ColorTherapy: Purple Stripes

Every once in a while I report back from my forays into the field of decorative painting. This project in particular turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. And colorful…

The basecoat was already painted when I arrived (Darkest Grape 2069-30) so I was guided by that and, of course, the color of the furnishings. I’ve written elsewhere of how mid-value blue-purple lies slightly off my center, but I like a challenge and I love what we came up with here. A thin band of Regent Metallic in darkest gold (Seed Pearl RM 56) picks up on the deep ochre of the chair, but the pièce de resistance is the dark color of the middle of the stripe, Approaching Storm RL 176. Think aubergine — it’s a plum black and it looks smashing in this context. We also repeated it in the kitchen area on the opposite side of the loft for balance.

As I say, I probably wouldn’t have picked Darkest Grape as a starting point but there was something about the fact that I had to that made the result so much more interesting. I’m reminded of my favorite Michael Caine story: Use the Difficulty.

Michael Caine was a young actor rehearsing in stock somewhere, and when he opened the door to make an entrance there was a chair in the way and he stopped everything. The director bellowed out of the sound booth, “Don’t stop, use the difficulty!”

Mr. Caine cried, “What do you mean, I can’t work with that chair in the way.” The director replied, “If it’s a comedy, trip over it; if it’s a tragedy, pick it up and throw it somewhere. Use the difficulty.”

I’ve styled my shoot a second way. Look ma, no tape.

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- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter