The most dynamic of all colours, red demands an instant response. Use scarlet to attract attention; choose a darker shade, like terracotta or burgundy, if you prefer less intense colour; or consider flame-red to add warmth. Red is close to purple and orange and merges with them to make magenta and flame. Add white and they change to fuchsia and coral. Though they're so different, pink and red are variations on the same theme.
Red is the first colour primitive societies name after they have distinguished black and white. That's an indication of its power, for red is the colour of fire and of blood. The first colour of the rainbow and the most powerful of the primaries, red has almost magical qualities; it can actually make your heart beat faster! It's also an enlarging colour - objects seem bigger if they are painted red, which is why it's often used in packaging.
In the home, its effect can be rather different. On the positive side, red is the colour of vitality, adding warmth and impact to any setting. However, red can dominate, overpowering every other colour - it stands out noticeably against blue and yellow in a room decorated in primary colours. A little red goes a long way and may seem oppressive used over a large area. Although red walls enclose and add warmth to a large and draughty hall, they may appear to crowd and overwhelm the occupants in a small, intimate room.
Scarlet is only one of the reds; flame is red plus orange, terracotta is red blended with brown, and with black red becomes burgundy. Matt surfaces soften the impact of red but its qualities are emphasized by shiny surfaces (red lacquer, much favoured by the Chinese, and red gloss paint are traditional favourites for furniture and doors). When choosing carpets and curtains in red, remember that synthetic fabrics are brighter in colour than natural ones like wool and cotton. Note, too, that red is one of the colours that are prone to fade, so line red curtains and protect upholstery from direct sunlight.
All around the room were hung paintings in black and white but their subtle theme was evident only to those who were keen enough to take a closer look. Exquisitely painted and almost invisible among the patterns were the silhouettes of many wild animals all intricately drawn in ink. The creator of these drawings isnone other than twenty six year old Azam Latiff who is currently holding his maiden exhibition and sale of black and white drawings at the Lionel Wendt art gallery.
"I have always liked to draw and even at school I was given the task of drawing brochures and posters for various events," said Azam. His talent for drawing coupled with his dedication to art were the stepping stones for his continuing in this line. Azam, a product of Royal College went onto continue his studies in London and it was there that he obtained his degree in Graphic Designing. Returning to Sri Lanka he joined Phoenix Advertising and worked as a Creative Artist but later on decided to get his career onto a different track. He now runs a farm in Puttalam. "We have livestock and a prawn farm and I feel more closer to nature here," he said.
Being a wild life enthusiast, many of his drawings depict a variety of wild animals and trees of rare form and nature. Yet the unique feature of these drawings lies not in their theme but in the fact that they are all black and white, intricately drawn in ink. According to Azam he's more at ease with these two colours and feels that he's capable of blending them more effectively. "If my paintings were in colour, I don't think they would have the desired effect. I also feel that I have a problem with colour coordination," he said laughing. "Besides I feel that I can express myself more acutely through these colours. Although I have exhibited a few colour paintings, my forte lies in black and white drawings, so I mainly concentrate on my ink paintings since it also tends to be a combination of my favourite colours- black and white.
Where one of us may take up a book to read or listen to some music to relax after a hard days work Azam takes a paint brush and begins to draw. "When I begin painting, I have no specific idea as to what I'm going work but as I continue the idea takes shape. I have managed to finish smaller paintings within a couple of days while the more intricate ones have taken me several months to complete. My greatest pleasure lies in drawing something and gifting it to my friends and relatives. That's what usually happens to my drawings and they really appreciate it. Most of them have my paintings hanging on their walls," he said.
"My family is quite large and they have always stood by me and encouraged me to improve on my hobby. Even my friends have been extremely supportive.
I would never have decided to hold this exhibition if they had not persuaded me to do so and I would like to thank all of them for helping me to make it a success.
Azam believes that every artist should hold an exhibition. "Although I was not in the least bit interested in displaying my drawings, I found that holding an exhibition and having people admire your paintings and buy them gives one a lot of confidence and joy to continue drawing and improve one's ability. I definitely hope to hold many more exhibitions in the future," he said.
Living Designs '97, an exhibition of Interiors, furnishings and landscapes held at the BMICH last weekend drew an interested audience, eager to note the changing trends in interior designs. The exhibition is an annual event organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Interior Designs and features the work of their members. Pictured here are some of the novel room settings on display
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