Pinks, lavenders, light blues and other pastel shades have, in recent times, become the preferred choice of garden designers and gardeners when determining the colour schemes because of their flower beds. Even wow-factor plants of recent years, such as ornamental alliums, typically fit to this trend of colour usage. But there is a French builder that I feel may also influence the way we look at using colour in our garden — and that time it isn’t pastels but bold, vivid colours.
Henri Matisse is generally thought of as the best colorist of the 20th century. As one of the early postimpressionists, he’s perhaps most known as the pioneer of the French art movement called fauvism. (“Fauvism” comes from the French phrase “fauves,” meaning “wild beasts.”) Fauvists used colours to express emotion for their subjects, not to reveal them realistically.
Matisse’s colour choices still affect our use of colour today in several places, including the garden. We can also see their usage from the Pantone fashion colour options for fall 2012, which can impact both fashion and lifestyle designers. We can use the exact same bold colours to invigorate our houses both in the plants and planting schemes we use, as well as our choice of colours for outdoor accessories.
Below are some inspired garden and planting designs with Matisse’s color thoughts.
“It is insufficient to put colours, however exquisite, one beside another; colours must also respond on one another.” — Henri Matisse
Ordinarily in addition to climate and situation, basic colour theory comes into play when selecting plants for a garden. Color selections could be compatible, monochromatic or, as with Mastisse, complementary. The fantastic contrasts of colours within this border are increased by the monotone evergreen planting behind.
The New York Botanical Garden
One of the signature logos of Matisse and fauvism was using complementary colours. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the colour wheel. These are high in contrast and can add excitement and drama to a garden.
Combinations of yellow and violet, orange and blue or green and red plant varieties are popular examples of complementary colours frequently used collectively.
Plants that love sunny situations are perfect to use in a Matisse-inspired garden masterpiece, since they tend to have brightly coloured blossoms; pastels in bright sunlight may look faded and washed out. Reds, oranges, vivid yellows, deep blues and purples in swaths and cubes of contrasted colour put the identical sort of energy into a planting that Matisse placed to his paintings.
Not just seasonal bedding plants supply these beacons of colour. Here we see that a vibrant bed that uses herbaceous perennials to create the identical effect. Perennials in orange, red, magenta and bright yellow are certain to energize your garden. These daring colours constantly tend to steal the show, so don’t try to combine vivid colors with pastels.
Vintage Nursery & Landscape Co. / Alan Burke, asla
“Seek the strongest colour effect possible.” — Henri Matisse
This container indicates the spirit of Matisse in its lush setting. The mixture of cosmos, impatiens and verbena in an everyday mass clearly reveals how the complementary colours work together.
vernardakis george – avantgarden athens
Matisse’s health declined in his later years after an operation. He could no longer paint, so he turned to paper collages, guaches découpés, which he called “drawing with scissors.” His cutouts of brightly colored shapes usually followed natural forms.
This intriguing cactus garden’s colorful circles of gravel possess a similar daring and playful appeal.
“The use of expressive colors is felt to be among the fundamental elements of the modern mindset.” — Henri Matisse
The use of strong colors in the garden needn’t be limited to plants. We can observe how these brightly colored cushions, scattered round the horseshoe-shaped seating area and backed by lush foliage, and bring this garden.
Occasionally it’s a good idea to step back from reality and use colour just for the pleasure of it. The usage of the Matisse design of colour with this hardscape — fencing, seating, wall as well as the birdhouse — is balanced by the easy, virtually random planting of the garden.
Event: Matisse comes to the Met. From early December 2012 during March 2013, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is holding a exhibition, “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” which will explore the artist’s methods.
More: Lessons From Monet’s Garden