Sunday, September 14, 2008

Colors of Inspiration

So, having chosen all my colors and my general plan for decorating the apartment, it remained now to try to figure out the best way to present that color...and of course, to make the Gardener's Nest my own.

I already had some interesting ideas along the line of cave paintings for the living room, but was open to suggestion for the other rooms. So, imagine my amusement and excitement when this old book appeared on my stairs late last week.

At first, I thought perhaps Patience had played fairy god-landlord and left it to encourage me, but it turns out the book had been loaned by her to a potential sign painting customer...and they'd left it on my steps when they returned it.

So it was much more random, but no less welcome an arrival on the shores of my creativity.

I've always been kind of fascinated with the styles and patterns of the Art Deco period, and also ironically amused by a society that treats nature with such disregard yet uses representations of it the point of it almost being unnoticeable. This book was lots of fun to flip through, especially since the patterns featured were almost entirely floral in nature...and the color combinations were pretty enjoyable, too.

I really liked this poppy pattern, and it occurred to me it would be a relatively easy design to recreate as a floor painting...if I was ever feeling quite that motivated. Anyway, the pattern is fun and simple. If I was going to recreate any of them, it would be this one, I think.

I could say the same of each of these. I'm not sure I have it in me to be quite so elaborate. After all, it would be nice to have the painting finished and the business of unpacking and properly settling in well underway by October...and some of these would take considerably longer, I think.

But still, looking at these got me thinking about some ways to bring more of my beloved flowers into the design of the place, and so with that in mind, I visited AC Moore (the craft supply store) yesterday and picked up a few inexpensive flower stencils to play with.

I really liked the way the pansies were represented in the pattern below, and I might actually try to recreate a bit of that, though not necessarily with all the detail of the Roman figures and such. Which isn't to say I'm not fond of the way the flowers replace their heads sometimes, or seem to be utilized as shields and armor.

And of course, there's someone in the household who thought the cat representation was something we ought to do. We'll see. For my part, I was particularly fond of these doves and might find a place for a single one, hand-painted, somewhere in the Nest.


Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Welcome "home".

Birdie said...

I'm really enjoying this process. I am so NOT a nest-builder, but it's great to watch you make this new place your home. Your selections evoke a peacefulness that the outside garden brings.

Java said...

I like the shapes and curves of the art deco period. For instance, these doves are lovely, but I like the octagon they are flying in even better. The color combinations are great, too, like the pink and purple clouds.

I agree with Badum. You should definitely include the image of at least one cat. Maybe one in every room. What does he think of that idea?

Java said...

I'm also intrigued by the idea of a fairy god-landlord!

Patrick said...

Oh what fun! I love Art Deco stuff, and Art Nouveau. I think some force out there wanted to inspire you, whether the human agent meant to do it or not. I can't wait to see what you come up with. Maybe Badum can at least do some base coats while you're at work. Does one really need opposable thumbs for that?

Jenn Thorson said...

Well, this is definitely going to be interesting to see how it goes-- the direction, the progress, etc. I love Deco, so I will be living vicariously through you on some of this. :)

TigerYogiji said...

Are you sure that the figures are Roman? They look Egyptian to me. It would also explain the cat motif.

The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as Gods, and the cats have never forgotten this! ;)

Greg said...

Thanks, anonymous.

Birdie, I'm glad you're enjoying the show! It's interesting to me to see how my garden time is translating to my new environment.

Java, I know what you mean about the designs and the shapes and the colors. Patience says she uses the book mostly to get interesting ideas about color combos, but of course, I was sort of intrigued by some of the flower representations, too.

BTW, she is still in the running for Fairy God-landlord, since she called me last night as I was considering what to make for dinner to let me know that she had a surplus of white clam sauce and she'd let me know when the pasta was ready!

Patrick, I agree that the Universe or something wanted me to see this book.

I can see where paw prints would work as part of my designs...but you'll forgive me if I don't encourage my buddy to get too involved in the process.

I will consider some sort of cat-god representation in some appropriate place, of course.

Greg said...

Jenn, the Deco stuff is so cool. I'm not sure I have the patience to do it properly, but who knows, the winter can be long-ish hereabouts. Meanwhile, I'll have some new painting pics to show you this evening.

Tiger, you are absolutely right--looking at them more closely, the "Pansyheads" are definitely Egyptian in costume...and of course, Badum would never let me forget about Bast, the cat god.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I'll just stay quiet as I know zip about decorating! Most of my stuff is from Sears or Ikea ha ha! Have fun with this Greg!

MartininBroda said...

I'm very excited to see the results of your journey into art.

Butch said...

It will be interesting to see your final choice.

lostlandscape said...

Cool patterns! I'm glad you've found a reasonable landlord that doesn't insist on everything being painted apartment white.

It's funny you did that post because I've just checked out a book that I'll be sharing when I have some time, something on the art/architecture/nature link. It's a rich topic, and inspiration to a lot of folks. I'm sure you'll come up with something wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't come across as a stupid question...(but then again, no question is stupid, right?) ;-) How large of an area are your walls (and floors) going to be occupied by some of these potential patterns? You don't want walls to be too busy in particular rooms. They say patterns that are too busy aren't very calming, can be hard on the eyes, and even give people headaches.

"...on the shores of my creativity." Beautiful!

Greg said...

Afod, first the stupid questions are the ones you don't ask, I was taught long ago.

You shouldn't worry about my making overly busy walls. I shan't have the industriousness to properly recreate any of these full-on Art Deco patterns...I'm not living in the Empire State Building or a Pullman car, after all.

If anything, I may make a small patch of pansies down near the baseboard in some room, or perhaps paint in one of those doves somewhere. We'll see...I can't even say for sure what will end up where.

babs said...

I love deco. I have like three books of Deco stuff, including the catalogue from the big Art Deco exhibit that was at San Francisco that I went to. Eons ago.

My fav. is the flowered one at the top. And the poppies one.

Love Noveau too. Which is evident as I have many Mucha postcards and noveauish ones up.