I don’t really think of myself as a person who swathes herself in bright colours and for the most part, aside from the odd strong green or burgundy corduroy, that is the case in my wardrobe. But when I start taking pictures of my current knitting or sewing projects I realise that I am surrounded by a chaotic spectrum of vibrant shades.
I am strongly aware of the impact of the environment on a person’s well being. Sounds, smells, other people’s movements and background noise all impinge heavily on my own state of mind for good or ill. I need the zing of bright colours and good light from big windows (or lots of lamps in the evening) to give me creative energy.
The most ubiquitous colour around me seems to be green, from the plants on the windowsill to the acid greens of my blankets and various bits and bobs in cheap and cheerful Swedish laminate. A room full of the vivid natural colours of plants makes me feel alive and healthy, evoking the smell and sounds of fresh foliage. I want to be surrounded by huge dragon trees, tiny bonsai, and weird succulents inside with a view through the patio doors of the mature trees in the back garden – hopefully with a backdrop of blue sky.
But in these pictures I can see that it’s the contrasting colours that jump out at me and make the shades really sing! And I am quite struck by how much magenta and fuchsia seems to find it’s way in beside these greens.
‘The very hungry granny blanket’ – inspired by Eric Carle’s Caterpillar. I made this granny blanket intending it for a baby but as it turned out it became wedded to this lime green fleece and is my permanent sofa nest. I LOVE this blanket and the bright magenta, peacock and lime green peeking through the holes fills me with joy!
Bright colours are cheerful! And surrounding myself with all these brights makes me feel like I’m at a childrens’ birthday party:
A touch of my kind of nostalgia – childlike fun – here, giving a playful embellishment on an otherwise terribly grown-up darker than dark Austrian chocolate cake at a grown-up birthday tea. Just don’t lose it down the back of that sofa!
These colours breed enthusiasm and are the perfect antidote to jaded sophistication. What I need first thing in the morning is motivation and having energising colours around me spurs me into action.
Crazy colours on my plate has also been something of a feature recently. From blue star flowers to purple cabbage – the super salads this year have been exhilarating on the eye.
I went to forage borrage because I was excited about the blue purple and pink dye you can obtain from the indigo tips in the middle of these flowers but then found out that the flower heads and leaves are edible. Kind of like a peppery cucumber flavour.
And the shredded carrot and purple cabbage salad has been a staple this summer.
There’s something quite exciting about blue food!
Of course I don’t think I’d want to be immersed in these colours all the time. There are moments when calm needs to be restored and the frenetic gumption inspired by manic pinks just isn’t appropriate. I have other spaces where green still predominates but it’s a muted green of pale lichen alongside clean whites and less explosive foliage. That’s where I might go to sit and ponder and listen to the wind in the trees outside.
And this little guy seems to think it’s alright.