Registration Now Open for Summer Color/Design Course

May 4, 2018 § Leave a comment

Flyer jpg

Hello color lovers!

I would like to personally invite you to come to beautiful Bainbridge Island, Washington, this summer for my 4-day Color/Design Course. The class will be held July 12-15, 2018 at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.

Register by May 31 to save $100 off your tuition.

Here is what a graduate from my spring class has to say about her experience:

“I’m so happy I made the decision to join the Color/Design class. The experience far exceeded my expectations. Not only is Leatrice an engaging speaker with a wealth of knowledge in her field, she also exudes a genuine interest in mentoring others and helping people succeed in their careers. Her style of teaching gave off a general feeling that there is enough work and diversity for all who are interested. It wasn’t about secrets and shortcuts, but a non-competitive environment of sharing and abundance. Although everyone in the class had their own diverse reasons for attending, there was a common thread. Regardless of profession, it seemed that all who participated were deeply creative people who needed a nudge in one direction or another. After just a few days with such an inspiring group I can still feel the afterglow…it’s a great reminder that reinvesting in oneself is important to nurture creativity. Thanks again for a wonderful and colorful experience.” – Stephanie Richardson, owner/designer, Everyday Agency

Interior Designer Credits
We have great news for all you interior designers out there! We are now offering 0.8 CEUs for this program. You must have a valid IDCEC number to receive credit.

The cost for the four-day class is $1,775. Does not include travel expenses.

Hotel and Travel
We have negotiated a group rate of $185/night at a local hotel. Bainbridge Island is a short ferry ride from Seattle. A detailed information packet about travel and logistics will be sent upon registration.

Register Today
For more information or to register, write to: Don’t delay; space is limited for this very special opportunity.


The Crossovers – Nature’s Most Versatile Colors

March 29, 2018 § Leave a comment


In my presentation last week to the iArtist Make-Up Show Forum, (a group of professional make-up artists that meet in various locations), I explained my color concept called the Color Clock. It is based on information in my book More Alive with Color, as well as my online training program, primarily meant for people interested in becoming image consultants, make-up artists, stylists — or anyone interested in color for personal use.


One of the topics I explained is “Crossover Colors.” Because these colors occur most frequently in nature, your eye is accustomed to seeing them in combination with many other colors. I like to call them Mother Nature’s favorite background colors.

The inclusion of some (but not all) of these very important colors for the wardrobe and for cosmetic palettes is included in the presentations on personal image. Here are some of examples.

First, there are the neutrals, the colors of sand and stone, such as taupes, beiges, and grays, and let’s not forget the greens, as they are Mother Nature’s most ubiquitous colors.


And as men in particular know, (and certainly women as well), navy has a professional look that qualifies it as a dependable and basic Crossover.

Just as night always follows day, black is the inevitable shade. Its protective cover brings both strength and power. Jet Black is the quintessential basic color, offering a sophisticated backdrop to all other colors.

Black is a Crossover color that adds confidence, elegance and empowerment. Some people may say, “I can’t use black because it is too harsh.”  My answer to that is that black is not only a classic in our wardrobes…

Carolina Herrera

…but is a staple in our makeup kits—especially for travel.  We use it for the basics.


Add another color from the Crossovers as an accent, such as Teal, a universally flattering hue.


Or eggplant (aubergine in French), a classic in fashion and cosmetics.


To see examples of all of the Crossover Colors, you can purchase a signed copy of my book More Alive with Color here.

To learn more about my online training, which you can do at your own pace from any location, please go here.

Save the Date! Summer Color Design Class

March 15, 2018 § Leave a comment

Save the date

My Spring Color Design Class is full but don’t fret! Registration for my summer class starts soon. If you would like to be one of the first to know when registration opens, please email

What you will learn in this 4-day intensive color workshop:

• The emotional and psychological aspects of color
• Consumer color preferences
• Overview of professional color systems
• Color naming and specifying
• The how-to’s of color forecasting, sources and guidelines
• How to market and sell your services
• Color trends and forecasts

The class will be held at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, a short and beautiful ferry ride from downtown Seattle.

See highlights and pictures from last summer’s class here.

Behind the Scenes with Pantone’s Color of the Year

February 2, 2018 § Leave a comment


Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement has become one of the most influential and anticipated events in the creative world. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Pantone selected Ultra Violet 18-3838 for 2018. For the last three years, the color was revealed first in the New York Times in early December.

Along with the anticipation of the Color of the Year comes a lot of interest in the selection. In this post I answer the questions I hear most frequently about the Color of the Year and the selection process.

1. Why does Pantone choose a Color of the Year?

The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than what is trending in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what people around the world feel they need today. The Color of the Year provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design. But perhaps most importantly, it gets people talking about color and the deeper messages and meanings they carry. To me that’s very exciting.

2. How long has Pantone been selecting a Color of the Year? When and why was it started?

We started naming a Color of the Year in 1999 as people were asking about the color that best represented the millennium. They were concerned about the future (the millennium bug) yet also looking forward to new technologies and the excitement of a new millennium. So we chose Pantone Cerulean blue as the Color of the Year for 2000— as it represented a clear sky and open vistas leading to the future. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Color of the Year, which is a big milestone.

3. What is the Color of the Year selection process and who is involved?

As the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, I lead a team of 10 color experts that travels the world to search out trending colors and new color influences across many industries.

We look at the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even up-coming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.

We also try to read the pulse of the public. What are people asking for? What are they saying their needs are? What are they hoping for? What are their aspirations? We try to then pick out a color that speaks to that cultural reaction to color, the collective consciousness’s reaction to color, and the psychological and emotional impact.

We consolidate all of these findings and then start looking for proof points and imagery to support the selection. The process starts in the spring of the preceding year. By the end of the summer we are pretty certain of what the color will be. It’s a very exciting, collaborative and intense process!

4. Why was Ultra Violet selected for 2018?

We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level, exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own. The color is also associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated and uncertain world.

5. What do you say to people who don’t like a particular year’s color?

I ask them to do two things:

Number one— think about the reasoning behind not liking it and is it still relevant in their lives today? Does their aversion stem from childhood event or a negative experience with a color?

Number two — I ask them to open their minds to the challenge of experimenting with the color, if only in touches or accents and it will generally start to grow on them! How about trying a scarf or an accent pillow or flowers on your desk? It does help to exercise your ingenuity and creativity to make it work.

It doesn’t have to be your favorite color; that’s not the point. The point is to get people talking about color. I say, try it, you just might like it!

6. What have past Color of the Year selections been?

• 2017: PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
• 2016: PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz
• 2015: PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala
• 2014: PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid
• 2013: PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald
• 2012: PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango
• 2011: PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle
• 2010: PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise
• 2009: PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa
• 2008: PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris
• 2007: PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper
• 2006: PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar
• 2005: PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise
• 2004: PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily
• 2003: PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky
• 2002: PANTONE 19-1664 True Red
• 2001: PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose
• 2000: PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean

For more information and to view all of the past Color or the Year selections go here.

Now, I have a question for you, are you seeing Ultra Violet everywhere since the Color of the Year announcement? Funny how that happens….

Special Invitation & Offer

January 10, 2018 § Leave a comment

CD invite April 2018 v.2

5 Reasons to Take My Color Design Course

November 17, 2017 § Leave a comment


Calling all color lovers!

I hope you will consider joining me and other color enthusiasts from around the world for my next Color Design Course, April 26-29, 2018, on beautiful Bainbridge Island in Washington State, where I live and work. It is a short and beautiful ferry ride from Seattle.

This Color Design Course is a program for highly motivated individuals. It is a practical preparation not only to increase your color knowledge, but also to provide you a stepping-stone into the larger world of color consulting, whether for your own consulting business or for the benefit of your employer. Many employers see the value of this kind of training and will sponsor you to attend.

5 Reasons to Take the Course
1. Build on your existing color knowledge base
2. Broaden career opportunities into new roles or other industries
3. Network with other color enthusiasts
4. Do something fun and exciting for yourself
5. Add value to your current role and bring new ways of thinking about color to your employer

Special Bonus: You get to spend four days at the gorgeous Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. It is simply stunning and a very special venue for our class.

What You Will Learn in the Course
• The emotional and psychological aspects of color
• Consumer color preferences
• Overview of professional color systems
• Color naming and specifying
• The how-to’s of color forecasting, sources and guidelines
• How to market and sell your services
• Color trends and forecasts

See highlights from our July class here.

I know that you will find the training program a special experience. In the many classes I have taught over the years, there is a special warmth and kinship that develops among the people who attend – personal and professional bonds that continue to flourish after the class.


What Past Students Say About the Course

“I wanted to thank you for such an amazing 4 days learning more about the business of color. It was truly inspiring and I now have so many ideas to bring my passion of color into my job and/or shift to consulting in the future. I cannot thank you both enough for your time.”
—Kari Smith, Workplace Strategist

“Thank you again for such an exquisite retreat experience. I have been reading your books as much as possible ever since. I even got an earth shattering (for me) new color scheme moment at the hotel I was staying at and may change my web site branding. And that was only the first few days after being with you. Life is so different now!”
—Dianne Denholm, Marketing Stylist

“What a wonderful experience. I have been talking to everyone I encounter about color! This experience is really making me think about where I could take color and psychology/trends, etc. Lee has been an inspiration to me the majority of my career and I am thankful for that!”
—Amy Rhodes, Art Director-Packaging

Interior Designer Credits
We have great news for all you interior designers out there! We are now offering 0.8 CEUs for this program. You must have a valid IDCEC number to receive credit.

The cost for the four-day class is $1,775. Does not include travel expenses. Register by February 14, 2018 and receive $200 off your registration.

Hotel and Travel
We have negotiated a group rate of $175/night at a local hotel. A detailed information packet about travel and logistics will be sent upon registration.

Register Today
For more information or to register, write to: Don’t delay; space is limited for this very special opportunity.

Picasso in Paris

September 18, 2017 § 1 Comment

On our recent trip to Maison&Objet, the fabulous home furnishing and accoutrement show in Paris where we go every year to scout color trends, my associate Melissa and I decided to go to the Picasso Museum in the Marais district. It was such a worthwhile experience. As Melissa noted, “It is not only about Picasso’s art, but the building it is housed in was fantastic.”

Picasso museum ext bldg

Executed in classic 17th century architecture, it is one of the finest buildings of its kind and because of the recent renovations, it is in exquisite condition. There are three levels and each worthy of a visit.

One of the most amazing things about the property is that it was originally owned by a certain Pierre Aubert de Fortenay who had made a fortune in salt. As you can imagine, salt was very precious as it was used for cooking, preserving, and livestock feed, and sometimes used as a form of currency. Aubert had been granted the right to collect the salt tax, which everyone over the age of eight had to pay. The building was actually called the Hotel Sale and sale means “salty” in French.

The building has gone through much iteration over its lifetime. When it was chosen to house the Picasso collection, first the city of Paris took over the management of the building, and ultimately the state assumed responsibility.

There has been much written about Picasso. He was a fascinating character, born in Spain, but it was in France where he spent much of his life.

If you are a lover of color, his work is intensely interesting as he went through various color periods, including the famous Blue Period and then the Rose period.

We don’t usually associate Picasso with pastels, but these two pieces are housed in the museum and they are quite lovely in the sense of color.

Blue picasso

Colorful picasso

It is his cubist period that resulted in even more color and is arguably the best known and most influential period.

Picasso Dora

Among the most fascinating of his works that are housed at the museum are portraits of Dora Maar and of Marie-Therese Walter, two of his many mistresses.


Portrait of Dora Maar, c.1937

Marie-Therese Walter

Marie-Therese Walter, 1937

Color Design Class 2017

August 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

We recently graduated 23 students from our Color Design Class that I teach near Seattle on Bainbridge Island, Washington, where we live and work. We want to share some highlights and reflections from the four-day class with you.

CD July 2017 group 1

There were attendees from all over the U.S and Canada, a lovely lady from Pakistan and eight students from Seoul accompanied by their teacher who had taken the Color Design program three years ago and wanted to share the experience with some of her students and colleagues. This was the second year that she returned with a group. It’s really wonderful to have diverse and global perspectives represented in the class.

The program is taught at our local art museum, affectionately called BIMA (aka Bainbridge Island Museum of Art), a repository of some of the best work of Northwest artists. The museum is on the main street of the island, conveniently located near restaurants, shops and within easy walking distance of the water and the ferry terminal. Its lush, colorful grounds and interiors make for the perfect setting for our class.


The attendees get to immerse themselves, not only in the color experience, but also in the beautiful scenery, gardens, island activities and most of all, the perfect natural lighting for viewing colors!

Lee teaching 5

One of the highlights of the class is the group projects. Each group is given a creative challenge and they work together to come up with a product, color palette, color names and a rationale for their choices– and then they present them to the class. It’s fun and interactive — and very educational!

Coastal Drive 2

Mystery 1 board


Another highlight is the Saturday night party I host at my home. We work hard during our four days together and this is an opportunity to celebrate and have fun together!

Party at Lees house with Korean students

Below attendees are checking out my office – where the color magic happens!

Lees office

As in years past, the group really gelled and we had a lot of fun together. Oftentimes, classmates keep in touch (which is especially easy these days with social media) and sometimes even end up working together in the future. Genuinely unique bonds are formed during this intensive class.

Fun class 3 July 2017

We so enjoyed the experience that we are going to repeat it for a Spring program on Bainbridge Island, April 26-29, 2018.  More information about the Spring class is available here.


Yayoi Kusama – Beyond Colorful

July 7, 2017 § 1 Comment


I have been aware of Yayoi (pronounced Ya-Yoy) Kusama’s work ever since doing research for one of my books, titled “PANTONE: the 20th Century in Color.” Her ebulliently colored work burst on the art scene in the U.S in the late 50’s and 60’s and her work has since been featured at many museums internationally including the Tate, MOMA, the Hirshhorn at the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

Lee and Melissa

I was delighted to see that her work was coming to the Seattle Art Museum this summer. I attended the show with two of my associates, Melissa Bolt and Amy Anderson, and we were all fascinated by what we saw. It is not easy to describe the exhibition as it is so unique and beyond colorful!

There are six rooms that are part of the exhibition called Infinity Mirrors. There are several installations that reflect light and color in a dazzling kaleidoscopic array, while another space shows her stuffed fabric tubers. One of Yayoi’s most iconic shapes is the polka dot and there are two rooms featuring the dots.


Visitors are provided with colorful dot stickers to affix to any of the surfaces in the Obliteration Room—certainly an interactive and playful installation.


In addition to polka dots, Yayoi is fixated on pumpkins. The SAM gallery guide explains the attraction as a “frequent motif in her work, recalling fairytales and fantasies.” In her autobiography titled “Infinity Net” she explains why they were an important theme in her art., describing the first time she ever saw a pumpkin when on a trip with her grandfather to seed harvesting grounds.

“Here and there along a path between fields of zinnias, periwinkle and nasturtiums I caught glimpses of the yellow flowers and the fruit of pumpkin vines.” She further explains that when she stopped for a closer look she saw a pumpkin the size of a man’s head. She says: “I parted the row of zinnias and reached in to pluck the pumpkin from its vine. It immediately began speaking to me in a most animated manner. It was still moist with dew, indescribably appealing and tender to the touch.”


I learned through her book that believing the pumpkins spoke to her was not an unusual occurrence. If you want to learn more about this very complex, controversial and talented artist, read her autobiography. Better yet, try to immerse yourself in one of her traveling exhibitions—it’s worth the wait!


At the end of the exhibit, we enjoyed a video interview with the artist in which she seeks to explain her purpose and her art.


The exhibit runs through Sept. 10. Tickets are sold out online but a limited number of timed tickets will be available on site at the museum for same-day entry on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on the exhibit visit SAM’s site.

Creativity is Endless. Talent is Everywhere.

June 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

Whether I am travelling around the world or closer to home, I am intrigued by the colorful originality in window displays, at street fairs, on store fronts and in display cases.

I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Some are quirky, funny, downright silly, or upscale and sophisticated.

However, they all show that creativity is endless— there is talent everywhere!!






Bakelite bracelets

Panama hats


Orange dog

Orange cat



Where do you find your inspiration?

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