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Monthly Archives: February 2010

white + blue

white + berries

white + yellow

white + pink

white + spring

Snow has covered the concrete jungle- again.  Amazing and halting on all accounts.  White (snow) is not so innocent in this instance.  It quickly morphs into a gray, then, sludge color.  The various shades of ice turned gray offer us false transparencies on the ground below.  How far is it?  Is it solid?  Is ice even there? Asphalt ice. Slip.

These are all opportunities for observations that would not be seen otherwise and gives us every reason to stop and look at the colors that peek out of the snow coverings.  The images above are from a walk earlier today where I looked at new color combinations with new textures, some young, some old and some awaiting spring to become rejuvenated.  I still feel like it’s spring.  I don’t know why.  It is Spring somewhere in the world.  Eventually it will be our turn here and flowers will replace some of the white.  White and color will be worn instead of black (a little anyway), and the ground will be what our eyes tell us it is.  The only slipping to be of concern then will be from the shoes worn in the old cobble stone streets.

This is it.  This is where the magic happens.  The plaster room of the 5th floor.  There was a little bit of a re-do in order.  In earlier posts of Red Square, Yellow Triangle and Blue Circle, I had the proportions off slightly.  So in the mind-set for a re-do, went about it with more knowledge and more experience- and did it all in half the time and twice as much fun.

I will be forming these shapes inspired by the writings of Kandinsky in Concerning the Spiritual in Art.  He wrote about specific colors having a specific shape and form, angle or curve.  The whole process of making colored plaster is fun from the beginning.  I have learned to be very thoughtful and meditative in this process, as rushing it will only make the mixture marbled- not the result I’m going for.  I must go slowly, but think fast as the plaster is setting up.

It really is something to watch the saturated pigment drop and disperse into the water.  Splash, swirll, vortex flow. The pigment finds its new place among the water molecules and I start to stir.  Pigment is mixed, plaster is added and then, at the right moment, it’s poured into various containers, once thought of as trash.  Clean up, repeat, with a new color.  I mixed the colors in the same order that I did the first time, red, yellow, then blue.  Red added to the gray water in the sink during clean up made a deep burnt red color.  I made a bit more yellow than red and it turned the water a rich orange.  The coloring of the water with whatever amounts of pigment left over provides unlimited colors that can be made from these primaries. The colors mixed from red, yellow and blue are always changing- in one way or another.  Blue, I saved for last.  It is my favorite.  I don’t know why.  I only know that when I drop the pigment into the water my heart starts to race.  The blue is vast and limitless, and I want to stay here as long as possible.  I made extra blue.  It got a little messy, but didn’t make anything look dirty.  The final cleanup turned the orange water a beautiful color of teal- one of my favorite colors.  The three primaries didn’t make a dull gray as sometimes it does- but then again my proportions were just slightly off- being right-on.

I saw these colorful balloons which had been released from the party they where for and then moments later were captured by the tree and there danced in the wind.  Truthfully, I was looking down and saw the shadow first.  Head down, trying to keep the wind out of my eyes there on the sidewalk were colorful shadows out to play.

Sunday morning in my apartment with little bits of rainbow everywhere.

I loved this one and how the colors looked on the wood panel closet and how something was blocking out the light of part of the spectrum.  It was almost if on purpose, just for me.  I snaped it up before it moved, yet did not capture it’s essence.  Some parts of life are not able to be experienced through the lens of a camera.

Levi van Veluw


Spirals by Lev van Veluw

Bursting with color is one way to say it.  Levi Van Veluw who hails from The Netherlands has been bursting onto the art scene over the past few years.  Using himself as the canvas he repurposes ordinary materials such as tape, toys, wood, and lights onto his head and torso which serve as the canvas.  The results are far from ordinary and offer us a daring look at the possibilities that are intensely beautiful, creepy and fearless.

Peter Kun Frary

Peter Kun Frary

In my previous post Andrew Zuckerman took hyper-real images of nature and deleted the backgrounds to have us ponder if the image was real or not.  All of his images are real, only the background has been adjusted.   I was thrilled to find this image on Neatorama. Peter Kun Frary has done the same- but different.  He has taken the real and applied- my favorite medium to it (make-up!) and made the three-dimensional set appear as if it were a painting.  I have to give a lot of props to Mr. Frary.  I love this as a color study and a new look at a still life- thanks to the model to sat still through the display of the ‘painting.’

Milk by Andrew Zuckerman

Egg by Andrew Zuckerman

Flower by Andrew Zuckerman

The real becomes the unreal through Andrew Zuckerman’s lens.   Stark backgrounds black or white juxtapose Zuckerman’s subjects for intense contrast bringing out the vibrancy of nature, how strong and how fragile.  In his new book, Birds, all the natural backgrounds have been taken away and replaced with white, making us wonder if the image is real or not.  A new appreciation and clarity is found in the birds in their new surroundings.  The work questions our surroundings and begs us to look before it changes to a unrecognizable state.

When Eliza of The Uniform Project called me up to make something for U.P.F.W. I came up with a little something old– ‘vintage skirt’, something new- a scarf made from scraps of Koos’s, something borrowed and blue- lent her my adorable new shoes from Alter. Thanks so much to Sheena for being an amazing muse!

Primrose design images


rug by Chiasso

salt and pepper hug by Scott Henderson

Print by Kat Macleod

i found this on, but can't remember the link!

Honestly, this is just not my favorite holiday, for all the obvious reasons one would not like it.  This year, I choose to celebrate the love of my community and my dear friends, new and old.  Above are some images I find inspirational for this day of red. I like the warmer tones of the vintage Valentine- the first image of the post.  It does in many ways represent that time period, but I think has more character that the ‘spectrum reds’, as I call them, that are widely available these days- more on that on a later date

When I visited the Brooklyn Flea the last time, there was a woman selling vintage valentines, like the first image in the post.  If so inclined, there is a great stream of vintage Valentine’s on Flicker.

Alexander McQueen Menswear textile for A/W 2010

Scarf design for Koos by Scully 1999

These days are nothing short of intense and hold a great deal of irony in them all hard to place and even talk to at the given moment.  Fashion and color have always been an escape for me, weather conscious or not it allows for augmentation and potential- in a similar way that Aimee Mullins has spoken about- “space” are places of opportunity.  I have used color via clothing to divert attention towards and away from feelings and emotions- an attractor, as much as a shield of armor.

It is a great tragedy to the fashion world to have lost Alexander McQueen.  His site is all but taken down, except for the above image that is creepy and ironic .  One of his greatest supporters killed herself in 2007- Isabella Blow. For them, I suppose all the clothing, textiles and colors in the world couldn’t save them.

Working with materials, colors and their combinations I find hours slip away.  I work with them until my heart beats fast and my mouth waters.  This is when I know the colors are right.  I love and appreciate Albers theory, as I’ve written about it many time here, but there is so much beyond the color, the addition of materials- texture to the colors where it becomes to take shape, and for me literally come alive.  The second image above is a scarf that I made over a decade ago, when I was working for Koos van den Akker. I used transparent chiffon over silk dupioni , vintage Russian hand-embroidered ribbons and wove red ribbon in an eyelet lace.  It was one of my favorite things I made while with him.  I used this as an inspiration when I made a new scarf for The Uniform Project.  I made it yesterday in Koos’ workroom.  Much of the talk yesterday was on the great loss that some feel more than others.  Koss continues on, as he always has.  The city is his daily collage inspiration, he is full of ideas.  I was so grateful to spend time with him and others in the workroom, although it had been a decade since I spent time behind one of their sewing machines, it felt right away at home.  A sewing machine is such a nice work desk.  As Koos said, it allows for him to create what is in his mind and to express himself.

There is so much potential in the ability to augment ourselves.

This past week has been one of great change, at first insurmountable, we must go on.  Life as fashion, and color trends continue to change, but we remain, and when we don’t, then things will still change, they will morph into something else.  There is potential.  We just need to see it.