Sunday, February 6, 2011


For me, green is the color of hope.

Although it was pretty cold this morning, the sun was brilliant, and on my walk, I saw the first signs of spring. There were little green buds on the ends of a few branches and the pointy tips of crocuses were sticking up out of the ground. These tiny, pale buds seem so fragile, and yet they persevere in the bitter cold. After the dreary and frigid winter we've had, it's heartening to remember that if delicate new growth can do it--so can we!

My Canadian friends at Interstyle are probably not seeing signs of spring yet, but yesterday they did send me some nice images of their Barcode glass tile line:


What I like about this tile line is the way the color changes depending on the viewer's angle and perspective. There are so many ways to see this tile. This installation image shows what I mean:

Barcode by Interstyle

A couple of weeks ago I spent some time enjoying a Frank Stella painting at the NC Museum of Art.
Since then, I've been reading about the Color Field artists of the 60s and 70s.
Stella - Sunset Beach - 1967

Noland - Graded Exposure
These Minimalist artists were pushing back against the sensual emotionalism of the Expressionist movement. Some of the Color Field painters were focused on the use of color as a pure optical experience, devoid of meaning. Their cool disengagement is interesting, and at the same time, the compositions are aesthetically pleasing. Despite their deliberate detachment, to me, the colors they've chosen seem to express joy.

Perhaps it's because Interstyle named all the Barcode colorways after fish, but this particular tile reminds me of a river, which brings to mind a poem I like by Samuel Menashe:

     At the edge
     Of a world
     Beyond my eyes

     I know Exile
     Is Always
     Green with hope--
     The river
     We cannot cross
     Flows forever 

Which reminds me of yet another artist from the Minimalist movement, Larry Poons.

Poons - Vespers - 1979
These same pale greens in the tile, and in the center of the Poons, are the shades I noticed heralding spring's imminent arrival this morning.

Speaking of new growth represented by tile, this tile looks like the unfurling of a fiddlehead fern. (Yes, I know it's supposed to be an acanthus, but humor me.)

A dear friend, Lilyan, in Guatemala makes these beautiful tiles:

Topis Tile available at Wholesale Tile by Aguayo

 See what I mean?
Fiddlehead Fern
 OK, so here's the acanthus and you can decide:

William Morris wallpaper

Another tile artist, Linda Ellett, of L'esperance Tile Works in New York, sent me an image of a new installation this week. I love the richness of the blue-green glaze and how there's a range of color across each of the field tiles. I'd like to think that the sun is rising on this backsplash.

L'esperance Tile Works
As Alexander Pope said, "Hope springs eternal."


  1. Thanks, Zoe for including our tiles in your wonderful blog post!!
    Linda @ L'esperance Tile

  2. You're very welcome, Linda. Thank you for sending me the image and for letting me use it.
    Now, do tell, is it really a sunrise or did you mean for it to be a sunset?
    It's beautiful either way! :)