June 8, 2008

Choosing Color: What inspires you?

As we get ready to move into our new home, I'm musing on furniture layouts, wall colors, how to set things up to feel like home and to be beautiful and comfortable.

In the house I lived in before Mark and I married and I moved into his condo, I had, a few years ago, redone the master bedroom and painted the walls the colors of my parrot, Gracie. Two walls were pale green, one wall was lavendar, the carpet was grey, the accent color was red. It sounds like a lot, but it was beautiful. I found a comforter with lavendar, green, and blue and drapes with tiny strips of lavendar, green, and red. It all worked great and I loved resting and reading in that room.

Yesterday, armed with a load of decorating and color books from the library, I spent a lot of time thinking of color and how important it is to our lives. And how it can affect our moods, and inspire us in so many ways.

One of the books encouraged thinking about what color combinations we are drawn to. In addition to Gracie's interesting colors, I am drawn to the colors of fall (deep oranges, reds, golds, and browns), winter (pale blue, beige, white, grey; like in the photo at left), and spring (pinks, lavendars, daffodil yellow). Oh, it's so difficult to choose!

I have oodles of photographs taken of trees, landscapes, animals...sometimes just for the color. For five years I drove two hours on most Saturdays to visit my son. It was on a rural road in southern Ohio and I found myself thinking of some of the trees along the way as nature's friends. I loved seeing them change with each passing season; appreciating the changes in a way that only someone who lived in Florida for 17 years, and wasn't crazy about it, could. Here is a photo of a scene I passed often, and found quite beautiful.

Then, in thinking about color, I remember a photograph I took of light coming into a window, through and old yellowed shade...it reminds me of an abstract painting, lit from within (see photo below). Then there is a photo I took of some rose petals that had dried to a color that looked interesting to me...

Color, color, color... and then there is texture, a whole 'nother thing to consider. After looking at several books I felt like I'd eaten too much of a good thing. My eyes and brain needed a break.

As much as I like to paint "real" things, I also like to paint just color. Here's one I did for my son, Jesse, last year. Perhaps it was inspired by the photo I took years earlier of the windowshade. I did a similar smaller blue one as well that I gave to Mark. I loved doing these. Perhaps I will start the decorating thoughts by getting out paintbrush and canvas and musing a bit more on what colors speak to me.

How about you? What colors fill you with happiness, creativity, or remind you of particular events or times in your life? What is your favorite color?


February Grace said...

Janice you know color is one of my absolute favorite things and topics to discuss...and it's changed so much throughout my life. As a child, I was drawn to light blue and lavendar but then I was 'supposed' to be a boy and my parents painted my nursery blue and left it when I turned out to be a girl. I loved my pink blanket and a few pink items I had as a small child. Now I'm pink crazy! I live in pink Chuck Taylor Converse high-tops (note to self- order a new pair!)

Right now I find myself drawn to clean background colors and bright colors against them- maybe because I lost color for so long and am again right now without its full impact. Counting down the days until hopefully I have it back full force- I know whatever colors you pick your home will be gorgeous you have amazing taste and talent in all things artistic!


ausurfer said...

Well, one of my favourite colours is purple, hence my love of jacaranda trees. That said, to me one of the most beautiful displays of colour is a snow covered scene. Yes, not a lot of variety of colour, but when I look at it, be it be in photos, movies or in person (I miss that), I feel refreshed.

Janice Phelps Williams said...

Thank you, Bru and Kim. I love color and Kim, like you, I love white with just a hint of color. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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