Like many designers, I keep a file chock-full of color schemes I like. I use them when designing a new art licensing collection, painting a new painting or even sketching. My color reference file includes many pages ripped from magazines of new products, interiors or advertisements. However the best references are from nature. God knew what he was doing didn’t he? Take for instance my Barefoot Studios brand – the blues and greens are intentionally taken from the sky, water and trees because I want to convey the calmness and relaxation I feel in nature. Any coincidence that they are all in cool colors? I don’t think so. Lost for a color scheme, take a cue from the flowers in your yard. Blue and purple hydrangea with a touch of green, browns and gold in the black-eyed susan , purple and yellow irises…. If your creativity slows, think sunsets, tropical fish and autumn in Connecticut.
Not only does nature inspire many of my color schemes, it inspires ME! If I’m grumpy (rarely happens, does it, my dear family?) but just say that it did. All I need is to take a walk through the tree-filled trail near my house. Or I cross over the bridge to the lake or the ocean, my car windows open. My breaths get deeper, my mind calmer, my outlook brighter. My dad always said that he felt as close to God in the woods as he did in church. He was a hunter and loved the outdoors and traipsing through the woods as much as anything. We spent many unfortunate weekends camping when I was a kid. Many hours spent by the river; my parents, brother and grandmother fishing. My grandfather and me lying in the hammocks. Me reading, him sleeping. I call those weekends unfortunate because as a prissy teenager I hated them, not being able to wash my hair, nothing to do – B-O-R-I-N-G! Oh how I long for BORING now! It would take me a while to adjust from my carpool, cell phone, email and, computer filled life. But with water, trees, a good book, and a view, I think I’d figure it out soon enough.