Art, Color and More Art

How I design spaces with color as probably has a lot to do with my background as an artist. Conversely, I've noticed these different design projects for clients, the spaces themselves; creep back into my art work. Fascination with architectural form fuels the subject matter of my paintings, while the particular way I try to enhance environments comes from the way I understand spatial composition, color and proportion learned from studying painting.

One example is the home of one of my clients in Santa Monica. It's a beautiful contemporary three-story building with open space that lets light spill in from the third floor all the way to the first. As you look up the upper ceiling forms a sweeping curve and is clad with a warm tongue and groove wood. Sailing down back to the ground floor is a large flue that extracts the smoke from the fireplace. The upper two floors look onto the main living area with half walls that not only let the natural light everywhere but give the wonderful feeling of expansiveness; the same way you feel the open sky when you lean over the side of a ship. 

I tried to enhance these qualities with color. Two elements in particular that nagged at me were the wonderful orange tone of the vaulted ceiling wasn't relating to anything of the same color family. It had no one to "speak" to. For the flue, I designed a custom color metallic copper paint. Instead of apologizing for itself when it was painted the same hue as the wall in back of it, it is now a proud feature in the room.

Back to painting, some of the feelings I try convey in my painting are the moments that you feel standing in a new space before you become "used to it". The time when you walk up a staircase for the first time with the anticipation of what you'll find at the top of the landing.  

There was a a particular place on the second floor that struck me enough to do a painting. It was a place where all the different planes, some enhanced by different colors, converged. The contrast of the zig zagging perpendicular lines, the wood ceiling curving to make an arch on the tallest wall gave me a serene feeling mixed with exhilaration, I wanted to capture it in a painting.



At Home in Paris

Originally Posted in March 2015

Recently I needed to make a trip to France on a family emergency. The trip was an emotional roller coaster. At the end of it all, I was drained. Luckily, I had a few days with my relatives in Paris that was very healing. Having time to wander around Paris alone helped me collect my thoughts. London has a matter of fact way of pushing you along if you're feeling sorry for yourself. Paris lets you quite happily wallow in sadness.

The neighborhood of choice to drift around was the Marais. Having gone to art school there years ago, it still has a comforting feeling for me.

Courtyard at L'ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts

Somehow seeing the little shops with their colorful displays struck me as painfully beautiful.

Honore de Balzac was inspired by this perfume shop Jean Vincent Bully in his novel Cesar Birotteau.

Home of exquisite hand painted wallpaper.

Home of exquisite hand painted wallpaper.

Showroom at De Gournay

My cousin Stephan and his partner Brigitte have created the most beautiful roof garden above their apartment in Paris.


What diet?

My Aunt Monique decked out in very Moroccan colors.

Twilight on the rooftop.