Friday, March 25, 2011

On PAINT: "Any Color ... as Long as it's Black"


Paint, one of the most inexpensive and important elements of design, was not one of Henry Ford’s favorite interests. In his reference to all cars being painted black, Ford wanted to maintain an identity, a branding if you will, for the automobile he created.

In addition to the diversity added by paint color are the numerous techniques employed to make it look different. A favorite technique, especially in the kitchen for its easy maintenance and in the living and / or dining room for its elegance is Venetian stucco. This technique, with its many layers of plaster evokes a feeling of depth and movement. It is also wonderful in the way it reflects light, as its sheen bounces light off of its surface. Having recently painted an 18’ ceiling a charcoal silver gray venetian stucco, the clients were amazed that they could see their reflection above. A supremely talented artist and decorative painter, Stephen Pusey, created this ceiling and, for another client, Linda Foa, a library almost completely painted in a cross-hatched pattern. It is so subtle, yet so elegant, with the light being caught between the horizontal and vertical lines, it reflects light throughout. Pusey of Consortium Arts states: “A painted or "special" finish brings a vibrancy to a room and is the perfect compliment to any design, traditional or modern. While the effects that can be achieved are limited only by the artist's imagination and knowledge of materials.”

For a simpler, yet completely elegant look, a striae technique accomplishes the effect. Its consistent, vertical lines does wonder for a low ceilinged room, heightening the space. Ragging, sponging, and other similar techniques also add interest. Some unusual paint applications are as follows: writing or scribing words on walls, drawing pictures on painted surfaces, creating artistic compositions, like those of Sol Lewitt, directly onto the wall creating whimsical, ingenious and imaginative compositions. In effect, the wall becomes a work of art. As art collector Paul Frankel notes, “my Lewitt enhances and gives definition to my dining room, bringing both aesthetics and integrity to the space.”

Paint is a wonderful decorative tool; it enhances, illuminates, and enriches. If, applied and specified professionally, it can bring a room to life. Whether the designer uses many colors to achieve their effect, or one, employed correctly and with purpose,
even black can have a very powerful effect on a wall. Reinhardt and Nevelson are some well-known artists who found truth in the mono-chromatic fields of black paint; they sought a reality within the depth of their vision within a single color, So, Mr. Ford, perhaps you were ahead of your time!

Do you have questions regarding the use of paint in your home? Call to discuss how paint can change the complexion of your room...What have you tried to be successful in painting your home?

For more visuals on color go to: