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Color.

Inspiration.

5 days a week.

I wake up everyday thinking about the next day’s melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.  Where will I find the inspiration today?  Will it start with color?  Inspiring words?  I never quite know where the idea will come from.  And, maybe more importantly, when.  Will I get it early or will I be up at midnight still seeking the right inspiration for my readers.  Today, while eating breakfast I decided to catch up on the DVR and indulge in some guilty pleasure “design time” with The Nate Berkus Show.  I had a few episodes available (yes, I’m quite behind…), and chose the Ellen Pompeo “Gray” episode. 

Guilty:  I should be working…

Pleasure:  Forget work…OH!  That room!  Those grays!  That PILLOW!!

WAIT! WHAT?  Did he just say what I think he said? 

Rewind…BONUS:  Guilt gone.  I’m working!  Nate just gave me the inspiration for melissaAnne Color and Inspiration No. 81.

“Pink and gray, arguably one of the most beautiful design combinations on earth.”   ~Nate Berkus

  

Pink!  ………………….  Gray!  ………………….  Together! 

 

Approved and endorsed by Nate Berkus

Can this day GET any better?  I’m excited about the prevalence of gray in fashion and home this season.  I love gray, always have.  Not sure why really, but I do and I love it even more with pink.  To me the combination of gray and pink says strong and confident, yet soft and sensitive.   So, when I heard these beautiful words by Nate my mind immediately went to Water Colors Diva, part of the melissaAnne Colors Collection.  I knew immediately that it was the “color” for the next melissaAnne Color and Inspiration email.

Water Colors Diva ©Melissa McClain

 

Every day, try and discover something that informs you, inspires you or makes your life better. You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.  ~Nate Berkus

Water Colors Diva inspired me to discover something new, and challenge myself to try something different.  When I downloaded and finished editing the original image I was excited by its great texture and colors.  The background was a great textured display of shades of gray.  The whimsical lines in pink gave it a feeling of feminine fun.  I knew the name had to be strong, yet feminine…thus Diva.  My next thought was “…bag.  I want a bag with this print”.  Not just any bag, I had an immediate vision of the bag I would someday carry in Diva.  It looked something like a Louis Vuitton Noé, the iconic  drawstring bag. 

Louis Vuitton Inspiring melissaAnne Colors Diva Handbag

The trim and  strap for my Diva bag would be leather in a complementary gray tone.  The drawstring would be made of  beautiful braided textiles in shades of pink and gray.  The bag would be functional, elegant, and unique. 

Then there was the inside.  If you know me and have ever shopped with me, you’ve heard my famous phrase (probably loudly, in the middle of a store, in an octave higher than my normal voice, that made you want to hide inside one of the racks…) “It has a hidden color palette!”  You know, that special surprise of colors or shapes (or both) on the inside of a bag or a coat.  A little something extra.  A surprise.  An unexpected gift, secretly hiding inside.  The final touch.  Like this amazing coat worn by Hillary Clinton.

Hillary's Hidden Color Palette

 
The inside fabric for my bag would be a beautiful satin in a brilliant pink, gray, and yellow geometric or stripe pattern that makes the inside of the bag as special as the outside (and hopefully creating loud outbursts from customers in retail stores and friends seeking cover). 

The vision led to the question, “Can I do that?”  Fast forward through research on custom textile printing, successful melissaAnne Colors Collection prints on fabric, prototype pillows, and a fabric bag made during  a sewing class last year…Sure, I can do that!  I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Watching Nate this morning, thinking of Diva, and remembering my bag vision brought back the inspiration and passion I get from textiles and designs and finding new and exciting ways to share the melissaAnne Colors Collections images with others. 

I’m putting my mind back to it!  Someday you’ll see me walking down the street with melissaAnne Colors Diva over my shoulder.  Or, maybe I’ll see you…

Thanks for the color…and inspiration, Nate!

Moments of Inspiration

Boats. There is just something about them.  Old ones.  New ones.  In the water.  Out of the water.  They inspire me, all of them.  So, I’m going to a boat show!  What better place to hang out and find inspiration!  If you are going to the Ft Lauderdale Boat show this weekend, stop by Ingham Engineering at booth 406/407 and see Water Colors Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Leave your card and you could win the framed print!  Follow me at the new melissaAnne Colors on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.  Say hi if you’re at the show!

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The Making of a melissaAnne Water Colors Image

When I tell people that my photos are from the bottoms of boats it often results in funny looks and the following:  “THAT’S a bottom…of a BOAT?  How do you do that?”  If you are  part of my network of amazingly supportive friends, you fully understand the looks and the questions because you’ve shared my work and you’ve experienced the same reactions. Let’s face it, it’s weird.  It’s not quite “normal”.  Most people don’t spend their vacations in amazing places like St Maarten or Martha’s Vineyard climbing through weeds in boat yards taking photos.  They don’t drag their friends out to “bond” amid the dirt and cobwebs of boat “graveyards” and graffiti laden walls.  But, if you are among the few who have joined me in one of these adventures…well, you get it.  Sorta….

For the rest of you,  I’m about to give you some insight into those popular questions, “THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?”  and “How do you do that?” using one of my favorite melissaAnne Colors Water Colors images.

 December 29, 2008

I was in Texas visiting family for the holidays.  December 29th, my mom’s birthday and how did we celebrate it?  Driving aimlessly around Lake Lewisville searching for boat yards of course (yes, my mom is a saint).  I was still new to the melissaAnne Colors Water Colors process, this only the second time I’d gone on a boat yard mission.  We drove around most of the day, with me crawling around “the yards” looking for just the right boat, colors, angles, textures, patterns.  It’s about ALL of that!  We stopped at one marina with power boats and sailboats and I snapped away and wandered around for a while.  In the back, among the tall grass and weeds I discovered this. 

The bottom of a boat.....

This, in my world, is a goldmine!  I know, weird.  Those questions marks are floating over your head.  “This is a goldmine?” you’re saying.   Just wait…..

From this dirty old boat came this colorful but somewhat dull image.

© Melissa McClain

With a little photo software magic I brightened the colors (most Water Colors images are the original colors, simply enhanced) and got this.

©Melissa McClain

But it wasn’t done.  One of the things I love most about the melissaAnne Colors Collection is the versatility.  There was one more thing to do, rotate.  Before I finalize an image, I rotate it left, right, 180 degrees to find a story that speaks to me.  At 180 degrees, this one was done.  

 
 

© Melissa McClain

I immediately saw a shoe.  A red shoe.  A red HIGH HEEL shoe.  It said “woman”, “power”, “celebration”, and “confidence”.  I pictured an elegant evening of dancing in red high heel shoes. 

That’s where I stopped and it became Water Colors Elegance, a popular print among strong women!

Although, I didn’t truly stop there…see what else that boat gave us.

©Melissa McClain

 Water Colors Red No. 10

©Melissa McClain

  Water Colors Hope

 

THAT’s a bottom…of a BOAT?  Yes. 

 Final Water Colors  images shown above are available for purchase at melissaAnne Colors   

Moments of Inspiration

I attended Apartment Therapy Offline Meetup this week!  The guest speaker was rug and textile designer Madeline Weinrib.  Her designs are unique and beautiful.  I found her story truly inspiring and a reminder that it’s OK to be different, stay true to your vision, and follow your passion and you will realize your dream.  Thank you Madeline and Apartment Therapy!  You can also see Madeline’s designs at one of MY favorite places, ABC Home in NYC.  

 Listen to the Color of your Dreams. ~John Lennon  

 SIGN UP for the weekday melissaAnne Color and Inspiration e-mail.  Daily photos from the melissaAnne Colors Collection and inspiring quotes right in your inbox.  It’s free and it’s fun!

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Long weekends are great opportunities to get out of town, see friends, and spend a little time with my camera.  Friday afternoon I jumped on a Bolt Bus and headed for Washington, DC.  My ultimate destination was Frederick, Maryland and a day trip to Annapolis.  I got lucky and had a beautiful, sunny day in Annapolis.  I took full advantage and filled it with friendship, fun, and a little exploration.

Streets in Color

 

Docked

 

Reflection on an Annapolis Afternoon

    

Movement

  

What happens when boats, water, and my camera come together in one place? 

New melissaAnne Photography Water Colors of course!  I found a few really great boatyards while in Annapolis; one small and intimate that gave me some very unique colors and treasures and one very large yard that made me feel at home and alive while searching for inpsiration and images below the towering boats and masts.  For me, pulling into a boat yard is like walking into a room knowing I’m surrounded by friends, yet there’s nobody there I’ve ever met.  There is an excitement and anticipation to meet each one, to get to know each personality.  It is a special opportunity to discover their unique voices as they speak to me in color, texture, and pattern.

Personality, Each Boat Has One

Some Boats Are Quiet and Understated in Their Beauty

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

 

Some Are Boisterous and Glamorous

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

Some Are Mysterious

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

© Melissa McClain

All Are Unique and Special

I enjoyed the energy and inspiration that came from the boats and water that surrounded me.   I hope you enjoyed getting to know a few of my “new friends”.  Thank you for allowing me to share their “voices” with you.  I miss them already.

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