Category Archives: Palettes

For color lovers

Petals

Petals: n. part of the corolla of a flower, often brightly colored.

My tulips are spectacular right now. Here they are amassed:

Tulips - Daydream, Silverstream and others

Tulips - mainly Daydream & Silverstream - (anenomes behind)

And here are some petals that fell off a tired arrangement:

tulip-petals1

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Peacock picnic in the Columbia River Gorge

Peacock: n. the national bird of India, related to the pheasant. The male peafowl, or peacock, has long been valued for its brilliant tail feathers. The bright spots on it are known as “eyes”, and inspired the Greek myth that Hera placed the hundred eyes of her slain giant Argus on the tail of her favorite bird.

Picnic: n. a pleasure excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors

Peacock's personal table

Peacock's personal table

I spent the entire day exploring the spectacular Columbia River Gorge with four friends. We left the gray weather behind in Vancouver and drove 100 miles east to the the Maryhill Museum of Art.

This former mansion of tycoon Sam Hill was built in 1907  on a hilltop overlooking the Gorge near Goldendale, WA. He bought 5300 acres of land there in the hope of establishing a Quaker community, but it never really caught on.  His buddies – the avant garde dancer Loie Fuller and Queen Marie of Roumania – convinced him instead to convert the place into a museum.

Fuller was friends with Auguste Rodin, so there is a sizeable collection of Rodin sculptures and sketches. His collection of Indian basketry is impressive, and other exhibits come thru regularly.

I was taken by the gorgeous gilt furnishings from Queen Marie:

Queen Marie's throne

Queen Marie's throne

Queen Marie's table

Queen Marie's table

But I digress. After museuming we went outside for our picnic with the peacocks.

I couldn’t get over the stunning colors… like jewels. In one direction the tail looks coppery, in another green, in another silver.

Peacock's back

Peacock's back

Tail - silvery angle

Tail - silvery angle

Our next stop was the replica Sam Hill built of StoneHenge, to honor local soldiers who died in World War I.

Center area of Sam Hill's Stonehenge

Center area of Sam Hill's Stonehenge

Columbia River from Stonehenge

Columbia River from Stonehenge

The Gorge isn’t as steep near Maryhill as it is closer to Portland, where the east side of the Columbia boasts some wonderful waterfalls. We stopped and hiked up one, gawked at others from below.  So much beauty on all sides!!

I think the Gorge is one of America’s most awesome scenic treasures. It’s 80 miles long and in some places the walls rise 4000 feet!

Pure pleasure: artist’s date at Tacoma Museum of Glass

Pure: adj. being thus and no other; unmixed with any tainting substance

Pleasure: n. a state of gratification; a source of delight and joy

Part of ceiling on Glass Bridge by Dale Chihualy

Part of ceiling on Glass Bridge by Dale Chihuly

To celebrate my birthday, my best friend took me up to Tacoma on Friday for an “artist’s date,” a concept introduced by Julia Cameron in her best-seller, The Artist’s Way.

An artist’s date is when you take time out from your ordinary life and usual artistic pursuits to do expose yourself to or participate in some other creative endeavor for the sheer pleasure of it.

An artist’s date can be as simple as dumping your button collection onto a table and playing with them. If you’re a writer, you could go into the yard and attempt to sketch a flower. If you’re an artist you could immerse yourself in a book of poetry.

Or it could be a real museum outing, as Judi and I  did Friday.

Tacoma is a two hour drive from here.  To get to the Museum from the parking lot, you cross over the highway on the magical Bridge of Glass, designed by the wildly creative glass artist Dale Chihuly.

On one side of the enclosed mid-section is a wall of crazy “vases”.  The roof  looks like someone dumped the three-dimensional phantasmagorical contents of a dozen super-sized kaleidoscopes onto a glass plate above you.

The glass pieces vary in size from balls about 4″ in diameter to trumpet shapes 3′ long and scalloped “flowers” 2′-4′ across.  The shimmering backlit shapes of brilliant colors can only be called ecstatic art. I could have permanently cricked my neck taking it all in.

Here is some more:

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Chihualy ceiling closer view

Chihuly ceiling closer view

Here’s a portion of  the side wall:

A family in front of the wall of Chihualy "vases"

A family in front of the wall of Chihuly "vases"

Looking up at one of the two glass spires on first part of the Bridge. The chunks are BIG, like 2-3′ across:

icepile

Here’s a Chihuly chandelier:

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The museum has much more than Chihuly, including a huge glass-blowing shop, where you can watch art glass being blown. There’s a terrific exhibit about describing glass art, beyond “I like it; I don’t like it” but you can’t take photos inside. (This exhibit closes in November; worth the trip if you live close enough.)

This is a museum for kids of all ages, and it’s in a part of town with two other fine museums, the handsome U. Washington Tacoma campus, the refurbished train station (now courthouse) with an enormous arched window with orange Chihuly “poppies” floating across it.

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Closeup of Chihualy poppy window

Closeup of Chihuly poppy window

Can you tell I LOVED this place???

And PS – we ate lunch in the museum cafe: YUMMMMMMY.

Poodle pix: coiffure as costume

A friend sent me the link to a series of photos from a gal who does “creative grooming.”

My poor Molly was overcome with jealousy when she saw these because her hair is black – a poor canvass for such artistry. I mean, who wouldn’t want to look like a chicken:

poodlechicken1

or a peacock:

poodlepeacock

(This is the cut, sans feathers… see the whole deal at the link)

And how about Ninja Turtle poodle:

leonardoodle

Paint

What happens when you love color on your walls is you paint them fairly often. You also paint every room a different color. And you paint the exterior of your house with four different colors.

This makes you very very happy. And when guests enter your house for the first time, it makes them happy too.

What happens when you’re into paint is that you accumulate a lot of it. Gallons and gallons. Such fabulous paint that many of these canfuls, which are as much as six years old, are still in excellent condition. Professional painters always over-estimate how much you’ll need…

Probably I should hold onto a quart of each color, just in case a squirrel chews through a wall (heaven forbid!) and I have to patch it up. But what to do with all this paint?

I have a friend with a new home coming over this afternoon for color inspiration. I bet she’d like a couple of gallons.

Paint! Power from the Palette

When I first moved into my home as a newly single woman I painted my bedroom a soothing sage green. It was soothing, womb-like, peaceful. The green pictures below are before I put up any art.

But after ruffling a lot of ch’i last week in a fit of feng shui madness, I woke up one morning and realized my bedroom was more than womb-like. It was DARK at the sleeping end despite the French doors.

Feng shui say: flesh tones very good in bedroom – peach, pink, apricot, sand, brown, etc. Hmm. Peachy sounded good. But you have to be very careful with these tones not to get into candy pink. Too much white and not enough brown.

My eye for nuance in color has gotten increasingly sharp over the years and I picked a color I thought would work from my paint deck(a fan of about 10,000 colors) and went down to my paint store and bought a sample quart.

I painted a one foot square on each of the four walls to see how the color looked with the different light exposures. I checked them in daylight and by light bulb at night. I put the art pieces I intended to use over the swatches to see if they would be enhanced or killed by the new color.

Bingo! Where it used to take me about 3 adjustments or additional quarts to get a color right, this time I nailed it on the first try.

I’d like to say that I am a DIYer, but I am a shitty painter and it would have taken me all week to do a bad job. Besides, I had two writing jobs due and my good plants are SCREAMING at me to free them from the jungle of weeds that now surround them.

I’m not a great photographer of interiors, nor a good bedmaker, but I love the new warmer look and feel.

It’s a feng shui no-no to have a work area in the bedroom, but my desk is at the other end of the room and is just for writing personal stuff and reading – as you can see I have a lot of books, mostly fun and inspirational here. Upstairs I have a real office where I write for pay, pay my bills, and keep the Serious Books.

Palette

One of the websites nominated for a Webby award is run by a guy who lives in the Portland area. It’s called www.colourlovers.com – but watch out, because if you’re a color lover (as I am), you can get lost there (as I did).

Using their tools you can create millions palettes of five colors, and/or you can take a photograph or graphic and extract five of the colors from it. I stumbled on a blog entry there which extracted the palettes from about ten gorgeous closeups of various stapeliad flowers. Check it out!Kathi\'s cabbage

I tried it myself, uploading a photo I took last fall in my friend Kathi’s vegetable garden – a cabbage nearing harvest. With their Copaso tool, I pixilated the photo and then clicked on five of the pixels that seemed to convey the cabbage’s essential colors. cabbage colors

Totally totally cool. This could be such a boon to a decorator – a client has a favorite painting and wants to pull the colors from it for wall and upholstery colors – et voilà!