Color Inspirations: A Glass of Rosé

Color Therapy

Summertime means it’s dry rosé season, a thing that always gets me thinking about color.

I have a dear friend and colleague, one Phoebe at Finish, with whom I often share a summertime tipple of rosé wine after a long day of painting. By which I mean not the sweet pink Kool-aid from California that I hesitate to put in my mouth, but the dry coppery nectar from the south of France. Louis XV called it the secret of his youth. It’s steely, slightly floral and never cloying. But hold a glass of it up to the light and it’s many colors at once: pink, red, orange and terra cotta. We once wondered how this might be turned into a treatment for a wall.

Such a treatment would have to involve more than one “color” or texture to sparkle and dazzle the eye or it would fall flat. One thought was venetian plaster, so Phoebe made and photographed a sample board, summer turned to fall, and here we are a year later discussing the same thing again like clockwork.

This got me thinking about another thing—red ochre. I can’t really think of the color of a glass of rosé as pink anymore, it’s more like a washed out brown or an earth color. And with our new source of inspiration, look at how this same color is painted on those buildings along the French Riviera, or these interiors I found in an old magazine. Color arises out of its own environment.

I think any type of glazing in two colors would give us a similar effect also, or possibly a lime painting, with its transparent brush strokes. If you must have a stand-alone color, dig around Ralph Lauren’s Vintage Masters collection. As to the last photo, he’s my hero…

Additional photography: Phoebe Tremalio-Slater

Images: Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter