Your Colours

I love your palette of colours,
the way you sweep into a room
in a playful sunflower yellow
and talk in gentle waves of blue,
the deep burnt sienna of your eyes
warms and cheers the coolest of
greens; seen by you lifts spirit
upwards, with the good humour
of satsuma orange; but it’s from
those mysterious wells of violet,
where you have suffered and lost,
that your depth of understanding
has blossomed into a beautiful rose.


Thomas Heatherwick


When I met Thomas Heatherwick at his studio in Kings Cross, we discussed the colour scheme for ‘Maggie’s of Leeds’, a new cancer support building in the grounds of St. James Hospital. My job was to lazure paint the four counselling rooms and the adjoining foyers and bathrooms. The design element Thomas was most concerned with, was that the colour should transition from light at the top to strong at the bottom. But even with pale lazure towards the top of the walls, three or four glazes are needed to bring some movement and depth. And as the colour strengthens downwards, I measured the height for each layer and balanced the strength of colour to ensure the transitions were seamless and uniform around the room. The hand applied brush work of lazure painting brings a very human quality to the environment, it is a subtle artistry in which we are not locked in by the walls and breathe more easily. And those with a sensitivity to colour, enjoy the various nuances as it interplays with natural light…

Lazure painting is difficult to capture on a photo because it is translucent but these two images give an indication of the end result.

On a personal note, it was nice to be discovered by a world famous, multi-award winning design studio –

Counselling room

lz1 (1)