Nature never clashes

13 February 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about color lately, with respect to joy but also just in general. Yesterday in our thesis session we were talking about the spontaneous ways we visualize abstract concepts. Jennie (a designer-friend in my program) is synesthete so she smells colors, while Fred (Blumlein, my advisor), sees time in his brain like a pathway to the horizon, like the time machine function in a mac. This allows him to see all sorts of connections in historical ideas and events that come together more synthetically than chronologically. I couldn’t think of what my spontaneous visualizations were, but this morning it hit me – I see (and sometimes smell) days in terms of color.

It doesn’t happen every day, but sometimes I walk outside and it’s just an orange day. It’s not that the light is orange or anything, but that there’s just something about the day that feels orange. And then I get to the studio and I realize I’m wearing orange, without even realizing I put it on. There’s not even any good or bad to the colors of the days. It’s not like a pink day is happier than a blue day, or a yellow day is more intense than a gray one. It’s just an intangible set of feelings that makes one day feel a certain way. Is that weird? Probably, but fortunately design is pretty accepting of weirdness.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post… In all my thinking about color, I was reminded of something Mark Goetz (my furniture professor) had said last semester. He pointed out that colors in nature never clashed, which I thought was both incredibly obvious and incredibly insightful at the same time. Colors in nature don’t clash, even when, as in the photo of a New Zealand sulfur pool above, they are absurdly odd and intense.

Emily Barletta

19 January 2009

I love these sculptures by Emily Barletta, a Brooklyn-based fiber artist. Thank you designboom for calling attention to this beautiful work. I’m always interested in artists and designers who are playing with the contrasts between hard and soft, and exploring the possibilities of different textures. But beyond the intellectualizing, these just speak to me.

Eye candy: what is this?

24 October 2008

What is this? I don’t know, but I like it. Here is where it lives…

September inspirations

3 October 2008
For a while now I’ve been keeping files in iPhoto of pictures I’ve taken each month. The subjects are random – just things that I encounter in my daily life that inspire me. I’m trying now to get them all up on Flickr to make them more accessible.

September was a small gallery (maybe I was taking a break after the 700 photos I took in Egypt and Jordan in August). You can find it here.

This is my favorite image of the month, though some people find it gross. I just think there is so much aesthetic value in an oyster – the rutted, stony texture of the outer shell; the fine, flaky edge; the luminous white of the interior shell; and best of all, the watery suspension of pattern and texture inside. I love the toothy ruffled edge of muscle, the kidney shape covered with tiny parallel ridges, the egg-like spots and the leaf-like veining.