and doesn't) we started to be able to pick out these schemes everywhere-- in the shop, in the magazines-- all the sudden what we were seeing became much clearer.

and for all of us sitting around that table last night--  our color problems come from not being aware of our color personalities-- and wandering over into another scheme without being aware of it-- and then not knowing why things weren't working.   once we find a personality that seems to fit-- it is easy to add things, move things around, and still stay within a realm that works for us.

fun!

-mary-moore.   

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