Tag Archives: colors

everything is everything

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It started when I saw this:


Phillip Glass’ “Geometry of Circles” created for Sesame Street in 1979.

It made me feel a little giddy inside, and I was reminded of a conversation I had the other day with a friend about how essentially (in my eyes at least) everything is everything. You know, sort of like (loosely)

art:music=dance=emotion=color=(now that I think about it) shape=geometry=math:science

They all sort of eventually run into one another! I know my explanation of the science end is likely highly lacking. Perhaps I should toss chemistry in after math? Maybe? Anyway, I love how the “Geometry of Circles” film sort of brings like to the whole everything being connected thing. It kind of mixes it all in there. Similar to Norman Juster’s “The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics.” (If you didn’t watch it when I posted it last year, click here). They sort of give character and motion to shapes and therefore geometry and therefore math, something which we generally might take as something lacking in creativity. You might thing of yourself as being either math/science oriented or art/languages oriented. Left brain vs. right brain. One or the other. Whereas, in truth, they all obviously intermingle. One of reasons I love designing clothing is all of the thought and little calculations that I found (surprisingly) were involved and (even more surprisingly) I actually kind of enjoyed. It’s architecture for the human body. It’s taking a shape, dissecting it, splicing it, moving it around to get differing (hopefully) aesthetically pleasing looks. I’m the “artistic one” of the family who found herself surprisingly spending odd amounts of time trying to calculate (or something?) the best way to dissect a curve. I might be full of it, because I don’t remember exactly what I did or was doing; only that I’ve spent good chunks of time calculating strange things (but, hey it was beneficial! Skirts fall so much more gracefully when everything is evenly spaced).

And then, of course, I was/am completely obsessed with color. I have loudly proclaimed that a blue paint that was handed to me was not right because it wasn’t “happy” enough. The lady working in the paint department in Sear’s Home (or whatever it was) looked at me like I was nuts (this was in Delaware). Regardless of that…Don’t you notice how we tend to prescribe emotions to color (feeling blue! the mean reds! green with envy!)? Personalities even?

I discovered Ken Nordine’s spoken word jazz album Colors (1966) in college when I was supposed to be writing a research paper. He takes 34 colors and tells jazzy little stories about each one. I thought it was the best most hilariously wonderful thing ever and I was immediately consumed by it’s novelty. I do not know how to put just songs up here, but I did find (!) some youtubed video of Kinetic Typography (cool!) of two of the colors created by students at Oklahoma State University:

These are fabulous for the way they make the movement meld with the mood and beat of what he’s saying. And of course, for the stories of the trials and tribulations in a land where colors are people-ish.

And then there is dance. Of course, dance! For me, dance is kind of like being in the music. It kind of gets into your bones and under your skin and when your dancing you’re not necessarily “you” but a living representation of the music. Twyla Tharp’s choreography of “In the Upper Room” to Philip Glass’ music exhibits this wonderfully:

Isn’t it beautiful? How the layered movements interact and represent and mingle with the layers of the music. Sometimes, often, in dance telling a story takes precedence but this was just being and living out the music.

At the same time, for me, music feels kind of like this:


both by Marilyn Cvitanic

I once explained it like this to a friend who asked which I would choose if I could only have one, Color or Music:

“I couldn’t choose because they’re the same. It’s like moods and colors are connected and you listen to certain music perhaps when you’re in certain moods you might sort of “feel” like a color (pantone 292!)…. and then it’s like within the music the colors are dancing around and mixing and bumping into each other and it’s all art. color, music, dance, etc.”

Close your eyes and listen to this:

What did you see?

(And of course.. it can all be led back to science:

Wikepedia on Color

And you know, I’ve read that we all might very well have a little bit of Synesthesia in us.)

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I’d probably be in big trouble if I were in Ecuador

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In case you didn’t know: I’m a color addict.

Which is why seeing this Pantone calendar some months ago by design duo StokkeAustad got me feeling all giggly like a little schoolgirl swept up in her first crush. Each color has a date printed on it, and every day you remove one. This removal makes me sad. I, for one, simply adore this massive swath of color euphoria; disrupting it just may break my heart.

Of course, I also remembered that I pretty much collect paint swatches. They’re kind of my favorite. I sweep into a hardware store and start plucking them one by one, trying to be quasi-discreet, hoping nobody will stop me and start asking questions. Clearly, if I were in Ecuador, I’d be getting myself into big trouble:

(The sign reads, *ahem*: “Don’t take more than two.”)(photo here)

I first started collecting them for their intended purpose, and then branched out into taking as many as I could when I realized how helpful they are when concocting color stories for design projects. Then, darlings, I started decorating with them. In my old place in Delawhere (“The Pomegranate Estate”), I cut them up into their little individual squares/rectangles and created a design on my bedroom door with them (sadly, no pictures). In my little Brooklyn apartment (as yet unnamed) I’ve been using them in their entirety like this:

I’m not sure if it’s done yet; and, sorry that some seem to be a touch wobbly and crooked at the moment, and that the lighting isn’t so hot. I’ve sort of integrated them with photos of “happy places”. It’s kind of my elaborate headboard (the fire and lightbulb pictures are at the ends of the bed) but has been sort of showing promise of working its way over the entire wall. The original plan/general idea was to have the bottom be earthy, ground tones moving up through green grass, tree, and some flowery colors into colors of they sky (and water, too) and into dark, night-y upper reaches of the atmosphere colors. Like I said, likely not officially done (evolution!) and I did sort of toss colors in there, too (because they were needed and/or I really liked the colors and wanted them there *blushes*). It makes me smile pretty much whenever I walk into my room.

… and I still have a rather large pile of paint swatches itching to be used. Hmmm….

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