For K.M. Thank you for always saying yes.
Old, Good Things Anna R. Klein
ARK Printers & Company, Inc. New York, New York 2012
Will you love me in December as you do in May? Jack Kerouac, The Town and the City Klein, Anna R., 2012 OLD, GOOD THINGS DES-614A-01 Color Workshop Prof Michelle Hinebrook Copyright © Spring 2012 by ANNA R. KLEIN Printed in the United States of America All Rights Reserved Book Design and Photography by Anna Klein Additional Photo: “Antique Bottles No. 3”, © Leaping Gazelle Studios Typography: Adobe Caslon, Univers First Edition
Table of Contents
PMS 375 C Color-Aid YG-P1-1
Old, Good Things
47 / 4 / 77 / 0
The Story of Yellow-Green
Shades, Tones, Tints
160 / 206 / 103
Transparency and Texture
Grayscales and Neutrals
Monochrome, you give us those nice bright colors, you give us the yellow-greens of summers. Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah! I got a Nikon camera. I love to take a photograph. So Mama, don’t take my monochrome away. Paul Simon, “Kodachrome” 1973
Old, Good Things Yellow-Green represents vintage. Age, wear, use. Yellow-Green objects were not pristinely preserved, they were items someone handled, touched, kept.
“Antique Bottles No. 3”, Leaping Gazelle Studio
Psychology tells us the color yellow activates memory and encourages communication. The color green is considered soothing and relaxing and associated with renewal and harmony. By owning things vintage, you are associating a past, a memory, or a feeling with the objects - giving them new life and adding a new level of harmony to the space you inhabit. I don’t like the word ‘antique’. It implies preciousness in a way that is hands-off. You don’t touch antiques - they are just there. You look at them. They are preserved. When I was young, my parents would go antiquing and drag me along. I would be afraid to knock something over or cause damage in the overstuffed stores. There was no organization - just things lying around, everything sitting on top of everything else - no connection to each other, except that they were all old.
know quite what to expect when I moved in, as I had these memories of not liking ‘old’ things and a fear of possibly breaking something unintentionally. But simply opening the door to her house - those fears melted away. Her home was so warm, so rich, so full of character. The objects she had collected weren’t the big clunky things I remembered seeing in the antique stores. They were non-working clocks, out-dated world maps, empty glass bottles, children’s toys from the 40’s - items that didn’t have any use, but weren’t necessarily expensive either. They weren’t specialty items. They were every day sort of things. They weren’t a separate part of her home to be admired they made her home, ‘home’ to me in only a moment.
I lived in Hoboken for about 8 months with Karen, a woman who owns her own vintage shop. I didn’t
I now have a new appreciation for the personality in the items I own. I prefer wood furniture, crafted by someone who cared, who went personally to sell his hard work. I don’t want MDF with a wood veneer. I want to hold a book, with printed pages - ink, paper, printing press. I don’t want to smell the pages of an e-reader. I want quality - not quantity, not speed, not plastic. I want a story behind my treasured items - not simply that they came fresh from a factory. I don’t always want to be the first one to own something.
Owning items with a past makes my own life richer. I inherit its exotic history, it adds my life to its story. Though I knew nothing of their past, I instantly felt at ease in the mix of items at Karen’s. When I moved to my own apartment, I surprisingly started to surround myself with similar time-pieces. Each object has a story - where it came from, how it was discovered anew, and why it was chosen from all the others. Owning items with a past makes my own life richer. I inherit its exotic history, it adds my life to its story. I’m helping to infuse personality to something inanimate. I want to share the life story of some of these objects in the hope of giving other people the same appreciation of these old, good things.
Picturing a Life Unknown Shades, Tones, and Tints
Shades, tones, and tints are all variants on a pure color - known as the hue. Shades add black to the mix, tints add white, and tones add gray. “I once walked into this antique store and there was an album with some seriously awesome photos. I think I bought it for $25, but there were probably at least 100 photographs. And they were in this cool book that someone had hand labeled and bound. I’ve always been fascinated with my own old family photos and I love seeing my grandparents when they were kids. So when I walked into that store and I saw it, I was sad to see all of those pictures just sitting in a store, not belonging to anybody. I hold my family photos so dearly and close to my heart, it seemed wrong for these to be left behind. My goal when I bought it, since they were all labeled with names, was to look them up and find out who their family is, and what their story was. You could tell that the album was all one family, but different parts of the family. But, as always happens, I still haven’t gotten around to it. But I feel better knowing those photos have a home.”
A Personal Touch
Complementary Color Scheme: Yellow-Green, Red-Violet Complementary colors sit across from each other on the color wheel. They are the ‘opposite’ in hue. Hand-spun pottery is so personal. The hand touch in its irregular sides, painting, spouts, and handles speak to the unique personality of the person who crafted it. It also tells something about you when you choose it.
“Jen was engaged to be married. Four of us ‘kidnapped’ her at work, blindfolded her, and put her on the train to Vermont where her sister has a house. The rest of her sisters and lots of other girlfriends were also
traveling up there for her surprise wedding shower in Vermont. Mom, Julie, and I rode home together from Vermont back to Hoboken. On the winding country roads, we stopped at different shops and roadside vendors. One of the places was this pottery shop where this famous potter actually worked and sold her work. I’m not sure why I was drawn to this pink pitcher with the green and yellow stripes, but I just was. So I bought that as part of my memory of that weekend adventure.”
Analogous Color Scheme: Yellow, Yellow-Green, Green, Blue Located adjacent to each other on the color wheel, analogous colors blend easily and harmoniously. When you arenâ€™t sure where an object came from, but it is fairly clear what its use was (like these science beakers), itâ€™s fun to imagine where they were used. In a high school science lab, at a pharmacy, in a medical laboratory? Their elegant curve is beautifully designed for something so practical in use.
Love and Self-Discovery How she met, loved, and left in an analogous color scheme “I first happened upon the pale blue bottle, 2nd from right. It is embossed with “Paris” something or other. I really liked the shade of blue and the shape of the bottle and couldn’t part with it. This was at a time when I wasn’t dating anyone, pre-Garry. Then a couple months later in August, my good friend, Jessica got married in Brooklyn. I helped with some of the wedding decor. One of the elements was vintage glass bottles for the flowers on the table. The clear ribbed bottle came from the wedding. I met Garry at the wedding. Garry lived in England. He knew I liked vintage so he found all these shops to take me to see while I was visiting him. At the first little shop we were in, I found the emerald green bottle. I think it was marked 1.5 pounds. And in my typical fashion I asked, “Can you do better?” The shop owner laughed at the haggling American but gave it to me for one pound. About a year and a half later, I was visiting Garry again and we went to another shop. That’s where I found the darker blue bottle, the first one in the row. Unfortunately our relationship ended shortly after that. But I still have my bottles and the memories that go with them - encapsulating poetically the time I spent with Garry.”
Transparent Light and Texture complementary and analogous color scheme Like Karen, I too have collections of empty bottles around my house. I love the curve of their neck, their smooth surfaces, the way they make my home feel more rich, lush, full. At different times of the day, the light shines through them, casting lovely colors on my couch, my table, my windowsill. Iâ€™m from the south, and for some reason seeing the light shine through the bottles reminds me of sitting on the front porch on a summer evening, sipping ice tea with my family.
Grayscale and Complementary Mixture
The grayscale chart at the left is a study in understanding value. Starting with the darkest black and adding white, we can see a steady shift in value. Mixing complementary colors (yellow-green and red-violet) allows for lovely neutrals without any black in them for shading. In so doing, we find these lovely, rich, earth tones. I walk past this sign (at right) every night when I walk home. I not only love the advertisement itself, I love the wall it’s on. It’s not a flashy ad - or even a well designed one. It’s everyday-ness is what I love about it. It wasn’t produced by some master in advertising. It was clearly made by a local artist.
I love the peeling paint and the wood showing below. It’s amazing what good condition it is in after all this time. And best of all - it is still effective! I still think of GE as I pass it.
Worn, Muted, Home Split Complementary: Yellow-Green, Red, Violet Split complementaries are the initial hue and the two hues on either side of its complement. As seen previously, the complement of yellow-green is Red-Violet. So naturally the split complementary consists of the two hues on either side, Red and Violet.
Wear, Use, Character. The floral, yet geometric shapes created in these patterns is inspired by fabric. The muted colors instill a feeling of home and character and use. New sheets donâ€™t feel the same way - they arenâ€™t as soft, as worn down.
I could tell you about the bolt of fabric that I got at a garage sale for 25 cents. I carried it around with me from house to house until I started making curtains and throw pillows out of them. The curtain is in my stairwell, hanging over the window at the top of the landing. When the sun shines, I can see through the aging fabric and the lovely floral pattern glows.
Itâ€™s For You Triad: Yellow-Green, Red-Orange, Blue-Violet A triad color combination is created from three, equally spaced colors on the color wheel - making an equilateral triangle.
I love this telephone. I love the sound it makes when you push the buttons and the resistance from the springs beneath it. I love the sound of the handset when you place it on the receiver. I love walking around with the cord following behind. I even love the little space it gives you to write your phone number.
Contrast of Extension
The contrast of extension is also known as the contrast of proportion. The small amount of red is able to balance out the greens and yellows in this composition, drawing attention to the lovely flower - but not overpowering the piece as a whole.
Warm / Cool Contrast The warm/cool contrast juxtaposes colors on the warm side of the color wheel (yellow to red-violet) against cool colors (yellow-green to violet).
Few things go as well together as aged wood and glass. Though they are opposites - one rich, earthy, and warm, the other cold and translucent, they complement each other so well.
This book hopefully opened your eyes to the wonderful world of vintage around you. It wasnâ€™t until I started filling my own home that I truly started to appreciate having these items around me. It created an instant sense of belonging for me. Yellow-Green is a vital part of my collection. It symbolizes an elegant patina of age, but still keeps the feeling of revitalizing freshness. In the glass bottles that rest on my dresser, it is a symbol of continuity - something that has stayed bold and beautiful for fifty years. And each time the sun shines through the window onto them, I am reminded of and wonder about their past. I hope you stop in a vintage store, or look carefully at the belongings of an older relative and see what makes their home, â€˜homeâ€™. Maybe you will see something you love and be inspired to start your own collection - add your story to the items around you. Maybe you will find the same appreciation of these
old, good things.