The Beach Palette

Mike Smalley has a really beautiful group of four Untitled oil and graphite on linen paintings. They need to be seen in the gallery to appreciate the texture of the linen and the perfection of the combination of colours. The deeper colours and graphite drawing add drama and contrast. They evoke all the beautiful beaches everyone loves and inspire a serene palette for a living or bedroom. A wonderful black and white photograph like Decaying house in the meadow near Waterman’s Head by Steven Evans works really well with the paintings. Less is more in a room like this and there is no reason to compete with the art with complex prints or strong colour. A room like this is a place to get away from noise of every kind.

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Electric Combination - Orange and Blue

Orange and, in this case, electric blue is a combination that is youthful and sporty. It’s active - the colours vibrate. It’s another duo that needs to be balanced with neutrals - white, black and gray. Neutrals should dominate in the room and the colour provided mainly by art and accessories.

Samara Shuter’s Music That Henry Made, is an exciting work that encapsulates the character of the
orange/blue combination. It’s active and electric, graphic and youthful. It would work very well with Mike Smalley’s dynamic orange abstract and Dieter Hessel’s photograph Giant Wheel.

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The Colour Wheel

Travelogue by Matthew Giffin uses all the colours of the colour wheel - primary and secondary- and the effect is playful, dynamic and sophisticated. All the colours are used in perfect proportion. Such a strong work is balanced by two wonderful photographs by Dieter Hessel. One is Zipper which is echoes some of the motifs and colours in Travelogue and the other is Flatiron which refers back to the abstract cityscapes the painting.


This is not a colour palette for the faint of heart. The other elements in the room need to defer to the artwork. Major furniture pieces and carpets should be quieter in colour. Decorative elements can be more vivid but graphic in shape and unfussy. White walls are the best backdrop. Glass and lighting designs by Ettore Sottsass look really at home with everything else.

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The Joyful Duo - Yellow and Pink

The combination of yellow and pink has always been a favourite of mine. It’s playful, sophisticated and graphic.
It’s expressive of joy and exuberance but can be edgy. It’s a favourite of fashion designers but not inherently feminine. These colours work especially well with white and black in interiors both modern and traditional.
You don’t need a lot of this combination to make a room exciting and art is a wonderful way to bring it into
your space.

Mike Smalley has created a stunning pastel which would be dazzling in any room. It is a beautiful abstract about colour and texture and has the luminosity that the pure pigment of pastels can achieve. This work would partner beautifully with two photographs by Dieter Hessel. Lemons in a View Camera (yellow, black and white) and Sugar Beach in Fog (pink, pale sand and dark gray). These wonderful photographs, one soft and one graphic, are perfect foils for the pastel and would bring any room to life.

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