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  • Celebrating beauty in everyday living

    Hello Spring, a Toast to Green and Lavender, and a Contest!

    Saturday, March 21st, 2015

    Spring began officially on March 20 with the vernal equinox, when the sun appears directly above your bathing suit drawer. Easter eggs appear the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, causing items in bathing suit drawer to shrink. Astronatomy* aside, spring is about green, which I love. I’m throwing in lavender for fun, because I love them together.

    So here’s the contest! Cash prize! The first person to write in the Comments who this is on this book cover wins a nickel:

    Green: The History of a Color, by Michel Pastoureau, I recently found at the legendary (Off)Square Books on a trip to Oxford, Mississippi (a whole ‘nother story–see my Instagram #oxford). I had to have it. Being a green person is a bit like being an anchovy person, either you are or you aren’t.

    With all those jungles he painted, Rousseau must have been a green person.

    By Henri Rousseau

    Here is a picture from our Santa Ynez valley in a rare state of green, taken the other day  on a morning walk with a friend. I want to paint this.

    On my Instagram, taken on a morning walk with a friend near Solvang, in the Santa Ynez Valley, California

    Ol’ Paul Cezanne knew from a green apple.

    Green Apples, by Paul Cezanne

    See the lavender in the shadows? Notice how in paintings the shadows are often tinged with lavender? They like each other, green and lavender.

    Felix Vallotton, The Ball.

    So what does it mean to love green? In a piece by Annie Bond, Your Favorite Color: What It Says About You, based on The Healing Power of Color, by Betty Wood, it says: Green: The color of harmony and balance, Green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, preferring peace at any price.

    As long as it is under $20.

    Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient…

    Wait … no I hate waiting. I am so fabulous. I wish they would hurry.

    They are usually refined, civilized and reputable.


    The Romanian Green Blouse, by Henri Matisse

     One of the prettiest greens in nature is that of new growth. Here in our vineyard, backlit by the afternoon sun, it is so clear and bright it can’t help but make you hopeful. See the purple in the shadows?

    Vineyard at Rancho La Zaca

    David Hockney does amazing landscapes with green and lavender. I would give my last Cheet-o to have one of his crazy-great iPad paintings, like this one:

    David Hockney, from the series The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, 2011

    So, here’s Lavender: Often chosen by a person who lives “on a higher plane,”

    I do travel a lot.

    …who never notices anything sordid and who is always beautifully dressed.

    I wish you could see me right this minute. Talk about sordid.

    Lavender people may be on a quest for culture and the refined things of life. A Lavender person is usually creative, charming, witty and civilized.

    In the words of June Carter Cash, I’m just tryin’ to make a difference. But thank you.

    Here is the I hope charming green and lavender garden room at Bee Cottage**, completely changed from its first appearance in House Beautiful a few years ago:

    Garden Room at Bee Cottage, photo Tria Giovan

    …and a little green and lavender nook of Staffordshire and Sunderland jugs at Bee.

    Hall detail at Bee Cottage, photo Tria Giovan

    And our bedroom in the City is, well, lavender and green…

    Frances Schultz Manhattan bedroom, headboard designed by John Oetgen

     And ladies and gentlemen, the grand finale: Right here is a 20-inch Lolita wig with pigtails in mint green and lavender, which at this writing was available for $46 on eBay. It is a Princess Lea hairdo on LSD. 

    lavender and purple wig with pigtails, which is sort of obvious, I reckon

    To conclude, we’ll come back to earth with a parting shot of new growth and its promise of renewal and peace. In his Green book, author Pastoureau concludes that green, which he writes has a checkered history at best, “has become the messianic color. Green is going to save the world.” 

    Vineyard at Rancho La Zaca

    Pastoureau’s first two color books dealt with blue and black, respectively. Wonder what he’ll say about lavender.

    It’s a little early, but Happy Spring, Happy Passover, and Happy Easter, xo Frances 

    Astronatomy is the effect of astronomy on anatomy. The winter solstice in December, when diets are in retrograde and the moon is in the planet of cocktail parties, is one of the most powerful of astronatomical events.

    ** The Bee Cottage Story is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

    The Bee Cottage Story, by moi. Photography by Trevor Tondro, Foreword by Newell Turner

    Posted in Art, Photography & Culture, Blog, Decoration & Design | 49 comments

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