New York City Color
I am constantly reminded of why I love New York City, and
why after twenty something years I am still here. New York is really a small
town. We have forged many beautiful friendships. One of our dearest friends,
Jim, an Irish playwright, is one of our most precious New York City treasures. For
years Jim sold his collection of books at the foot of his brownstone stoop.
That is where we met him. He was eighty-something at the time, and little did
we know we were about to develop one of the most meaningful relationships of
our lives. We have held baby sparrows together in awe, eaten in the finest
restaurants, and attended cultural events together. But best of all, we have
sat out on our stoops on many hot summer days and nights, talking and observing
the local color. He has taught us that you can be ninety-something and still
ride a bus to Lincoln Center and read quietly by the Henry Moore fountain. He
speaks of his late wife Pauline with such reverence and love that we feel as if
she is there with us whenever we meet. His curiosity for everything around him,
and his love for life itself are infectious. He is just one rainbow of color in
this brilliant city, one great source of inspiration.
Whenever I am asked in an interview where I get my
inspiration from, I always feel slightly overwhelmed. Everything inspires me. There is not one walk, no matter how many
times we have taken it, that does not reveal something new and beautiful to us. There
are poppies growing in a park around the corner, and loving gestures right out our
front windows at street level each morning that are moving to me. Inspiration
comes from the heart. It comes from the ability to see life and embrace the
small things with the greatest appreciation.
To rejoice in the good fortune of others and in our own of course,
and to exchange kindness, to see the beauty and the higher wisdom of the
Universe as it stitches our tapestries, is what gives
meaning to every day and moment. There is a spectrum waiting for us when we
awaken, an enormously rich palette we are given to draw from, and incorporate
into our lives.
I have traveled to many places around the world, and yet, I
have come to learn that Everything is
here, as I was once told in my twenties by a Buddhist friend. Whenever I
go to the gym and look out the window while on a treadmill watching as life passes
on the streets below, I am overwhelmed by the complexity of details, the rhythms,
the gestures, and colors that come and go in a matter of seconds before my eyes.
It is similar to moving in on a great work of art, seeing all of the many
gestures and strokes that create the bigger picture. The city can move quickly
before the eye, and it is often hard to take it all in at once. But that is
perhaps what I love about city life. It challenges me with its abundance of
energies and visceral contrasts, ideas.
As a designer and painter, I have never been able to limit
myself to using just two colors. For years I attempted to create bi-tonal
textile designs, knowing perfectly well that the market for these types of patterns
was there. It was too much of a safe play. I could
not follow that lead. I could not narrow the margins of self- expression when
all frequencies were speaking to me at once.
In a few weeks I will be receiving a new batch of pillows
and rugs from my collection from India, this next round even richer in color
than what is in the line already. While everyone else seems to be catering to
the minimal and a wash of white, I am still (as I have always been) quietly
moving in the other direction.
On a few city walks recently I snapped images of local New
York color that captured my attention and either put a smile on my face, holding
me in some way. These are some of the small things that leave their
impressions, whether a familiar smile, a blast of color, injection of humor or
infusion of beauty –that are there to inspire.