Wednesday, April 27, 2011

William Shearer. Orkney.

When I was in Scotland last summer, Peter and I went to this shop for some provisions. Peter knew the proprietor, a descendant of the original shopkeeper, and when we saw him he had his arms full of colorful gardening gloves. They are the grass seed supplier to all of Orkney and Shetland.

He took us upstairs where they had bags of grass seed, including some from Oregon State!

Some lovely old biscuit tins on the shelf upstairs.
Mr. Shearer eventually asked me what I do in America (besides being an artist). "Color consulting," I said. He looked puzzled, so I said, "For example, say you wanted to repaint the front of your shop and you didn't know what color to use, I would choose colors for you."
"Funny you should say that," he said. They had just gone through the process of applying to improve an historic storefront, and needed new tile and paint colors picked out within a couple of days. Even when I am on vacation I can't turn down a good color project! P and I spent the afternoon getting samples and putting together a plan.

Samples. Green like the fresh-cut silage. Anthracite like the slabs of ancient rock on the Orkney shores. Blue-gray like the haze on a cabbage leaf. The light blue we didn't use.

After. In the office inside they have photos like this of the shop and employees dating back decades. I am so glad they kept the old lettering on the facade.

What a great memory. I hope I get to go back someday.


janeannechovy said...

What a cool shop! And cooler for having nice color--and I totally agree on the signage.

mcmoonter said...

Wow, it's quite a transformation. If you fancy a revisit, I'm sure I can help out.