Colours, textures of Codiponte…

Continuation of the Italian Shack Architecture post of late… lessons in a Lunigiana colour sense which, and this will not surprise, I find very elegant, modern, cool even…

green paint faded by constant rain and sun and with a healthy growth of moss… IMG_20150317_092655

raw siena slapped on metal siding…
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concrete on the New Bridge. Gads? Perhaps.

Sunshine graced our road to…

…Codiponte! Well, with intermittent shots of water on the A-12 autostrada. Yet, no sooner had my feet touched Our Stretch of Mother Earth was I not bowled-over by color… Spring Color…

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But, so much for the fluff. I’ll be weeding until at least June!!! Gads.

Searching for serendipity…

 


I am not sure I have ever seen You with a ruler. Or, much less a drawing… even of a stick figure… made by his own surgically-trained doctor’s hand. Oddly enough, in light of said training, floor plans & tech-drawings and other sorts of mechanical practices are left on My Desk, just as choosing colors from a fan deck are too. Why that? Well, I don’t know. It’s a mystery. By the way, if I have not recounted this story…

You has an Italian friend who stayed in a veddy lovely English hotel in London called Hazlitt’s. All You heard afterwards was… Hazlitt’s this & Hazlitt’s that. He could stand it no longer. You had one of his nurses find the hotel’s website for a practised look. They landed almost immediately on a photo of a Hazlitt’s bedroom. It’s wall color struck You as The Most Perfect Color Blu for La Casa Grande. This was back when we were dealing with all that. And yes, blue is spelled blu in Italian. A nurse or nurses were employed to viaggiare sul Internet durante la loro pausa… or, surfing the net on their lunch break… at Fowler & Ball, Ralph Lauren and Benjamin Moore, for cryin’ out loud!!!… I thought that company had disappeared back when Reagan was President… to find a similar paint color to that Hazlitt’s bedroom’s wall color. Then, You called me to hit Hazlitt’s & the many, many color suggestions discovered by his indentured Net-surfing Staff. Took me several minutes to agonize the translation of Haizeleetses into Hazlitt’s. I got there eventually. To my horror, You had hit upon a dreaded Teal. I must insert A Gads here. Gads. Teal is totally unacceptable even for bank counters, the Italian State Train Line’s uniforms of a teal tie for guys and a teal bandana for the girls and as headers to brochures found vomiting out of the letter-box selling crappy stuff made in China at crappy prices. Naturally, none of those examples made a dent in You’s conviction of either… A) what he called blu which wasn’t… or B) as a suitable Color Choice to decorate any room anywhere in any Galaxy of any Universe, etc. It took me the good part of the three months last Spring to convince him of his misconceptions until the Proof of Pudding to see The Better Choice in a side-by-side competition… his Teal against My Blue. It was obvious. And so, the scales were tipped in favor of Blue-blue-blue.

Where was I? Oh, yes… if there is something You Lives & Breathes to do though, instead of all that falderal mentioned above, it is to shop… generally… and, specifically… to shop in flea markets, junk stores & antiques emporiums. God, in His Infinite Wisdom placed one thriving junk store… an ex-city bus garage to give you an idea of its dimensions… across the street from the hospital where You works. He will enter and strive to maintain two Essential Disciplines… 1) to have nothing special in mind to find. This is not easy. Our Modern Life inures us in making Lists. Junk stores, etc. are not like going to an IKEA… and 2) he don’t urlareI’m done!... until he has hunted, scavenged, investigated… dug up!!!… every square centimeter of whatever flea bitten establish he’s in. If You does find something which perks his abiding interest… Che carino, usually, is the phrase which skips across the synapses of his encyclopedic cortex… he nonchalantly continues with The Search & Find. Perhaps, this would be another Essential Discipline? You believes there’s no sense in alerting the proprietor to any even mild interest and, certainly not before he goes in for The Kill… This here, signore, what is your asking price? Oh? Well then, will you take less? I’m sorry. This too could be another Essential Discipline… Essential Discipline #4 which, for You, could be construed to be The Piece de la Resistance of his serendipitous adventure.

May I add? I am of a different tactic. I can merrily waltz down a street full of antique stands with a clear & opened mind yet, unwilling to summarily haul-in a bulldozer to inspect what’s underneath the vendor’s table until… and this is mightily important… something has spoken to me. This can happen from two inches away to half a city block. And yes, Italian cities have blocks. If not, one of two things can occur… A) I’ll continue tra-la-la-ing down the market street or, B) I’ll blurt out to You… Io ho concluso… or, I’m done! Can we eat now? As you might suspect, I miss a lot of treasures but I do sometimes get fed. Gads. Again.

 

 

Design or decoration… again

What I have learned in designing…

I was a footwear designer for several years. When I began, My Design Method was to make a base drawing of a particular shoe form. Then, I’d overlay pieces of paper on top and carefully draw-out ideas, options, developments. I thought this would save time. I needed to arrive at a shoe factory with a set of clear & accurate final designs. I was working like a robot and found the process to be dry, lifeless, though many of the designs were made into very commercial shoes. After a couple of seasons, as my confidence grew, I abandoned this process for free-hand drawing. I had a natural flair, once I trusted my hand. The creations were visually more exciting, the ideas more original, creative. The shoe designs simply grew from the pencil sliding across the paper. I could feel them out. And, I discovered I could save time and still present readable, do-able designs. Happily, the results were vastly more fashionable & successful.

Creating the interiors of il Poggiolo involved the same process… feeling, inventing, improvising, finding serendipity along the way. Perhaps, 5 % was sitting & thinking or sitting & drawing/planning. For example, in La Casetta, You & I knew we did not want white on the walls. We talked & talked about other options… beige, light grey, even shades of blue later used for the Appartamento Azzurro, etc. I would go with a fan deck, buy liter cans of a few colors, paint them on boards and place them in the spaces of La Casetta to see how each looked. One color, a light grey which, in the store appeared to be a light warm grey, took on a subtle Sage color in the apartment. We liked it but felt the color needed to be a bit more solidly Sage. And later, from leafing through art books to walking through palazzi with Sage… or, Salvia… on the walls, we were confirmed that oranges, blues, gold & silver… & black even!!!… practically anything looked good against it. We returned to picking various samples of a Sage… more neutral, a bit of yellow, more blue… to find what turned out to be the ideal Sage for La Casetta. The process just needed a bit of patience, time & trust to allow for those happy accidents… or, what I call Serendipity. And, the bigger surprise is the journey is a lot more fun. Gads?