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We wait patiently here in the Pacific Northwest for the clouds to break. Our gray winter skies can be monotone at best. We don’t get any more rain than my hometown of New York City, but we have long stretches of cloud cover and we say bye-bye to the sun for many a day. Yes, we get SAD (seasonal affective disorder); we are in essence starved for light. Waiting for the sun to break through is a great Seattle winter pastime, supplemented with drinking warm beverages, reading books and watching movies.

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There are some other very useful things that help the ‘winter blahs’…

•Take short walks

•See friends

•Get out of bed and stay active

•Don’t over eat

•Change the colors of your living and work environments (we can help with that)

•Communicate with bright designs (we can help with that too)

•Looking at photos of sunnier times (we took lots of photos this summer)

So look up, and if you’re lucky enough to catch a patch of blue… smile.

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Well if I had the 104 million, maybe I would have made a bid yesterday in London. It’s a record for an art auction sale. He is one of my favorite artists, Alberto Giacometti. The “Walking Man 1” sculpture was cast from a study commissioned for the Chase Manhattan Bank Plaza in New York City but sadly it never came into fruition. The strider stands 6 feet tall.

Despite the efforts of the gallery guards at the Getty Museum last year… while I was vacationing in LA… I had to take a photo of my own of this standing woman. She’s beautiful. I cropped her torso in photographic segments to observe each curve and  captured as I moved up the sculpture with my mind’s hand. I saw a lot of beautiful women in the gallery that day, walking around her… noticing her… maybe not. No they were not thin necessarily or bronzed. But they shared a bond with the sculpture… something close to eternal.

Michael and I were watching a film the other day at the art museum (SAM) of Australian aboriginals, a clan of 27 doing a painting on heavy linen. The painting was almost the size of the floor of a small room. Out in a flat windswept settlement, the painters sat on the dirt ground around the canvas’s perimeter… all very squat. Dogs obediently watched on. They painted a communal journey of sorts—spirit and heritage that they coaxed out in contemporary media. The museum projected this movie onto the floor for viewing, giving you the artist’s perspective. Here are a few examples of paintings similar to what we saw in the gallery, and here is one (the bigger one) I imagined and drew after our visit. I think I’ll do a few more and see where they go. They would make nice scarves or book end papers.

I’m starting a fantasy wish list. I’ll be posting individual items (gifts) or ideas as the holidays approach. There will be few limits on the selections… and undoubtedly I’ll express more greed than sole-searching restraint.

This one, a classic Josef Albers painting… just a little thing, but a window to a great many big things. It’s a 12-inch by 12-inch canvas. Only 3-color, oh c’mon, how much can it cost? It speaks to my heart and my design head. The size is another thing about it. His later “color-field” painters became too big in my opinion—appropriate only for hanging on museum walls.

“Easy—to know that diamonds—are precious.
Good—to learn that rubies—have depth.
But more—to see that pebbles—are miraculous.”
—Josef Albers

Josef and Anni Albers were artistic adventurers who were both pioneers of twentieth-century modernism. Josef Albers (1888-1976) was an influential teacher, writer, painter, and color theorist—now best known for the Homages to the Square he painted between 1950 and 1976 and for his innovative 1963 publication The Interaction of Color. The couple met in Weimar, Germany in 1922 at the Bauhaus. This new teaching institution, now so renowned for its effects on all modern design, emphasized the connection between artists, architects, and craftspeople.

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So this is the topic of this blog spot… the ever-expanding… ever-bulging… or pure absence of design in our world. It’s a subject of rags or riches. Or is it? All lies! If humans have been around long enough, design is there. It’s there and it’s wonderful to see and figure out and talk about endlessly. As designers, we’ve done our share of making design a little easier to understand, to convey a message of importance, or folly… in the end to make a good impression. These days, hopefully with a lot less waste, but not any less fancy.

We thought it might be interesting to pull out a little design sandpaper and start scratching the surface of the myriad of things we’ve been looking at, eating, spending time doing, reading, listening. We unabashedly love design and have utopian thoughts about all of it. You’re invited to challenge or take-away a few things we’ve learned and add your own perspective. Design is the skin over just about everything… so very few things are off-topic here.

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