Monday, January 31, 2011

Red goes with orange and heres the proof

My lovely sister Susan is one of my biggest fans when it comes to Parts of Art jewelry. Not only does she have an impressive collection of jewelry pieces I have made over the years, but she is really good at harmonizing them with her clothing. So here she is once again pulling together a one of a kind look from wardrobe treasures.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Embroidered together

Those of you that know me know that my daughter has been dealing with a health issue that has been healing over a period of time. For the last ten days I have been in the hospital with her, staying by her side as she receives needed medical attention. This is the first time one of our family has required medical care of this nature and for this many days. It has been and continues to be a journey that has totally changed my perspective of life.

Psalm 139:15,16 Amplified Bible
My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought (as if embroidered with various colors) in the depths of the earth (a region of darkness and mystery.)
Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days (of my life) were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there were none of them.

Our physical bodies are a masterpiece of harmonious blends. We are intricately embroidered together by our loving heavenly Father. When one part becomes unbalanced, it affects so many other parts. The medical care givers in the hospital have the awesome responsibility to restore the balances. Of course, it is God that heals, and I know that He designed our bodies to heal themselves. I also have seen that it is sometimes a blend of natural healing and medical know-how that brings to pass the healing.
Thank you so much for all your prayers. Morgan is, as always, beautiful, peaceful, and excited to be feeling better and stronger every day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au lait is a neutral tint of brown, resembling the color of equal parts of average strong coffee and hot milk. The color name is French for "coffee with milk".

To mix this color with paint, here is the recipe:
170 parts Zinc White
8 parts Yellow Ochre
1 part Burnt Umber

Recipes for paint colors can be found in Bustanoby's Color Manual, copyright 1939.

For more about the earrings, visit my store at and go to autumn.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Complementary colors and seasons

When you are look at the color wheel, you see there are colors next to each other and there are colors across from each other. These colors across from each other are the ones I want to direct your attention to now. They are called complementary colors.

For example, across from yellow is violet, and across from green is red. There is something very harmonious about complementary colors, and once you know this secret, I think it will help you put colors together, whether for your wardrobe, jewelry, interior design, or whatever you want to add color to.
Remember back in the day when we got our colors analyzed? You sat with a "color consultant", paid them a fee for their expertise, and got draped with a sheet while she held various swatches of fabric up to your face. It was a fun and fascinating experience, unless you found out you were a Spring and all along you had thought you were a Summer and that you would now have to completely change your wardrobe! Then you were handed a pack of colors and sent out to shop for new clothes and make up.
The premise behind color analysis was that you look your absolute best in the color palette of one of the four seasons. What were those palettes? Spring was anything on the warm side of the color wheel, plus tints of those colors. Yellow, orange, red, yellow-green and green are the colors of Spring. A Spring can also wear pink, peach, baby blue, mint green and ivory because those are all tints of the warm colors. If you are a Winter, your best colors are on the cool side of the color wheel. That means red, red-violet, violet, blue and blue-green. So what about summer and autumn? Where do those palettes come from?
Start with the yellow at the top of the color wheel. Now go directly across the wheel and you get to violet. If that yellow and violet were wet paint and you added a touch of violet to yellow, what would you get? You get a nice mustard, autumnal version of yellow. What about red?Directly across from red on the color wheel is green. Again, if that red and green were wet paint, and you mixed a bit of green in with the red, you would get the earthy version of red that is completely fall-ish. That's because complementary colors gray each other down. The autumn colors are the warm colors from the color wheel, with their complementary color added.
Now if you were to get a little carried away with the wet paint and add too much violet to the yellow, guess what you would have? A Summer violet, which is a nice grayed mauve version of violet. Same thing with green. Add more red to the green and you get a dusky grayed down version of green that looks great on all those Summer colored women! The Summer palette is the cool side of the color wheel with the complementary color added.
Years ago when the whole color analysis trend was popular, a dear friend of mine hired me to make a chart of all the colors for each season. I thought to myself, oh this will be simple, it's just the colors from the color wheel, and I got to work, painting little squares of a million colors on a big chart. This is where I really saw how it is the complementary colors that mute each other and offer beautiful harmonious blends. I would mix a bright yellow green for the spring section, then add a bit of red- violet to it to make the autumn yellow green. Then I would add more red violet to this mix and use that for the summer violet.
This secret of complementary color mixing comes in handy when you want to make gray. A lot of times beginner painting students will mix black and white, after all, that does make gray. But the beauty of gray is there are blue grays, reddish grays, yellow grays, and so on. And how are they made? Not with black and white I promise you! Add any two complementary colors together and add those to white and you will come up with a rich and varied array of grays.
One day a friend of mine asked me if I would come over and help her decide what color to paint her living room. All the way to her house I was drilling my mind on everything I knew about color. I got to her house and do you know what she wanted help with? What color of white to use. White!! I mean what difference does it make?! We went to the paint store and started looking at all those paint samples and I was amazed. There are so many kinds of white! Now I know that you can gray a white down by adding two complementary colors and adding it to white. And what a difference it can make! The white we finally chose for my friend's living room was some of the biggest learning I have ever had in color. The room painted in that warm, buff, grayed down white was so peaceful, so inviting, so un-demanding. I just wanted to sit in that room and soak in all the peacefulness. If it had been straight white it would have been too clinical, too cold. If it had been a cool white it would have not been as welcoming. The white we chose had been muted with a nice mix of red and green, and it was ohh so lovely. Harmonious blends, I love you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Color wheel revisited

Okay so we're going back to the color wheel for a moment. There is so much more I need to tell you about harmonious blends of color!
So, pick a color, any color. Now, what happens to that color if you add white? That's right, you get a tint of that color. Red plus white makes pink. and the great thing about it is that a color plus its tint is a harmonious blend. Visually pleasing.
Here is a necklace that shows several tints of red plus a splash of yellow. More on yellow later. For more info on the necklace visit

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy birthday to all of you celebrating your birthday this month, including my beautiful daughter Morgan, who turns 23 tomorrow!
Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January and the gem designated for the 1st and 2nd wedding anniversaries. Most commonly, the garnet is associated with the color red, but also comes in a bouquet of colors including yellows, oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens and violets. The word garnet comes from the Latin word “granatum” meaning pomegranate, the red fruit with seeds. The gift of a garnet is a symbol of love and the wish for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.

Oh, and as far as harmonious blends, try this garnet colored wine with crusted parmesan bread and gruyere cheese. Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Speaking of harmonious blends, what is your favorite combination of wine, cheese and bread?
C'mon now, you know the possibilities are endless. After all, these are the most important food groups, despite what the experts all tell us. So do share with the class your favorite harmonious blend, and I will tell you mine.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ode to Pollack

Here is an example of harmonious color blends. They work together because they are colors found next to each other on the color wheel. (See my previous post for a quick lesson in color combining.) Green, yellow-green, and yellow, a pleasing combination.
This piece I call Ode to Pollack because, after all, doesn't the pendant look like part of a Jackson Pollack painting?
For more info on the necklace, feel free to visit my online store at and go to the Spring colors category.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Color harmony

"There are hidden harmonies or contrasts in colors which involuntarily combine to work together" Vincent Van Gogh

The color wheel is one of the most important tools for the artist. Start with the three primary colors: yellow, blue and red. These are primary because they aren't made by combining other colors. On the color wheel they are placed equidistant from one another. If it was the face of a clock, yellow is 12, red is 4, and blue is 8 o'clock. Simple.
So if you mix yellow and red you get beautiful luscious orange. Two o'clock on the old clock/color wheel. Mix red with blue and you get beautiful purple. 6 o'clock. What's left but mixing blue and yellow and making a gorgeous green, which is 10 o'clock.
Okay let's go back up to yellow. Going to the right around the wheel we have yellow, then orange. So what happens when you mix yellow and orange? That's right, yellow-orange! What about when you mix the next two colors, orange and red? You got it-it's red-orange! This is not rocket science. Pretty simple. Go around the color wheel mixing each pair of colors and you will arrive at the beautiful tertiary colors, as shown in the color wheel above.
Harmonious colors are close to each other on the color wheel. Yellow- green, green and yellow harmonize because they are similar to each other.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Push and the Pull

Visual art can express an inherent energy that flows from a harmonious balance of contrasts. Opposites push and pull, and an artist must learn to direct that push and pull. This contrast can apply to every element of art, from value to color to line to form.
It can bridge the drawing to the painting; it can resolve the difference between the abstraction and representational.
What is it that makes this photo of clouds dynamic? Is it not the push and pull, the contrast of the deep shadows of the cloud mass to the bright airy sunlit edge of the cloud?
If you were to trace the dark outline of the cloud mass with your finger, and then do the same with the outline of the lighter cloud, the two lines would be very similar. Similar but different. Imagine if the two outlines were identical! Yuck! Our heavenly Father would never do something so monotonous in His visual artistry! Because the two lines are similar but different, they create a contrast, a visual push and pull that is pleasing and even dramatic to the senses.