Well Red

Happy Valentine’s Day.  I thought this year the holiday needed a twist.  Mr. Shakespeare is here to shake things up a bit.  Here is his sonnet 130 accompanied by the reds of Reykjavik.

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;  Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;  If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,  But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight  Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know  That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go; My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare   As any she belied with false compare.



Red China, White Rice

During my time in China as creative director for a home goods company, I discovered two constants:  red and white, white rice that is.

Red is found everywhere.

Skittering across the factory campus in the form of a plastic bag.

Month-old banners celebrating the new year.

Everywhere you look there is red.

The white rice was there too.

In the bao at breakfast.

Congee too.

As a side dish at lunch.

And as frozen treats.


Clean White Space

Ernest Hemingway was on to something in 1926 when he penned his short story, “A Clean Well-Lighted Space.” There is something very cheerful about a place without shadows.  A space where sunlight reflects on waxed floors and the furniture seems to dance en pointe.

Never underestimate the value of a clean white space.  Many may malign white as antiseptic or sterile.  I find it anything but.  I find it refreshing and quietly liberating.

A clean white space for me must be what a blank canvas is for an artist – an endless opportunity.  Notice how a single color, as in this case, red – bursts forth.  The room still reads as white, but with explosions of color.

When seasons change, change the accent – and the space takes on a whole new look and feel.