the perfect palette.

 Above; featured colors of Ralph Lauren Paint include; Pasha Pink, Istanbul, Sea Orange, Black Watch Navy, Hotel Du Cap, and Chamois. Choose your own palette from over 1000 different colors and many different finishes.



Yesterday I took part in a really interesting discussion about photography, design, color and visual story telling, it took place at the Bon Appetit kitchen in One World Trade, here in New York City. The event was a partnership with Local Creative Brooklyn, Bon Appétit and Ralph Lauren Paints.

The idea, was to bring together a group of creatives from across many disciplines, to spark a conversation on a bright day in a beautifully curated space, where every detail was considered. A perfect palette of color was chosen by the Bon Appétit  team from the deck of Ralph Lauren Paints. Color swatches in hand, they set to making beautiful food and cocktails inspired by these colors. A beautiful table was set with plates and napkins and glasses that played off the chosen palette. Taylor Patterson, the brilliant and artful mind behind Fox Fodder Farm chose flowers and botanicals to create stunning arrangements inspired by the same dictated palette. Her gorgeous flowers were both muted and bright all at once. 

After a brief frenzy of instagram and iPhone snapping we sat down to lunch and broke off into groups to chat about aesthetics, color and trends. At our end of the table we spoke about what is visually over used in this maker driven culture. What are things we are seeing too often via social platforms? What are the new trends? Where will be five years from now and does the new generation of 18 year olds care about finding the perfect spoon or bowl? Someone at our end of table referenced a philosopher, and she sort of summed up our thoughts on the day. In her book,  On Beauty And Being Just,  philosopher Elaine Scary discusses the nature of beauty. She argues that beauty begets beauty and it constantly provokes copies of itself. We came to the conclusion together that beauty does beget beauty and it definitely churns the wheel of repetition. In this overly saturated image driven age every photo that is taken and put out there for our viewing has an agenda in the visual realm. Nothing is without purpose or motive.

We talked briefly about styling tips yesterday and how to see light and color. What makes a good photograph?

A good photographis all about light and color. 

For me color is mutable, What looks grey one day can be white the next or even green or blue depending on the kind of light that fall across it and the time of day. Inspiration for me has always comes from traveling, a big part of that inspiration is color. I find that I like to bring brighter colors into my work after traveling. New York is a muted city, and while I find beauty here I don’t find intensity of color.  Mexico City, India and Bhutan were all places of great color and light inspiration. The light in these countries is sharp and direct and the colors are almost oversaturated, pairings of neon pink and yellow are not unheard of, orange and blue mixed with patterns and black, always black.

The colors used in yesterdays collaboration were soft and bit desaturated,  a little dusty like an old plaster wall with stories to tell. As New Yorkers we probably play it pretty safe with color, black is our uniform after all.  We have to remind ourselves of the world of color and shade and tone that is out there.


 On the color front, the Bon Appétit team brilliantly paired the Ralph Lauren Paints colors with food and styling. Pasha Pink became  Crisp and Co. Pinot Noir Pickled beets, Sea Orange became Empire Mayonnaise Sriracha, Istanbul was Bees Knees Spicy Honey, Chamois, The Chili Lab “The Grove Blend” Chili Butter, Black Watch Navy, APPRVL Napkin Set, Hotel Du Cap, Suite One Studio salt dish.

After lunch we were encouraged to “paint” a donut or a petit fours with the same colors that played throughout the day, and then we ate them and they were delicious.

I was asked to create a photograph that was my take on the day. I started to document the scene and the people at the event but then I kept coming back to Taylor’s florals. They encompassed everything that we talked about throughout the day. She works with color much like a painter, the hues of Pasha Pink and Istanbul washed across the marigolds in varying intensities. I decided to deconstruct one of her arrangements in an effort to peel it back to color, form. In doing so I created my own unique take on the day, my visual storytelling became about deconstruction and emotion.


The perfect palette is vibe, it can be anything you want it to be. you only need to “see” it.


Ralph Lauren Paints are available at Home Depot.