More Joy & Color

{screenshot of Ingrid Fetell Lee’s TED Talk}

A sweet friend of mine posted a clip of this Ingrid Fetell Lee’s Joy TED Talk on my FB page and I just had to share it. I mean, a talk on joy and color, what could be better?!

Ingrid is a designer, writer, and the founder of The Aesthetics of Joy website and community. As an expert in design and joy she took the stage to talk about our fundamental need and desire for, you guessed it, joy.

“On the most basic level the drive toward joy is the drive toward life.” 

In her research on joy she found that even though “the feeling of joy is mysterious and elusive, we can access it through tangible physical attributes, or what designers call aesthetics.” She began referring to these moments of joy in the world as the “aesthetics of joy.” Boy does that speak to my creative heart!

The aesthetics of color, patterns, multiplicity, and the shapes of objects in our world are definitely a few things that get me excited, I may even jump up and down. It’s true joy is mysterious, but wherever we find it we need to surround ourselves with it. As Ingrid notes, “each moment of joy is small, but over time they add up to more than the sum of their parts.”

I believe she is right, to live a joy-filled life we need focus our hearts and minds on the things that bring us that jump-up-and-down feeling. To pursue joy rather than happiness helps us find the richness and abundance in life we inherently crave.

Hopefully this talk and her website can inspire and encourage you to take the time to notice the aesthetics of joy around you and focus the things and moments in your life that lift you up. Maybe your joy will be contagious and inspire others to pursue more joy. You may even find a way to infuse joy into your sphere of influence through your skills, talents, and giftings. I’m excited just thinking about it!

Here’s to a joy-filled day!

kdg

Follow The Aesthetics of Joy on Instagram and Facebook

The best markers of all time

Copic screen
www.copicmarker.com

And I can say that with confidence too.

I bought my first set of Copic markers 18 years ago. I was studying Art Direction and Design at AAA in Johannesburg, one of our subjects included fine art and renderings, for this we needed to invest in Copic markers. I never thought of them much at the time except that they were crazy expensive.  I mean, their rendering ability was pretty incredible but I was not experienced enough at the time to fully appreciate their worth. Fast forward 18 years, I found my box of Copic markers while unpacking my art room in our new place. My first thought was to throw them away because surly by now they would be useless and dried up. I pulled out one just to confirm my thinking and to my surprise it worked 100%, clearly and accurately. I have now handed them over to my art brain child who has been designing up a storm with them. It’s exciting to see them taking on this second life, and to see my joy mirrored in my child for these ink filled instruments.

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So if you’re looking to invest in a set of markers that will live 18 years or more, then invest in a set of Copic. You’ll only ever need to buy them once!

Cheers

name

Side note: These are not washable, scribble felt tips pens but artists markers for passionate creatives.

 

 

 

David Hockney – Artist

“I think in painting you can do things you can’t do in photography.
Edvard Munch said photography can’t compete with painting because it can’t deal with heaven or hell.” – DAVID HOCKNEY
David Hockney, born 9 July 1937, is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.When I came across a CNN piece on David Hockney, I recognised his work before I recognised him. Through the CNN interview it was nice to get to know the man behind the paintings. And when I heard him pour out the quote above I felt, Yes! I get that. I have always maintained that I love the form and reality that photography captures but I also really love the depth that painting can add to a story. And that’s it! He nailed it! That is what his work is all about. He captures the seemingly natural world and takes it to another level through either colour or composition. And oh how I do love the way he uses colour.
I hope you find his work as refreshing as I do (my personal favourites are his works from the 60s) and please take the time to view his interview, it will add depth to your everyday perspective.
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A Bigger Splash 1967
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The Arrival of Spring, Woldgate, East Yorkshire, 2011

May your day be colourful.

Cheers,

la

The Mirror House – Kuwait

1DSC_9140Lets just say, if my husband came home from a business trip abroad and found me on the floor with broken pieces of glass and plastering all over the wall, I think he would have had me committed. Thankfully this was not in the case of the lovely Lady Lidia.

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For what started out as a small mirror mosaic project to cover her daughters writings on the wall, turned into her greatest life long work, her pride and joy, The Mirror House of Kuwait. We were greeted by this tiny, Italian woman, with years of life knowledge and life experience under her belt. Yet somehow she maintained her zest and passion for life and she couldn’t wait to share it with us.

We started with a lesson on mosaics and the story of her beginning, but we were quickly whisked away and literally taken on a once in a lifetime journey through what can only really be explained as living surrealism. 

She met a young Kuwaiti man in the UK and he stole her heart. She then moved to Kuwait in the 50s, settled down, got married, had a family, lived life, survived wars, survived parenting, and found comfort in creating.

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Her story is a cherished love story. Her husband, Khalifa Qattan, was a very well known and respected pioneer in the Arab art world.  Yet, he very rarely called her Lidia, he preferred to call her lady, even up until his last days on this earth. Swoon! She brags that when she arrived in Kuwait, most of the houses were still built of clay. Yes, she has seen Kuwait change over the years there is no doubt of this. I asked her what the biggest change she witnessed was, expecting to hear the standard, “oh we used to be able to drink and now we can’t” or, “we could wear short skirts back then and no one bothered us about it” but no, to my surprise, she said the greatest change came from within the family unit.

The family unit has changed.

When she first moved to Kuwait she testifies how most children were being raised by their parents, both moms and dads were raising their kids. She shares that in today’s times children are being raised by nannies. It’s quantity over quality of children that has become important. There is a whole generation of children being raised by nannies and no longer by their parents. And you see it filter over into the Western culture within Kuwait too. All too often it’s the nannies with the kids at birthday parties or afternoon activities, very often alongside the parents, even then parents take more and more of a back seat.

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Her symbol piece for the family unit.

Anyway, getting back to the tour. What a ride. She took us into every room where different themes are represented, from the earth to outer space. Her birds were my personal favourites. On the top floor we even got to appreciate her husbands works. a dedicated gallery to his finest pieces. I loved this part. He was a visual communicator for sure. The statements he made with his art were honest, bold and unapologetic. He loved being Kuwaiti and was so proud of that, but he was despising what the nation was becoming, the changes that the country was going through and he used his art as his voice. It still speaks volumes today. I definitely learnt a lot about the history of Kuwait on this tour, It was interesting for sure.

In the rooms next to his gallery are works of her own. It was fascinating to see these two worlds showcased on one floor. Two very different minds with similar view points being expressed in two very different ways. It was remarkable.

My favourite piece belonging to Lady Lidia was the piece with the two keys. These represent the keys to a woman’s heart (men, pay attention).

They are:

1 – Respect

2 – Generosity (not as in things or money, but rather time and affection). If you get these two things right her heart will be forever yours.

Her art therapy rooms are quite something, too. Darkness, with colour of lights and lights of colour.

Admittedly, I spent an hour on my bed in the afternoon with a warm cup of tea processing the experience. Trying to make sense of it all. I couldn’t. I was most certainly over stimulated for the better part of the afternoon. And wonderfully so. I will never forget this morning at The House of Mirrors. For anyone living in Kuwait, you need to move this to the top of your ‘to do before you leave’ list. This experience has the backing of both Trip Adviser and Lonely Planet.

I left informed and inspired.

If you have a House of Mirrors experience that you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Special note: One thing that makes this experience even more unique is that you become a part of the visual experience. With the mosaics being mirrors, your reflections are integrated. Thus making everyone’s experience unique to them. 

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Cheers,

la

 

A Pop of Red

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A long time ago someone said to me: “red is your color,” and it stuck. Sadly, I cannot remember who it was that kindly informed me that with my skin tone and dark hair, I wore the color well, it was insight that has stayed with me. It has even branded me among family and friends, who see it and think of me.

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The color red is a primary color and the vixen of the color world next to cheery and friendly yellow and laid-back blue. When the warm tones are combined they can make an array of fiery oranges and when mixed with blue it creates lovely hues of purple. In addition to being a primary color in the traditional color wheel red is a key component to the RGB color model. The RGB color model is used to create all hues seen via digital media by combining red, green, and blue. Using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop you can pick a color and find out it’s corresponding RGB color.

One could never mistake red for a neutral color, it’s almost always used to attract attention. The psychology of red tells us that it is active, aggressive, angry, amorous, passionate, or even dangerous and courageous. Restaurants have even used the color red to subconsciously increase appetites.  It is often associated with holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day and of course the emotion and feeling of love. Companies, sports teams and nations use red in their branding, allowing for their logos, uniforms, and flags to pop! (GO BUCS!)

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Red is definitely a statement color and a commitment. It is hard to match as the spectrum of hues range from deep burgundy colors to orangy- scarlet and even raspberry-pink tones.

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Red can be found all over the natural world. Many forms of flora and fauna from the land and sea are in hues of reds. Fruits and vegetables may start out green and turn red when ripe.  There are red stones, rocks, and gems containing high amounts of iron-oxide and magnesium.

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A small, but blessed, percentage of the world are redheaded and boast a beautiful array of hues from strawberry to auburn.

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One can also look to the sky to see red in the planet Mars, sunrises, sunsets, and blood moons. These are caused by the light ray scatter effect referred to as Rayliegh’s Effect – we originally learned about this phenomenon when we studied the color blue.

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It is amazing how much of our world is dyed, painted, and naturally red. We can’t wait to see where the red is in your world as you join us on this color challenge #itsaredworld!

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xoxo,

kdg

Learn more about red

Camera bag pictured by Kelly Moore Bag

 

The Colour Purple

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Back in February I took you through the colour wheel in the post, Exploring Colour. You would have learned there that purple is a secondary colour combining red and blue. It’s complimentary colour is yellow. Thus, when you mix yellow and purple together in equal parts, you get the neutral colour, brown.

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To clarify, purple is not the same as violet. Violet is slightly closer to blue on the colour wheel, but more importantly, violet is a pure spectrum colour. This means that violet has its own wavelength in the visible spectrum of light, the same violet you find when the sun comes out revealing the rainbow after the rain.

To learn more about visible colour spectrums, click here.

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Purple is known to be a colour of royalty. Think Empires, Emperors, and even Bishops from the Roman Catholic Churches. Why was this such a high end colour, you may ask? Well, let’s look at it’s origins for clues. Purple first showed up in prehistoric times in caveman paintings, these paintings were coloured using manganese and hematite minerals. Commercially however, purple dye was first discovered way back around 1570 B.C. by the Phoenicians. Known as Tyrian Purple, it is the colour that is formed when the secretion from predatory sea snails, from the Mediterranean Sea, is exposed to air.

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It was said to be so valuable because they often needed tens of thousands of the little snails and many hours of labour to produce the dye. This dye did not fade with time, but only got better and brighter as it aged. Its impact was so significant that Phoenicia means land of purple.

To learn more about this Tyrian Purple dye, click here.

In nature, purple is the colour of blackberries, cabbage, grapes, eggplants, and flora and fauna galore.

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In psychologically purple represents creativity, fantasy, intuition, selflessness, passion, power, respect, leadership, ambition and confidence to name a few.

I will never forget back in high school the head boy and head girl had to wear purple blazers. I’m not talking deep, royal purple either, I’m talking about bright, magenta-purple. It was an eye sore, to me at least. Purple can be a very beautiful colour that pulls design together, but if you get it wrong, it will draw everyones attention and highlight a bad desicion. Therefore I recommend in design, use purple wisely. In photography, it is a great way to attract attention, but not as aggressively as red.  In addition, it can be both a  masculine and feminine hue.

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Side note: a super fun sorting game to play with the kids is to have a bucket of legos and have them sift out all the block in one chosen colour to display.

Sienna purple

Where do you see and use purple in the world around you, we would love to know. Share your purple world with us and don’t forget to use the #itsapurpleworld and #itsacolourfulworld so we can follow along.

Cheers from me – your fellow friend of purple,

la

 

Creating Colour Palettes

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Have you ever found yourself trying to figure out what colours go where? Perhaps your family photo session is coming up and you’re not crazy about ‘matchy-matchy’ styling but you want your outfits to fit and flow well with each other. I have a little tip for you today that will take out all the stress and uncertainty when choosing colours and colour combinations.

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Colour palettes are everywhere.  They are not just for designers and artists, or for creatives who seem to have a gift for colour. All you need to do is open your eyes and look around you. Bring out your favourite dress and analyse the colours within the patterns. Or how about your most recent bouquet of flowers. Even your child’s art work can be a source of colour combination inspiration.

As was the case for our last family shoot with Katie.

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I have prepared a little video tutorial for you to help guide you through the process on retrieving colours from images through photoshop. It’s my first video post so be kind to me 🙂

Cheers

la

 

Living in a Sepia World

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no filter – this is real life

Sepia – a reddish-brown color, named after the rich brown pigment derived from the ink sac of the common cuttlefish Sepia (1,2,).  Sepia tones are most commonly associated with photography. In film photography chemicals are applied to a black and white print producing the warmer hues of sepia for a visual effect or for archival purposes. Now in the days of Instagram and digital post processing the same effect can be added as a filter to achieve the look of aging photographs.(2)

My sepia is the colour the world turns when the sand from the desert rolls in. For those of us living in Kuwait, these sandstorms create a surreal 3-dimensional sepia toned world.

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For newcomers to the region, these sandstorms are intriguing, but for us who have been here a while, they are hazardous, and simply awful. The sand gets in everywhere. It seems to linger behind for days. They are common for this time of year as seasons change and the full force of summer approaches. To learn more about these sandstorms click [here].

When I lived in South Africa, I was blessed daily with waves of colour rolling in from every direction; everyday, all day long, no matter the weather or season. Growing up with that visual abundance, I definitely became accustom to it. It was only when I moved to the desert 10 years ago, when my colour range reduced that I truly realised how blessed I had been all along.

We really do live in a beautiful colourful world. Every colour adds such dynamism to life and the world around us, pause for a moment wherever you are and look around, see the colours around you as if feasting on them for the first time. For us here in this sepia season, the dust will settle, and the blue sky will make her appearance again, but until then stay safe, stay indoors. That said if anyone is brave enough to venture out to take photographs, please remember to use your UV filter on your lens, you don’t want these little particles anywhere near the inside of your camera. Share your photos in the comments section below, especially from yesterday’s sandstorm, we would love to see them!

Until the dust clears for us in Kuwait, lets fill our timelines with the colour blue and stay inspired. #itsablueworld

I will leave you with a few images of what inspires me these days; African skies and Kuwait textures!

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Cheers,

la

Sources:

1 – Wikipedia contributors. “Cuttlefish.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 25 May. 2017. Web. 25 May. 2017.

2 – Wikipedia contributors. “Sepia (genus).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Nov. 2016. Web. 25 May. 2017.

3 – Wikipedia contributors. “Photographic print toning.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Jan. 2017. Web. 25 May. 2017.

True Blue, I love you!

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Red has always been my favorite color, but I truly fell in love with the color BLUE when I walked out of the doors of our hotel suite toward the cliffs in Vieques, Puerto Rico. I was literally stopped in my tracks at the vibrant and dynamic shades of blue. I felt as if I had never truly seen blue until that moment.

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Since that week in Vieques I have subconsciously been drawn to aqua, turquoise, teal, and navy. It’s evident in my wardrobe, designs, offices supplies, and even my drinkware! The color soothes, relaxes, and, ultimately, inspires me.

Blue can be used as a pop of color or as a neutral color, since it pairs perfectly with almost all other hues. In my experience as a photographer, it is one of the most commonly used for family portraits ensembles. It is flattering to all skin tones and especially accentuates blue eyes.

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Blue

Blue, just like our friend yellow and that vixen red, is primary color. It is combined with yellow to make green and red to make purple. The arrays of hues that make the color blue are numerous, from the dark navy-almost black to the the teal blue greens.

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Blue in the world is perceived through an optical illusion, referred to as Rayleigh Scattering, where the shorter blue light wavelengths bounce off molecules in the atmosphere.  In addition, the stronger and longer red light is also absorbed by the sea leaving the scattered blue light to be reflected on the surface – this, combined with the life below surface, gives us the various hues of blue, green, and brown. (1,2) This also explains how the natural light in the fall and winter, when the earth is further from the sun, can appear more blue than yellow, as it does in spring and summer months.

Human use of the color blue has been around since ancient times. Minerals were used for jewelry as well as for pigments, along with various plant life, and used in dyes and paints. The first synthetic blue pigments were developed in the early 1800’s and became more common place in clothing and art.

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, many military and police uniforms were switched to blue. Today, blue suits are the most common in the business world, surpassing dark grey and black. (1)

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In religion, just as green is the color of Islam, blue is associated with Judaism, including being used as the feature color on the flag for the State of Israel. Israel is not alone in this, however, well over half of the world’s country flags contain the color blue, including our beloved USA.

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For all the positive characteristics, such as having a calming effect, blue is also seen as the color of sadness. People even refer to being a bit down as “feeling blue.” Even the character in Pixar’s Inside Out were very intentionally developed using the colors associated with their feelings (Sadness was blue). From film to paint, many artists have used the color blue to express their feelings, including Picasso in his famous blue period.

That said, according to J.L. Morton’s Color Matters site, the color blue is the #1 favorite color in the world. That really says something about the depth and variety of hues of the color blue and how it speaks to people.

In the end, all color is subjective, each person perceives the color differently and associates it with good or bad memories made. For me, blue reminds me of my boys, the uniforms of our brave men and women, patriotism, the calm of the sea, my beloved Greek friends, and one of the best vacations I have ever experienced.

How does blue make you feel? What do you associate the color with?

Join us in on our next colour challenge #itsablueworld!

Color on!

kdg

Sources:

1 – Wikipedia contributors. “Blue.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 May. 2017. Web. 15 May. 2017.

2 – Wikipedia contributors. “Rayleigh scattering.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 31 Mar. 2017. Web. 15 May. 2017.

Orange

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What came first, the fruit or the colour, turns out the orange colour is the only colour on the spectrum that gets its name from an object. The citrus fruit got its name first.

Orange is a secondary colour. When you mix equal amounts of yellow with red you create orange. It is the complimentary colour of blue. If you were to mix blue and orange together you create the neutral colour brown.

FullSizeRender copyIn design, orange can be used to draw attention.

Orange is a warm colour, but it is not as aggressive as red. For me, orange brings to mind images of pumpkins, halloween, autumn, leaves falling to the ground, and sunsets. Generally, it is associated with joy, enthusiasm, happiness, creativity, determination, success and encouragement. Obviously it is a safe pleasing colour that all the other colours want to be friends with.

That said, with orange being the popular kid in class I’m going to sit back and let her get all the attention. Enjoy the eye candy.

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Let us know what orange looks like in your corner of the world and use the #itsanorangeworld on Instagram to share your images with us. Orange you inspired?

cheers,

la