Saturday, May 15, 2010

True Colors - Sarah Fishburn/Keely Benkey

To whom it may concern:

I would love to help create an ad campaign for your unparalleled and seminal 2003 book True Colors.

I {literally} have more ideas than you can shake a palette, or more precisely, a brush, at!

Here are a few of my notes, just in case:

True Colors: Kinda like an encyclopedia, but better.
True Colors: It's got Poetry, it has Imagery...what more can One Girl need?
Tru{e Color}th vs. Fiction: Watch {stunned} as the color wheel takes down all comers.

Bodice ripper, anyone?
Read the sordid tale of Violet, who slept with Yellow, when really in her heart, she loved only Green...

Appropriated, and altered {appropriately, from Yellow Submarine}:
Red, orange, green, oc-h-re, can I have a little more,
Blue, white, black, turquoise, tan I love you.

Also appropriated, altered, and especially for Lisa Hoffman:
She's a little bit Aqua and a little bit Forest Floor.

Or, especially in honor of Lynne Perrella, Teesha Moore, and Linn Jacobs:
Come White, come Hot Pink, come Yellowgreen & Copper - to the Greatest Show on Earth!

Ala Fiddler on the Roof:
A little bit of this, a little bit of that, a leaf, a twig, Metallics, a cat...
What do we leave? Nothing much - only Green and Se-pia...

Maybe a hologrammed Audrey Hepburn, perched waifishly in her Breakfast at Tiffany's window,
singing wistfully to the tune of Moon River:
"Blue & Och-re, dark-er than A-qua..."

These are only the tip of the iceberg...

Anne {"Out of Control"} Copywriter

Sarah, Lisa H. and Monica at book signing

And Sarah adds that her favorite line from True Colors is in the Tip & Techniques section on page 274...

#1 Adopt this philosophy: When it comes to art journals, anything worth doing is worth overdoing!

Keely Barham Benkey

Written by Lynne Perrella

The Art Bar in California hosted a True Colors event, and many of us travelled there to teach and participate in a wonderful Panel Discussion; also attended by many of the editorial staff of Stampington, including publisher Kellene Giloff and Kathy Bold, the editor of True Colors.

I think, BEST of all, was the chance to see all of the True Colors journals in one place, at one time. The organizer of the event, Nicole Steinam, thoughtfully gave all of us an extra hour to be alone with the journals, before the public arrived for the Panel Discussion. I don't think I will ever forget the scene of seeing all the attending artists circling the journals, lost in appreciation and exclaiming over all the details or a new-to-them page. It was a total love fest. For many of us, it was the chance to see how a journal had turned out - perhaps one we had worked on in the earliest stages.

Keely generously invited all of us to her home one evening, for a beautiful dinner party with delicious Mexican food and other homemade treats; and we had the joy of meeting her family and being surrounded by her wonderfully artistic decor. Keely had transformed her living room into an art room, and the results were spirited and beautiful. As soon as we entered her home, we were literally surrounded by her whimsical and colorful works of art, perfectly arranged - almost like being in a Keely Gallery.

As Keely busied herself with the dinner preparations, we were all
invited to take a seat and make ourselves at home. Lisa Hoffman and I noticed that each of the dining tables had a centerpiece consisting of a wooden bowl full of AMAZING small dolls, each one dressed in stunning colorful costumes. Obviously, a bonanza of Keely artwork. We carefully looked at the dolls, exclaiming and marveling -- when Keely appeared at the doorway. "Oh! You've found YOUR dolls!" she said, with an ear-to-ear grin. OUR dolls!?!?

In a customary gesture of over-the-top generousity, Keely had literally created a doll for each of us, according to our True Colors color-of-choice. There was a doll for each of us. Mine has a halo of white maribou feathers surrounding the face, and the body of the doll is covered in a white-on-white damask fabric, with an off-white canvas printed tape, and a tiny white-washed wooden dollhouse fence.

Everytime I look at it, I think of Keely and the wonderful True Colors event and how marvelous it was to finally meet some of the artists for the first time -- and to reconnect with other longtime friends.

Written by Lynne Perrella


sf said...

I was sad I wasn't able to attend the Art Bar event as my mother was terminally ill and I was with my oldest daughter and two of my grandsons on the opposite coast in Florida with her at the time. But I cherish my little Red Riding doll , and of course I still have Keely's sweet note which accompanied her!

Arlene Mobley said...


Thanks so much for your True Color posts. The second best part of the book was reading what each artist had to say about their experience while working on the pages. So I enjoyed very much an extra peek into each artists thoughts from your blog posts. The BEST part of course was the pages themselves. I would have loved to be able to run my hand over those gorgeous pages in real life.
I hope Stampington decides to go for book #2.


Anonymous said...

Standing on a chair throwing roses and chocolates for two MORE fabulous posts. Creativity? TC is thy name.

Forest Floor
& Aqua Extoica

Lynn Cohen said...

I feel so privilidged to be able to peek in here and "attend" as it were the book signing and after party...What a wonderful art experience!!!! May there be many many more!

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I really really want to see Volume Two so I can attend a True Colors celebration of positive colors and explorations. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this series. As I've already said, this book and what is has inspired in me has been a life-changer!
I find the words of the artists every bit as meaningful as the wonderful art they produced.

Roberta said...

Seth, I am REALLY enjoying this second look at True Colors, and the stories behind it! A friend gave me the book two years ago, and as soon as I opened it, I knew it was something extremely special. I never knew that journals could be sooooo filled with colors and textures...spilling open with goodness! This book has inspired so many of us, and will continue to do so!
Thanks again for making me appreciate, not only the exellent book, but the artists behind the project!


jill Zaheer said...

Again, fascinating stories from Sarah and from Lynne on Keely's pages. Love the pictures- I get to feel as if I'm really part of the process- in a first hand sort of way. This is certainly one very treasured group of artists that formed such an amazing collaboration with spectacular results.

Unknown said...

Before I was out of bed this rainy California day, I was enjoying my copy of "True Colors" all over again. To look at the imagination of others, wakes mine up.

This is one of my favorites.

Sally Veauta

-using my luvs e mail-

There Will b a vol 11? or is that just a rumor?

michelle ward said...

Loved Sarah's *ad campaign*. Clever girl. She was tucked in my right arm, and Anne Bagby in my left, as we skipped through this project together. Sarah mailed to me, and I mailed to Anne. It's a strange thing - these collaboratives - you get to see every single thing from the person who mails to you (Sarah) but they don't see any of your work until the very last book comes through. I loved getting to know all the girls, but especially the ones on either side of me - both whom I hadn't known before. It was an intimidating voyage to embark on but I was so very happy to see RED show up (it was my first color choice but Sarah snagged it first!)

michelle ward said...

Whoops, I wasn't done yet. Meant to mention how fabulous it was to be at the Art Bar event. Loved seeing all the journals together in one place, oh, and many of the girls too! And to be hosted by Keely in her home - icing on the cake! My amazing Autumn doll, complete with branches growing out of her head, is perched next to my Autumn journal.