Shades of Red

Shades of Red

Roses are red . . . We’ve all heard that little ditty numerous times. But have you ever wondered what makes red such a powerful color? Why does red make a bold fashion statement? Why does it look great as a feature wall in your home? Why does red pop on a book cover?

Amy Butler Greenfield’s fascinating book, A Perfect Red, traces the history and cultural impact of the color red. And guess what? It all began with a little red bug called cochineal. Vast fortunes were created and international intrigue bloomed as countries battled to figure out how to beat Spain’s hold on the trade of a red dye. So valuable – it was traded on commodity exchanges in the 17th century.

And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I love red as an artist and painter. I often weave red into my paintings, like the one shown here.

 

And if you’re curious – here are some other fun facts about red:

Threads of Wisdom 36×36 Oil Ingis Claus

Clever red fingernail polish names: Red Abandon, Little Red Wagon, Don’t know . . . Beets me, Wanted . . . Red or Alive. Life is a Cabernet, An Affair in Red Square, and Breakfast in Red.

Remember Dorothy’s beautiful, magical silver slippers from The Wizard of Oz? Not silver, you say? Well they started out as silver in the novel but when the new Technicolor process was used in the film version, the moviemakers wanted a color that popped—so, of course, they chose red. Ruby red.

Charles and Ray (Bernice Alexandra) Eames: Together the husband and wife duo created some of the 20th century’s most enduring designs. Charles and Ray Eames are known for their classic modern furniture and for their pioneering work with materials such as molded plywood, which they created by pressing sheets of wood veneer against a heated mold. Through this work, in the 1940s the couple developed their iconic LCW (Lounge Chair, Wood), which has been called the best design of the 20th century. The Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair Wood Base, currently sold by Herman Miller, is striking in red. Today, the chair sells for north of a thousand dollars and is made in the United States.

While writing my 2019 published Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, I saw red everywhere. My heroine has red hair, she blushes a pretty shade of red, her lips are full and red . . . Red has seeped into our language: seeing red, caught red-handed, down to my last red cent, red herring, a red-letter day, like red to a bull, red tape, go beet red, in the red,  red-blooded, red-carpet treatment, red-light district . . . well—you know. And of course, my sweet Tom and I love to paint the town red.

I’m currently writing an essay based on my memoirs and how red integrated my life.

What’s your favorite red—either in your home/office or in your personal life?

Used with permission, © 2014, Icon Magazine American Society of Interior Designers.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

You’re invited to my art show

You’re invited to my art show

Art has always been a big part of my life. Guess what? I’m having an art show and you’re invited. Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, 10 am-5 pm. (rain date Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018). At my house. And the Sangria is on me. If you’re interested in attending and you’re in the area (Fairfield, Connecticut) you can email me directly at gail@gailingis.com.

Join me for my art show COLORFUL VISIONS and celebrate color and beauty in our world.

Art, nature, Sangria. Sounds like fun to me. Hope to see you there. xo Gail

Many of my paintings will be available for purchase, including the ones featured in the postcard above. I will be donating half of all sales of my paintings to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. A National Historic Landmark since 1971, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Lockwood-Mathews holds educational programs throughout the year for schools, colleges, and universities along with other educational groups and for the general public. Lockwood-Mathews also hosts various events throughout the year for the public including art shows, flea markets, tea parties, costume balls, private tours as well as offering guided historical tours of the estate.

 

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

Have I Got A Red For You . . .

Have I Got A Red For You . . .

Roses are red . . . We’ve all heard that little ditty numerous times. But have you ever wondered what makes red such a powerful color? Why does red make a bold fashion statement? Why does it look great as a feature wall in your home? Why does red pop on a book cover?

Amy Butler Greenfield’s fascinating book, A Perfect Red, traces the history and cultural impact of the color red. And guess what? It all began with a little red bug called cochineal. Vast fortunes were created and international intrigue bloomed as countries battled to figure out how to beat Spain’s hold on the trade of a red dye. So valuable – it was traded on commodity exchanges in the 17th century.

And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I love red as an artist and painter. I often weave red into my paintings, like the one shown here.

 

And if you’re curious – here are some other fun facts about red:

Threads of Wisdom 36×36 Oil Ingis Claus

Clever red fingernail polish names: Red Abandon, Little Red Wagon, Don’t know . . . Beets me, Wanted . . . Red or Alive. Life is a Cabernet, An Affair in Red Square, and Breakfast in Red.

Remember Dorothy’s beautiful, magical silver slippers from The Wizard of Oz? Not silver, you say? Well they started out as silver in the novel but when the new Technicolor process was used in the film version, the moviemakers wanted a color that popped—so, of course, they chose red. Ruby red.

Charles and Ray (Bernice Alexandra) Eames: Together the husband and wife duo created some of the 20th century’s most enduring designs. Charles and Ray Eames are known for their classic modern furniture and for their pioneering work with materials such as molded plywood, which they created by pressing sheets of wood veneer against a heated mold. Through this work, in the 1940s the couple developed their iconic LCW (Lounge Chair, Wood), which has been called the best design of the 20th century. The Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair Wood Base, currently sold by Herman Miller, is striking in red. Today, the chair sells for north of a thousand dollars and is made in the United States.

In 2019 as I finished my Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, I’m seeing red everywhere. My heroine has red hair, she blushes a pretty shade of red, her lips are full and red . . . Red has seeped into our language: seeing red, caught red-handed, down to my last red cent, red herring, a red-letter day, like red to a bull, red tape, go beet red, in the red,  red-blooded, red-carpet treatment, red-light district . . . well—you know. And of course, my sweetie Tom and I love to paint the town red,

What’s your favorite red—either in your home/office or in your personal life?

Used with permission, © 2014, Icon Magazine American Society of Interior Designers.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

Reaching for your own star by Gail Ingis

Reaching for your own star by Gail Ingis

Brite Brilliance Acrylic/Canvas | 16×20″

As a kid, my creativity took the form of re-creating. I took clothes apart and remade them into something different. I turned my mother’s gown into a dress. Mom was horrified. I also took apart radios and clocks and put them back together. Dad was supportive. I sometimes needed his help. I also began drawing when I was a kid. I drew faces and comic book characters, like Wonder Woman. Everything around me was an inspiration – to create.

Music has always been a joy. I love to play piano and guitar. If only there was more time in a day to create new things, including all the ones in my dreams. Then there’s my professional life as an interior designer where I photographed the spaces I created. The interior design school I founded gave others a way to expand their horizons. Currently, my  passion is writing and painting. Painting landscapes has been a way of connecting to nature and to explore the beauty of a sky, a sunset, sunrise, a body of water, a wave. I see a painting in everything, even a building, a portrait of my grandchildren, and a snowy Christmas tree. Everyone loves the creativity Christmas offers. Just look around you, it’s all there for you to enjoy and participate in. There are so many ways of creating beauty. Many of us have past times that give us peace of mind and help us to reconnect to our inner lives. Some of us love to garden, others love to cook, but what we all have in common is a desire to create. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Reach for your star and you will find your own truth path.

I love vibrant colors. And if there is one common element in my work, it’s color. Outdoors, I look for the sun’s rays of pink and amber creeping across the meadow, catching the magic hour when lights are warm and reflected light is bouncing in the cool shadows. Sunrise and sunset sweep the rainbow colors across the skies. Atmospheric landscapes have a beauty that often goes unrealized. Rich purples, yellows and blues on a rainy, foggy day are subtle, but magnificent. God’s heaven on earth.

Portofino Charm Acrylic/Canvas 18×24″

Indoors, I have a myriad of subjects to paint. I have photos from my photography then and now. I record people, places and things that are inspirational. It is thrilling to watch a blank canvas evolve into work-of-art.

Next week, I’ll be taking part in a special art show where I’ll be featuring two of my paintings: Maine Boats and Coney Island Bumper Cars. If you want to see more of my work you can visit my website.

Maine Boats (formerly boat bunches)
Watercolor | 10×14″

Coney Island Bumper Cars
Pastel & Watercolor| 10×14

 

 

 

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

BEING HAPPY: ONE LIPSTICK AT A TIME

BEING HAPPY: ONE LIPSTICK AT A TIME

The House of Gail presents: Gail’s Newsie News . . .

First issue 8/17/17

A kiss for you . . . with my Gothic lips

I love lipstick!
So what else is new?
Most women love it. But I want to share with you why I love it.

My favorite color is RED. Red lipstick is bold. It tells people – Don’t mess with me, I have a smart mouth and I know how to use it! It’s been said that men love red lipstick. Bright red lipstick, red roses, the lady in red—it seems as though all things love and romance are associated with the color red. … Do you wear the color red?

Right now, I’m wearing Clarins 60, it’s thirty years old. Can you believe it? Don’t worry, I sterilized it with 70% alcohol. This color is indicative of Dark Shadow’s Gothic television soap in the 60s and 70s, a series made in Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. Gothic indeed. I wear it whenever. I own A LOT of lipsticks. I have a wide assortment of colors and shades, from precious pink to soft nudes to the reddest reds and orangest orange. Every lipstick tells a story. And every shimmery gloss or creamy matte is important to me. Why? Because for fifty years, I was an interior designer, and if there is one business where you have to look good, it’s the design biz. And that’s where it began for me. Plus, I’m an artist/painter so of course that means I love color. And lots of it. And now that I have added romance writer to my resume, I of course have added even more reasons to LOVE LOVE LOVE lipsticks. I put it on every morning before I sit down to write about love and romance. I don’t wear it for anyone else but me. And that makes me happy. It makes me feel good when I write. Every new chapter means I get to wear a new color!

At this stage in my life, with all the volunteer work I do and all the writer’s events I go to, not to mention family gatherings, parties, weddings and of course my ballroom dancing – lipstick is still important to me.

On my morning walk one day, my neighbor stopped me and asked, “How come you always look like you’re going to a party?”
“It’s my lipstick,” I replied. “It’s the first thing I put on after my clothes.”
“You even wear it on your walk?” she asked.
“Yes, and the bonus is that my lips are always moist, never dry or chapped. And it makes me feel good.”

I could fill a cosmetics counter with all the lipsticks I own.

She looked at me like I had just given her the secret of the fountain of youth.

And what do I see when I pass my reflection? I see a happy 81-year-old woman who has done a lot in her life, raised a family, run successful businesses, founded an interior design school, was a professional artist and painter, a tennis teaching pro, and now a published romance author. I see a vibrant woman who enjoys herself.

Gail & Tom

I see me more than anyone else, why wouldn’t I want to please myself. Besides moist lips, there is another bonus to wearing lipstick – my darling husband Tom never fails to tell me how pretty I look.

And guess what? Lipstick can do a lot more than just add color to your lips. According to Miki Hayes of Bustle Magazine, lipstick can make you walk taller, reduce stress, and even bring people together.

So why do I love wearing lipstick? I love it because I love how I feel when I wear it. And that’s the most important reason to me.

Celebrate your love of lipstick. And remember, lipsticks and kisses go well together. 😉

Indigo Sky for the reader who enjoys historical romance! @AmazonKindle http://amzn.to/2nWqbcq Indigo Sky available on Amazon buy link: http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE
Author page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

PHOENIX LIGHTS

PHOENIX LIGHTS

We just returned from Phoenix, Arizona. When we were there, we heard about UFOs, so here’s the scoop.

Drawing of Phoenix Lights and accompanying form

Drawing of Phoenix Lights and accompanying form

A drawing of the object created by witness Tim Ley appeared in USA Today.

The Phoenix Lights (also identified as “Lights over Phoenix“) was a UFO sighting which occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico on Thursday, March 13, 1997.

Lights of varying descriptions were reported by thousands of people between 19:30 and 22:30 MST, in a space of about 300 miles (480 km), from the Nevada line, through Phoenix, to the edge of Tucson.

There were allegedly two distinct events involved in the incident: a triangular formation of lights seen to pass over the state, and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area. The United States Air Force later identified the second group of lights as flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft that were on training exercises at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona.

Witnesses claim to have observed a huge V-shaped (several football field sized), coherently-moving dark UFO (stars would disappear behind the object and reappear as it passed by), producing no sound, and containing five spherical lights or possibly light-emitting engines. Fife Symington, the governor at the time, was one witness to this incident. As governor he ridiculed the idea of alien origin, but several years later he called the lights he saw “otherworldly” after admitting he saw a similar UFO.

Recently, a mysterious formation of lights has been spotted in the sky over Phoenix, catching the attention of UFO watchers who point out the incident’s dramatic similarity to the iconic 1997 UFO sighting.

The strange lights were observed on February 2 and 3, with independent videos of each incident making their way online. On February 2, a group of three men were walking in the Sunnyslope area of Phoenix when they noticed the strange array of lights hanging over the horizon. The trio were able to film the inexplicable UFO, yet from a distance, little detail is evident.

On February 3, witnesses in the Goodyear area noticed a similar horizontal array of eight lights in the sky, and recorded the UFO from their car. The group described the strange object as a craft, with one occupant of the vehicle asserting near the end of the footage that it looked like a “huge circle.”

“I saw this UFO while driving. It was moving south over the Estrella Mountains. The lights were a fiery color. What is not visible in the video is the shape of the craft and the massive size of it. After it disappeared we continued to drive in the direction it was headed, eventually driving behind the mountain but saw nothing.”

Media outlets have suggested that the strange lights may be the result of flares or a formation of drones. Some have alluded to the idea that the lights may also be connected to aircraft, and note the similarity of the incident to a mass sighting in Houston last August, when aerial lights caused a flood of UFO videos and images on social media. But none of this has been proven.

The above is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seriously! We didn’t see any UFOs when we were there. But our grandchildren are stars!

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1837031/phoenix-lights-mysterious-ufo-spotted-once-again-over-arizona/#jKWUrbtkVrUBHmCr.99

Have you ever witnessed a UFO? What do you think? Are there others besides us? Someplace else?

LIFE OF A LEAF

LIFE OF A LEAF

The autumn leaves

The autumn leaves

On that day, that fateful day when the wind and rain tore the red and gold leaves from their bones and they fell at my feet–inspiration flooded my soul. Imagine what it must be like to have such a short life. Sprout in spring, fizzle in fall. I picked one up, the one floating in a puddle and pondered its life.

We aren’t the only ones that have a life. So does a leaf, the lowly leaf. It lives long enough to filter the air  you breathe, to fill those empty spaces between the bones of a tree, to add color to the container you call your world.P1120623

Japanese maple leaves

Japanese maple leaves

It’s hard to believe that small spring bud pushing it way out on a tree branch will blossom into a handsome colored shape, some pointy, some rounded, some straight, some huge, bigger than a man’s hand.

leaflines

leaflines

All those hard-working leaves have done their job and fall off the tree before the onset of winter. They get raked and  bagged and get trotted off to the landfill . But hold one deciduous leaf up by its stem, look at it. I mean really look. It has several life lines. A leaf is basically the power generator of a plant. Leaves have specialized cells that carry out photosynthesis when exposed to sunlight. In photosynthesis, sunlight, water supplied by the roots, and carbon dioxide from the air produce oxygen and sugars (stored plant food).

The visible lines running through the leaf blade are veins that carry the water and nutrients involved in photosynthesis to and from the rest of the plant. The network of veins includes a mid-vein (aka midrib) that runs through the center of the leaf. Secondary veins branch off from the midrib and tertiary veins branch off the secondaries. To read more click this link.

What’s your favorite . . . spring time or fall time?

 

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA

LA SAGRADA FAMILIA

Antonio Gaudi, unappreciated in his brief life as an architect. His genius gave life to an edifice in Barcelona, never before done . . . anywhere. We were witness to his genius in 2010.

Construction of Sagrada Família commenced in 1882 and Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Spires of the church.

Spires of the church.

Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.On 19 April 2011, an arsonist started a small fire in the sacristy which forced the evacuation of tourists and construction workers; the sacristy was damaged, and the fire took 45 minutes to contain.

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows

The stained glass windows were placed perfectly to permit sunlight penetration, spreading colors from the stained glass onto the massive columns.

La Sagrada is an architectural wonder, however, yet unfinished. Worth a trip to Barcelona. Then you can see other works of Gaudi’s architectural ingenuity.

You can purchase your ticket on-line the day before to avoid the long lines and make sure you include a trip up to the top of one of the towers for an amazing view!

For those of you who have been and seen, what details were your favorite?

 

AND THE LORD SAID …

AND THE LORD SAID …

And the Lord said, Genesis 1:3

“Let there be light.” And then there was light. Genesis 1:3

The Lord said, “Let there be Light.”  And there was light.  (Genesis 1:3).

We depend on light for lots of reasons. You can probably name five right now. Like:  the grass, the flowers, the trees, vitamin D, good mental health. Light, the fulfillment of life.

Section of my studio. the space is 30'x14'

Section of my studio. the space is 30’x14′

I am writing this in my studio, and there is light. North light, with which to paint by. So, what does  that mean? Does it mean if I am doing something other than painting, the room’s light is worthless? No . . . this is a functional, beautiful space. This is where I work all day. I write, design, paint, listen to music. I just took this photo from my messy desk. I usually keep that back wall open for art that I am working on. Right now, I am writing my book.

North light facing room

North light facing room

Light is not a mystery, it is an awareness. We are addressing the light of nature, from outside, that would penetrate the house, the building, the bodega,  not to be mixed up  with artificial light, like lamps and recessed lighting. But what happens when a room suffers from no natural light or north light?

Do you have a room with little light, except for a few lamps? Darn, you say, what do I do with that room, it is so depressing? Right? Okay, so let’s talk about this natural light, where it comes from, and what it does. AND, what to do with your dark, gloomy room.

Colors good for a room facing north light

Colors good for a room facing north light

A north light room is perfect for art painting because there are no reflections to distort the picture. It is the truest light that an artist can have. North light is a constant cool, soft light, never sunshiny. So even on a rainy day, we love it. Sunlight creates reflection and light bounce, so even if the north light doesn’t have the sun in it, the light does have a reflected brightness, except when stormy. Without going into artificial light, the way to bring life to the space is with color and texture. Paint the walls a deep warm color, like Benjamin Moore’s “Designer Selective Colors: #861 or similar, (warm grays work), in an Eggshell finish (not flat), ceilings, bright white (flat finish) and all trim, bright white (satin or glossy finish). Use other reflective objects and finishes, like leather upholstery, or coffee table in leather, or glass, if you don’t have little kids. Something stainless steel or shiny chrome. Tile floor, with area rugs. Smaller reflective objects, like porcelain, small mirrors. Go for it, those implants will bring light into the space.

We have not yet discussed artificial light that do other types of brightening to a space. We can do wonders with ambient, task and accent lighting. Maybe next week?

Have you ever noticed how lighting is used on stage. Last night’s “American Idol” did some clever lighting, as they always do. Especially with Kree’s  performance. Her stage set appeared as though she was in space.

What do you think? How much would you like to learn about lighting up your life?

http://www.benjaminmoore.com.

 

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