Photography is the story I fail to put into words.
I am delighted that this post received so much interest, with emails and messages from readers wanting to know a little more about Colour Stories…
As a self confessed book worm and with a passion for colour and colour psychology, I thought I would share some books with you that together, introduce the notion of Local Colour and through that Colour Stories.
A colour story is a palette of colours used together to make a cohesive statement throughout a body of images.
First up - Sara Midda’s South of France
Sara Midda is an artist with a unique and unusual style that you can spot immediately. Her work can be bought here.
South of France is quite simply a sketchbook from a year that Sara spent there, an artist's personal journal carried everywhere and crammed with drawings delicate watercolour notes and photographic collages. No amount of words can convey this book’s charm. Local French colour stories told visually, often in a whimsical way. I really do love this book. If you like the look of this book, then do look at her first book, In and Out of the Garden and also A bowl of Olives.
I’m not going to write any more about this lovely book, in case I go off at a tangent and wax lyrical about her illustrations style…
Next on the pile is Mimi Robinson’s Local Color - seeing place through watercolour.
Another favourite of mine and one that never seems to go back on the bookshelf, Mimi Robinson is an international design consultant and principal of Mimi Robinson Design, known for her approach to creative thinking, Mimi develops innovative designs with a commitment to cultural, social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
Her philosophies completely align with mine - The world is made up of colour, yet how often do we truly observe and interpret our surroundings? and her book will introduce readers to a colour palette technique used by Mimi Robinson, where, through close observation, one can if even for a moment, capture the essence and beauty of place, by documenting your experiences through colour. (I actually refer to this book in my The Art of Flow Photography course).
The book is about a way of seeing, about sharpening your powers of observation through colour and individual sense of place. Taking the time to look a little closer at what you see every day will connect you to your surroundings, creating personal memories of time and travel. Mimi is on instagram here.
And now for another book out of France. This time from designer-colourist, Jean Philippe et Dominique Lenclos - Colors of the world - A geography of Color.
Based on their Geography of Colour Analysis Method, this book explores the palettes of habitats and reveals how geology, climate, light, socio-cultural behaviour as well as the traditions of local residents and building methods uniquely shape a landscapes architectural personality and chromatic character, resulting in a visually captivating survey of the significant chromatic personalities within local geographies, histories and traditions in countries around the world.
My copy, published in 2004, has never been far from my side and has certainly stood the test of time… a recommendation in itself.
Finally, closer to home - infact on my doorstep… Architecture by Hand - Inspired by Nature by Spencer Fung.
This beautiful book for me carries the ultimate colour story - about Spencer’s love of nature and the influences this has on his work. It focuses on his method of work, from keen observation and sketching, to the provenance and use of natural materials throughout his projects. The book’s chapters are on wood, stone, weave, metal and final details – the finishing touches. It visits many of the artisans commissioned by Spencer and celebrates their craftsmanship. It gives us a peep into Spencer’s design world - hotels, spas, restaurants, barn conversions, work studios and his own home. Beyond this, the Colour Story of his work speaks of nature, of understated beauty, pared back design, simplicity. (Available from hedgehogshop.co.uk)
I think through drawing… drawing helps me to observe and remember, it fuels ideas and allows me to communicate and explain my thoughts.