Thursday, January 4, 2007

Color Travel

When I start to create a new piece, I nearly always start out with the question, "What is this one going to be?" I am surprised at how often a color, or color scheme that is my launching point for a piece. This is especially true when I am making cranes. But it also true with the vessels or the jewelry at times.

After my oldest daughter was born, I began a business making custom window treatments at home. I had been in the corporate world for about 13 years, in sales and marketing. But I hated my job, and traveled way too much. So I left that all behind. And began my journey into the entrepreneurial world.

There were several valuable things I got from the five years I spent doing window treatments. First off, I gained confidence in my ability to launch my own business. Secondly, I expanded my color vocabulary, and absorbed lots of patterns and designs. Color was so essential to what I was doing. And I was working in palettes that were not in my personal taste. But I had to "make it work". And I did. I began to fully appreciate the nuances of color when I began to try to find just the right fabric to go with someone's room.

I saw color combinations in fabrics that I never would have imagined, but that worked. It gave me courage to experiment more with color. I learned how colors interacted and played off of one another. And I learned how to distribute color in a room to give it a balanced feel. I found out that I was good at seeing the subtleties of color, and educating my customer about these undertones of color.

One of the other things I absorbed in this journey, was how often colors have associations. They may bring to mind emotions, or seasons. But I also believe they can evoke a sense of place. The cool blues, beiges and silvery grays of Scandinavia. The dusty, muted tones of an old English estate. Red, black and gold often bring to mind Asian art for me. Think tropics, and you may think of lush greens, vibrant reds, pinks, yellows. When I think of saffron, fuschia, teal and gold, I think of my friend's beautiful embroidered silk saris.

This can help me come up with inspiration at times. All I need is a color to begin the process. From there, I may think about a place to create the full palette and the tone. And then pattern or design follows suit.

Try a little color travel in your play some day. Think of a place you want to visit in your imagination, and bring that place to life in a color palette. You'd be amazed at the places you can go in an afternoon of color travel.

If want to know and understand more about color, check out the new blog by Maggie Maggio....Smashing Color. I am learning more each time I visit.

1 comment:

PePe said...

You're right.. all the great things in the world start with a simple idea and a little bit of imagination.

great blog by the way! :)