Artis­tic in­spi­ra­tion

Any­one flum­moxed by the vast choice of colours on a paint chart need look no fur­ther than the work of their favourite painters for help, says Amelia Thorpe

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Amelia Thorpe on colour from art

MOROC­CAN Flame or Tan­ger­ine Twist? Col­lec­tive Coral or Toasted Ter­ra­cotta? Silken Sun­rise or Caribbean Dawn? No mat­ter how many sam­ples you lav­ish on a wall, the seem­ingly in­fi­nite choice of paint colours can strike fear into the heart of the in­de­ci­sive—of­ten re­sult­ing in some un­chal­leng­ing op­tion that won’t scare the horses (but which also won’t put a spring into their step).

Colour is one of the key fac­tors that in­flu­ence our opin­ion of a work of art and has a deep im­pact on the sub­con­scious, so there’s a con­vinc­ing logic to the idea of choos­ing one of the hues used by the great painters—the work of Turner, Rav­il­ious and Rothko can all of­fer a rich seam of ideas to plun­der (the real thing tends to be a bet­ter, more thrilling hunt­ing ground than a book or a Google search).

How­ever, the source of in­spi­ra­tion doesn’t have to be price­less works of art—any paint­ing, print or tex­tile can be enough to kick-start an en­tire scheme.

For this fea­ture, we asked those at the cliff face of colour to choose the most in­spir­ing hues that would pre­cip­i­tate an en­tire dec­o­rat­ing look from their favourite paint­ings. All paint colours dis­played are for il­lus­tra­tion pur­poses only Fac­ing page: Roses (1890) (oil on can­vas) Vin­cent van Gogh (1853–90)

‘Pitch Blue has that time­less ap­peal and depth of colour. It can look ex­tremely lively when paired with shades such as All White’ Char­lotte Cosby, Far­row & Ball

‘Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Sar­gent, I like to use Plum Tree to ground a fresh, airy pal­ette of soft muted shades or pow­dery pas­tels’ Do­minic My­lands, My­lands ‘This paint­ing fills a room with joy, warmth and a burst of colour. Our Or­ange Aurora could be blended with other shades, such as Tus­can Red, to cre­ate this ef­fect’ Andy Greenall, Lit­tle Greene

‘I ab­so­lutely love the colour com­bi­na­tions in all of Eric Rav­il­ious’s paint­ings, they are so subtle; I have a print of In­te­rior at Fur­longs at home in a step-shaped frame, which I painted in Old White’ An­nie Sloan ‘The bold colours in this piece are an­chored by a de­fin­i­tive and clas­sic dark char­coal, so the pal­ette is per­fectly bal­anced. Our new Black Ink shade is an im­pec­ca­ble soft black’ Tri­cia Guild, De­sign­ers Guild

In­vis­i­ble Green emul­sion, £45 for 21∕2 litres, Ed­ward Bul­mer Nat­u­ral Paint (01544 388535; www. ed­ward­bul­mer paint.co.uk)

Pitch Blue, es­tate emul­sion, £43.50 for 21∕2 litres, Far­row & Ball (01202 876141; www. far­row-ball.com)

Moody blue: Norham Cas­tle: Sum­mer’s Morn (1798) (pen­cil, wa­ter­colour and body­colour on paper) J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851)

Plum Tree No 238 Mar­ble Matt Emul­sion, £44 for 21∕2 litres, My­lands (020 8670 9161; www.my­lands.com) Red, Or­ange, Or­ange on Red (1962) (oil on can­vas) Mark Rothko (1903–70)

Or­ange Aurora, Tus­can Red, At­tic II ab­so­lute matte emul­sion, £42 for 21∕2 litres, Lit­tle Greene (020–7935 8844; www. lit­tle­greene.com)

The Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice (about 1904–9) (wa­ter­colour on paper, over pre­lim­i­nary pen­cil) John Singer Sar­gent (1856–1925)

In the Bay of Naples (1980–82) (oil on wood) Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017)

Black Ink Per­fect Matt Emul­sion, £44 for 21∕2 litres, De­sign­ers Guild (020– 7351 5775; www.de­sign­ers­guild.com)

Old White Chalk Paint, £18.95 for 1 litre, An­nie Sloan (01865 803168; www.an­nies­loan.com)

In­te­rior at Fur­longs (1939) (colour litho) Eric Rav­il­ious (1903–42)

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