Today we welcome British Summer Time and the weather has been kind. The colours of spring always seem so purposeful after the winter months, with pink trees and purple or yellow blankets of flowers spread across the parks. At the allotment the grass is rearing its greens, and yet the purple sprouting broccoli let us down. Today I celebrate the colours of our garden, noticing the yellows and purples as predominate hues.
Evocative, technical, predictive, informative, for matching, mixing, ordering, cataloguing, of materials, surfaces, finishes, whims and traditions…
Working across the fields of surface design, textiles, public art and fine art I have come across many ways to represent colour in order to communicate qualities. Whether it be for perfecting a match for production, or generating an evocative palette for a client, each niche within the industry has its way of doing things. Black for the Northern Line, double yellow for no parking, gold for the winner, and red for wrong. From Global Color, to Farrow & Ball, Pantone to Berisfords the language of colour is key. Some give codes, other names, sometimes a swatch, others a smudge, universal, local, a science and an art!
Seductive, formal, in a book, or on a card, each help to create the colours in the world around us, and while the skills of the individuals choosing, producing and matching will no doubt be overlooked by most, may the colours continue to sing, calm, provoke and much more.
I’ve brought some of the various forms of colour I work with together to brighten up this grey, wet Monday in February.
Despite us not having had snow yet this winter we have the pleasure of seasonal flowers that are so beautiful and distinctive, its time to celebrate them here, captured today on digital ‘film’.
I’ve drawn both the snow drop and the daffodil so many times over the years (mending from a broken elbow led me to a season of endless daffs drawings as a way to pass time) and yet each year they surprise me in their beauty. Is it too much to expect that spring will be just around the corner, and we can start this year’s digging?
I’m used to gathering flowers and then drawing them over and over in order to learn more about their colours, shapes, forms and structures in order to develop imagery for prints and textile designs. At home this weekend we looked at flowers in a different way. We investigated last years plants that my daughter had pressed safely, and looked at them under the microscope that my son had become rather too keen on discovering inside the utilitarian wooden box it lives in.
We had great excitement as some rather plain plants revealed stunning patterns and textures and were disappointed when something beautiful at full-scale looked rather scary close-up. On trying to capture these images on camera the results were reminiscent of Len Lye animations and got me thinking about other ideas. Here’s a few images to share…
Having had such a great ‘destination’ review from Cara of Patternbooth blog fame via Helen’s blog DesignHunter we chose Nottingham for a last minute weekend get-a-way. I had last visited the city as a student in about 1997 and this time we set off looking for a completely different experience from the cider-drinking ‘DM boot wearing’ art student of yesteryear.
We visited lots of independent cafes and restaurants, watched a great art-film in the Lounge at the Broadway Cinema, shopped in vintage shops & design shops and yes, we did find time to sup ale at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. It is a city with a great variety of interesting buildings embracing a myriad of architectural styles; almost a timeline of the design history lectures I give to my Textile Design students. The lace trade is still visible in many ways, and contemporised on the exterior surface on Nottingham Contemporary.
We had a thoroughly great time and returned home with rounder tummies and fuller bags than when we left Brum on Friday night! Thanks Cara, Helen and Nottingham!
images L-R: exterior facade of a car park, dots on a crossing, Nottingham Contemporary exterior, stair detail from the Paul Smith shop
I’m naturally biased when it comes to the Norfolk landscape but seeing as it has shaped my aesthetic, colour preferences and my approach to drawing I am happy to consider it to be inspirational. I don’t spend enough of my time in Norfolk these days but every time I visit I take deep breaths, and big eye-fulls of the vast expanse of open landscape, the ever-changing light qualities and the endless colours of the land, sea and sky. Here’s a medley of Norfolk from this Christmas including sights of seals at Horsey Gap, a rainbow & the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea, and fields near Cawston and Alysham.
It’s been rather a long time since I posted a Pantone colour as part of my Twitter project – here’s a beautiful red.