How We Bloom

Mastering the Art of Floral Paint w/ Gretchen Sell

February 14, 2022 Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI Season 1 Episode 9
How We Bloom
Mastering the Art of Floral Paint w/ Gretchen Sell
Show Notes Transcript

Are you "Mastering the Art of Floral Paint" in this time of flower shortages, painted foliage trends and on-trend metallics? We see the different types of paint (aka color spray) products on shelves in wholesale supply departments.  Do you know how each is best used? 

In this podcast, we explore the latest tips and techniques for using color spray with flowers by asking the master. Design Master. Education and Creative Director Gretchen Sell of DM joins us to answer our questions.

  • Is color spray harmful to fresh flowers?
  • Do you paint a vase the same way you spray flowers?
  • What is the difference between Just for Flowers and Color Tool Spray?
  • How economical is the use of Design Master?     
  • What color trends do you forecast for 2023?

Join us for Gretchen's professional tips and techniques that can save you time and money!
Did you know that ....

Gretchen Sell (00:12):

I see two directions for using color sprays in floral work one as a problem solver, and two as a tool.

Sharon McGukin (00:32):

Welcome to ‘How we Bloom’ an ‘Oasis’ of flower ideas. I'm your host, Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI and I believe that every great success story starts with one simple idea. That's why we interview those who dare to do things differently. People who plant seeds, grow ideas and bloom to their full potential. We listen, learn, explore, and that's ‘How We Bloom!’

 Sharon McGukin (01:12):

In the face of flower shortages. We've seen an uptick in designers ‘Mastering the Art of Floral Paint,’ also known as color spray, to enhance flowers or foliages. Accent colors needed for designs that they might not have otherwise. We wanted to explore this new love of color spray in today's podcast. Who better to ask, than to go to the master? Design Master. 

Today we've asked Education and Creative Director Gretchen's Sell of Design Master - a division of Smithers-Oasis as of 2021, when Design Master was acquired through an asset purchase. Gretchen has been an integral part of the DM color team for 23 years. She's here with us today to share some of her color magic with us. Thank you for joining us Gretchen. 

Gretchen Sell (02:04):

Oh, it's quite my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Sharon McGukin (02:08):

Gretchen, I know you have a long history with the floral industry, and are in fact an award winner in the floral industry. Please share with us just a little bit about how your career evolved. 

Gretchen Sell (02:21):

I have a degree in Horticulture from Purdue University. I've worked retail. I worked, in high school, at a local florist. After college, I worked for a large florist in Indianapolis. We were wholesale and retail and did a lot of big parties and such for Eli Lilly. I've been an entrepreneur. I opened business in mid-coast Maine, and I also worked for a wholesaler. I started working with John Henry company organizing their design books and doing styling for their catalogs and such. Then I was called to Design Master and started my career with them 23 years ago. I've had experiences in different aspects of the industry, that gives me a unique perspective.

Sharon McGukin (03:09):

We are really excited to get some of your tips and techniques, A little bit of flower fun, because we all love spray painting a flower! 

Gretchen Sell (03:19):

Oh definitely. There's something magic about changing color I believe. With spray paint and with our products - it's that instant gratification. The changing of color creates something so magical transforming from what it was to something fresh and re-invigorating, or new to you. We all just kinda like to have a little bit of that control and magic.

Sharon McGukin (03:47):

Yes. It's kinda like ‘finger painting for flowers.’ I think of a funny story that happened when I had a flower shop. One day, I asked one of my employees to process three buckets full of hydrangea. They were really, very dehydrated so we added flower foods and we put them into water. It was a cool evening so we left them out in the design room overnight, for the next day. After she left, I took three different cans of Just for Flowers - a lavender, a green and a blue. I misted them with all of those colors to give that heirloom Hydrangea look that I had been unable to order. The next day she came in and she was just amazed. Saying “I didn't know the adding flower food to this water was going to give these flowers wonderful color.” “Well, it didn't.” I said. “It was Just for Flowers. I used these sprays to make those gorgeous hydrangea. But the thing that makes me happy is that if you didn't know the difference, then my bride definitely will not.” 

Gretchen Sell (04:49):

That's fabulous!

Sharon McGukin (04:52):

Yes. You have rescued us many times. When flowers came in the wrong color. Or, as has been the challenge this year - flowers in shortages. So, if you can't get the flower and the color you need, you can make the flower the color you need.

Gretchen Sell (05:07):

Unfortunately, our sprays have been a little bit unavailable as well.

Sharon McGukin (05:16):

Why have they been unavailable? A lot of times, designers have asked me that question. We know it's the supply chain, but what specifically of the supply chain? And, where are we going with those issues? 

Gretchen Sell (05:30):

Well as the pandemic hit, manufacturing was really focused on essential items. The factory that manufacturers our products, reallocated our resources to produce disinfectants and sanitizers. The Design Master sprays were pulled off our dedicated production line of over 60 years. When they were able to put us back online, our inventory was totally wiped out and all through this time, the demand for color sprays is increasing. Starting from ground zero, when raw materials were in short supply, it put an unprecedented strain on distribution. We couldn't resupply our wholesalers and the shortages generated. 

One thing that has us feeling rejuvenated is that factory shipments have been coming in more frequently in the recent months. As soon as inventory is received at our warehouse, it's off to our distributor where it's quickly purchased by our loyal customers. We're making strides, but we still have some her hurdles to be back in full stride. So we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding as we're all coping with these unusual times and nothing frustrates us more than not being able to get our cans in your hands.

Sharon McGukin (06:53):

I love that … “Our cans in your hands!” and we are ready because we've had to do a lot of makeshift adjustments in many areas. Color spray is no different. But tell me, what is the difference between your color spray at Design Master and hardware paint? Is there a difference?

Gretchen Sell (07:14):

They’re totally different. Hardware store paint and our Design Master color sprays are totally two different formulations. Ours are modified lacquer base sprays and the majority of hardware store - your everyday typical spray paints, are enamel sprays. Ours were developed over 60 years ago, specifically for the floral industry. 

They studied all the uses and surfaces that the professional florist encounters every day, and the chemist worked diligently to create a formula that would work for all of this. So, we've got our track history of being just for the floral industry. It's safe to use on the delicate surfaces like fresh flowers, ribbons, tulle, and paper, but then also the durable surfaces that traditional hardware store paints are used on like wicker, wood, metal, glass, other types of product too. We have a lot of versatility with what it can be applied on. Also, application techniques that I believe are much greater than what you can do with hardware store paints.

Sharon McGukin (08:41):

Absolutely. Now, there’s a couple of things I've always heard in terms of using the color sprays. Hold the can back 12-inches (plus) to 18-inches so that you're misting but you're not freezing the flower when it comes out of the can. Right? Do it in short bursts. So you're adding color in layers and not a heavy coat. Speak to that, if you could please. 

Gretchen Sell (09:04):

Well, if you're spraying fresh flowers, there is an application technique to ensure safe application. The range is more like 15 to 18 inches as the propellant in the spray is very cold when delivered out of the nozzle. Holding at that distance allows the propellant to evaporate before the color lands on the surface. Mostly on the petals, when we're talking fresh flowers. So, it does not freeze the petal. When there is petal freezing, you'll see the browning of a bloom and know that's what's happened. You've sprayed much too close.

Sharon McGukin (09:48):

Okay. That's really good advice and something that, unless you've been told that specifically, it's not something you would automatically know. Now, I know in your list of different types of paints you have Special Purpose. What is Special Purpose for?

Gretchen Sell (10:04):

Well, those are accessory type of sprays. They're not color sprays, just a variety of different, unique ways of applying, you know, for different uses like the adhesives or holiday decorating type of items like Crystal Frost and Snow Blast. We have a collection of accessory sprays and also Finishes and we even have some Multipurpose Cleaners and Sealers. So, there's a lot of options we're not just all about color. We do have other products that are very useful in the practices that florist come across.

Sharon McGukin (10:48):

Well, because florists go into the wholesale house, they see cans sitting on the shelves. Sometimes they don't know exactly which ones, as you just alluded to, are for what purpose. Can they go to your website and find that information? And if so, give us your website.

Gretchen Sell (11:05):

Oh, certainly. DM, as in Design Master + = It's an extensive website that outlines all the different type of products that we have. You can see them as categories, but you can also see them as the individual product.

Sharon McGukin (11:29):

Now designers love to paint fresh flowers, but very often we wonder “Does it hurt them?” As long as we don't get too close and make it too freezing - the color spray really doesn't hurt the flower, correct? 

Gretchen Sell (11:43):

No. Not at all. Paint - as in hardware store paint, does harm flowers. That's not what we want to use in the floral industry. Design Master sprays were, as I mentioned before, specifically designed for our use. The colorant, when you're applying the spray color, the color coat actually acts as an anti-transpirant. It helps reduce the amount of moisture that evaporates from the petals. So that does help provide some longevity to the blossom. But one thing you need to remember too, is that the longevity all starts from the beginning of when you spray it. If you're spraying an older flower to begin with, it's not going to push its life two more weeks or something like that. But it will not shorten the base life of whatever current state the flower was in when it was sprayed.

Sharon McGukin (12:48):

So it doesn't lengthen the life, but it doesn't shorten the life either. It just helps it stay fresh.

Gretchen Sell (12:55):

It can lengthen it’s life a little bit, but not extensively. Yeah.

Sharon McGukin (13:02):

Okay. Will you tell us the difference between Just for Flowers and color spray in general? Is there a difference between those two?

Gretchen Sell (13:10):

Oh, definitely. And the difference is not so much the benefits that you receive from them, but the type of color. Colorants that are used just for flowers are dyes which means they are transparent color. The color tool spray, which is the OG of our color tool line, it's 60 years old. 

A pigmented spray that when you apply a light coat, is translucent. You get to see a little bit of detail from underneath, but then the additional coats that you add become opaque and actually covers. So, you have transparency which you can see. Transparent color in which you can see all the details underneath, like the blossom details, like a Rubrum Lilly, that have all those little specks and such, those will still show through. 

Then, you have the Color Tool which when you apply one light layer, it can show some of that, but then the additional coat will hide it. It's the type of pigmentation that's used that makes the difference. but the properties like fast drying and safe on flowers, all those same uses that are identical from one.

Sharon McGukin (14:36):

Okay. So that I suppose is the difference in how you would spray a vase, for example, versus how you would spray a flower. Any additional tips there you could share? 

Gretchen Sell (14:48):

Well, one of the things - when you're spraying with Color Tool, when you're working with pigmentations, you're going to have coverage. Like I said, fortunately, because of our spray system being an ultralight mist, we have that ability to be translucent. But when you start to do more - the opaque it's going to cover, and you going to hide any details. When you're working with transparencies like Just for Flowers, every additional layer actually becomes deeper in value. You can still see through and see the details of the original surface, but you increase the depth of color. Most of the time, if you make a mistake with paint or a color tool kind of pigmentation, you can just cover it and hide it by adding more and more onto it. But when you're doing something with a transparent color, you're just adding more deeper and deeper colorations. 

Sharon McGukin (15:59):

I've always felt that as florists, we are very lucky because if you have a dress shop and a dress is out of style in the color or shape or something, then you've just got to put it on the rack for 70 % off. But as florists, how lucky we are that we can use paint or fabric, or other materials to adorn a vase or change the color of the vase and get our money back out of it. Because, now it's an updated trendy item. If you just keep an eye to trend and follow with those materials, in those colors, then “Trash for Cash!” We have the ability to move it as a new item. In that light how economical is it to use Design Master? 

Gretchen Sell (16:44):

Oh, exactly. 

Well, it's very helpful in so many different ways. Users over the decades have found many ways to save a dollar with Design Master. A little bit of the spray can go a long way. But, one of the lifesavers that many event florists have used is that you can conceal blemishes on pricey blossoms and avoid losing profits. White flowers seem to show blemishes the most. Applying Color Tool Flat White, especially blooms like lilies, orchids and roses can make them usable. So, you're not tossing, a pricey blossom out. You get to use it and make your money on it. I mean that can go for anyone in general floristry, but for event florist that helps tremendously. Some blossoms such as those lilies and orchids as they get a little older, they start to look a little transparent.

Gretchen Sell (17:47):

And in some instance, you don't have a choice, but to use those and you can bump up their color by spraying on the backside of the blooms and have the color look really natural, but it's a stronger color. And like they say on TikTok, nobody will know! You kind of brought it up too about hydrangea. You know it's the darling of the flower world, and it's a great canvas for spray color. And we see so many different colors throughout their growing stages. And as florist we try to order and get in those beautiful hues when we can. And sometimes you need them when they're not available. And many florist have revealed to us how they buy the less expensive white, green, or blue varieties, and then shift the colors to make them like the pricey antique blossom. So, they can charge as much and make more profit.

Gretchen Sell (18:52):

A number of different little things - even if you have limited supply, like say you have one bunch of one color of a flower and you need a few more tonalities to make the design interesting. You know, you can shift some of those colors and avoid having to purchase more varieties of colors for that design. 

And like you mentioned too …. rotating inventory, rescuing and restyling shop worn containers, and then customizing and refreshing rental items is one of the ways many of our users find purpose in creating more profit for themselves. They're able to reuse those rental items and customize for specific color palettes of the design, whether it's a wedding or an event. And, they can charge for the customization. So, if you sell in the direction that “We're making this special for you,” you can make sure to include the price of doing that. 

And one of the great things too, is like our sprays are so fast drying that you're not bogged down by a long, dry time to get something up and out the door. That's really helpful as well.

Sharon McGukin (20:25):

Speaking of drying time, an ‘old florist’ trick is that when you have to color spray a lot of material, like large foliage leaves. If you put the ones that you're going to spray paint down below, and as you're misting one (as you're spraying it) the extra mist falls down on the other materials and it begins to cover them. It's a great way to save the waste of paint because you're actually using it to color spray the materials that you'll be spraying next.

Gretchen Sell (20:55):

Yeah, that's very smart.

Sharon McGukin (20:58):

Do you have any tips you could share with us on the best way to blend colors? You mentioned spray painting from the back of the flower, which is always important. Little tips like that, that help us to use our color spray more wisely.

Gretchen Sell (21:12):

Sure. First of all, I want to point out that all Design Master color products can be used with one another in light layers to blend colors, and that makes it easy to create color finishes on so many surfaces. I have more things I'm going to share for color concepts with flowers as examples, but the principles can be applied to any surface. In many situations, applying spray color to white flowers fits what's needed. It's an easy concept to grasp, to me that's called painting. 

There are some tips to achieve more natural looking applications. Like for instance using that technique, when you need light colored blossoms most flowers have overlapping pedals and inevitably you're not going be able to cover the entire flower. Some of the original color will peek through. So, in these situations, the contrast between white and the light spray color is easy on the eyes, but the contrast can be harsh when changing the white bloom to a dark color. And that's when you want to consider color shifting. It's the principle of working with color on color and pushing color direction. How many times have you critiqued a color? Saying it needs to shift a little blue or a little more red. That's what you can do with our color sprays.

Sharon McGukin (22:46):

Perfect. Now, one thing that I have also experienced is if you're doing something like a large monstera leaf and you're going to make it fuchsia, for example. If you spray that first with a silver to kill a lot of the green and then bring in the other hue, that makes the color more pronounced, do you agree? 

Gretchen Sell (23:11):

Oh, certainly. Silver acts like a primer basically. And it's perfect for when you need to go from dark to light, or you're trying to cut out that interference from the base color and get a clean application of the desired color you want to use.

Sharon McGukin  (23:31):

Yes, that is fantastic. 

Now you have a bird's eye view because you see what's happening in the industry and both your industry with color spray and the flower industry in general. So what trends do you see evolving for the use of color spray in design?

Gretchen Sell (23:49):

I see two directions for using color sprays and floral work. One is we've kind of been talking about, it's a problem solver. And then the second is a creative tool. Firstly, you could view Design Master as the Red Cross delivering ‘color first aid.’ We've come to the rescue in countless situations where a flower color ordered wasn't what was desired for a special event or a special order. And in most of those situations, the user wants a natural looking application of color mimicking mother nature. Our color is delivered in an ultra-fine mist. And with some application tips that we can cover with color shifting, you can do that. This problem-solving scenario will remain ongoing. 

So that's always there, but secondly creatives are taking the artist's approach to design. They want to control flower color palettes, like a painter controls, theirs … their coloring, blooms, foliage, and accessories. Then using them more intently as a color element in the design of their artwork. This direction is stretching the traditional view of floristry, perhaps a bit of avant-garde, but it's really exciting.

Sharon McGukin (25:17):

Are you wondering, who's partnering with me and bringing practical solutions to you. This podcast is brought to you by Smithers-Oasis North America. Why is Smithers-Oasis investing in your business? Helping you to meet challenge with change? Smithers-Oasis North America understands that you need fresh ideas to inspire new growth Oasis carefully plants the seeds of your success by offering a balance of traditional and on-trend products, that enhance your designs. Simply visit your wholesale supplier for your favorite Oasis products or view the online selection of direct delivered to you products and seasonal inspiration. Now available from

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Okay. Do you have any tips to share for the incoming painted foliage trend, that we are experiencing?

Gretchen Sell (26:37):

Certainly. I'd say first of all, be sure that the surface is free of any kind of oily residue or leaf shines. Sometimes in production and packaging from the grower, they will do a leaf shine on that item, and that can interfere with the adhesion of the spray. Also, foliages have varying textures. Some hold color stronger than others. Test spraying a leaf would be a good idea to determine the results.

Sharon McGukin (27:12):

So if you were going to color spray of a leaf that had shine on it, could you just rub that off and spray it with color?

Gretchen Sell (27:24):

If you come across a leaf with leaf shine on the foliage, probably the best way to work with that is to use a very soft cloth and rub it as well as you can to remove the oil. Or, maybe a light solution of detergent and water and to help cut through the oils.

Sharon McGukin (27:46):

Yes, that's good. Now you're the Master. So, tell us … what color trends do you forecast for color sprays in 2023?

Gretchen Sell (27:57):

Overall directions, I see brown or muddy hue still continuing, but they're contrasted with cleaner colors for accent. Palettes with a rich array of greens, both in cool and warm tones, but are grounded with like a red clay, Robin’s egg and lavenders is something really intriguing. We've seen the influence of plants in our lives. That has definitely influenced a palette of those kind of hues together. Making it really interesting and inviting. I also see dusted pastel combinations like heatherish, herbal and peachy. And then on the other end, we see explosions of brights with iridescent shimmer. That being in a combination of natural bright things that we see in nature, but also paired with techno like contrast of bright hues as well. Then I also see blush peach and coral still being strong, but they're moving into classic colors. Not as much trend colors now, but they're being paired with a lot of trending hues.

Sharon McGukin (29:22):

The on-trend metal is what leads us in a given direction. What do you, you see as the next on-trend metal for 2023?

Gretchen Sell (29:34):

Well, queued from the home decor arena of things, I see mixed metals continue and they're evolving into much more of a matte finish. Matte metallic finishes. We've seen a progression of warm hue metals - the gold and brass hues continue, champagne gold. Also moving into rich, bronze and coppers, that matte metallic finish is the key for most trends. We'll always see metallic with a shine, two of them in certain materials. But, it's those hues that are those warmer hue metallics that are coming up stronger and stronger.

Sharon McGukin (30:28):

Okay. Thank you so much. We'll be watching for that. 

Is there a shelf life on paint?

Gretchen Sell (30:37):

It's a very long one, I can tell you that now. That's one of the very benefits of aerosol packaging. It has a very long shelf life. We've had cans 25-years-old that still work. The longer can is on a shelf, some of the gases could slightly escape, but for the most part - 99% of the time, it's still a pretty viable can and works wonderfully. You would definitely have to shake the can. I should say this … in any situation make sure that you shake the can vigorously, particularly if it's been sitting on the shelf for a while, you need to have all those contents mixed. Getting that rattle ball, mixing, shaking, and hearing it, that's the best way to get everything mixed up.

Sharon McGukin (31:34):

Perfect. Now, since it's wintertime and it has been a cold and blistery winter - do paints freeze?

Gretchen Sell (31:43):

I don't know that they actually freeze, but their performance is compromised. You won't get a smooth coat. It won't spray out very consistently and clean. You are not going to get a good finish on them. So, you don't want to store them in freezing temperatures. 

My best advice, if you're trying to apply spray in cold situations, sometimes you just have to, I would avoid 30-degrees. You're not going to go out there (outside) with a blossom in below freezing temperatures anyway. But when you're in that low 50s to low 40s temperature zone, even high 30s, perhaps the best thing to do is make sure that the can is at room temperature and that the surface you're spraying is at room temperature. Whether it's a flower, a vase, anything - those need to be at room temperature. You can spray them quickly outdoors, but bring them back inside for them to completely dry. That way they'll dry consistently and fast. And the temperature of the two items will remain at room temperature. Then when you need to re-coat, go out and do the same thing, but bring it back in quickly.

Sharon McGukin (33:04):

Speaking of the aerosols from the color spray, sometimes it's really cold out and sometimes it's really hot out. Do you recommend that a florist install a spray paint booth to work with indoors?

Gretchen Sell (33:19):

Indoors? Yes. If you're working indoors with spray, you definitely need a spray booth. You need the ventilation for safe application. It's definitely a caution and a warning on the back of our cans. And anytime you're spraying indoors, you need adequate ventilation. If you're spraying outside, you don't necessarily need a spray booth, but it does help in confining the over-spray. So, you're keeping things around it (in the surrounding environment) safe from any kind of over spray. 

Sharon McGukin:

Exactly avoid that over-spray. That always makes me nervous, when I see someone headed to a parking lot with a can of spray paint, I think “Oh, no. Where’s my car?”

Gretchen Sell:

But you don't necessarily need it outdoors. We talked about cold temperatures, but another thing you need to be attentive with sprays, as well, is the warm temperatures. Sometimes when you're particularly working on a surface that you want a good even coating when the temperatures are really high and the heat is high. Those are not the best environmental conditions to apply sprays as well. So, sometimes having having a covered area to help the temperatures drop down a little to a bit of cooler environment is very beneficial.

Gretchen Sell (34:57):

Yeah. You know, sometimes just simply using a big cardboard that works perfectly to contain over-spray. It all depends what you're spraying.

Sharon McGukin (35:10):

Also, even for your hands to have on latex gloves. Or, to just take the plastic that has wrapped a bunch of flowers and hold the flower inside that plastic with space around it for the over-spray. It will hit the plastic as opposed to your hands. It's kind of embarrassing to get to the grocery store and one thumb is gold and the other thumb is silver from spray painting all day. Of course, they already think you're a party girl because during the Christmas season, you always arrive in the grocery store covered with glitter. They're probably not surprised by the gold or silver fingernails. 

Gretchen Sell - Right. Right. 

Sharon McGukin - Can you think of any funny story that you might have had an experience with paint gone, awry? Something that could have happened to you, or you heard from a customer?

Gretchen Sell (35:57):

We've had on occasion customers who have used our product in kind of bizarre ways, or interesting and different odd ways. One call-in, a woman sprayed her hair black with our Flat Black for Halloween. And then after the asked us how to remove it.

Sharon McGukin (36:22):

Oh no! I hope you suggested a good haircut!

Gretchen Sell (36:26):

Because the properties of our sprays are very light. It's not a heavy, thick, heavy coating when you're spraying it lightly. 4-H members have shown sheep and such by taking our Ivory and lightly covered some dark spots on their sheep so they get judged better. Or, they'll use Flat Black on hooves to make them look nice and spicy.

Sharon McGukin (36:58):

Poor Sheep! Wow. It's Just for Flowers, not ‘just for animals.’ Yeah. Oh no!

Gretchen Sell (37:11):

Interestingly too - Just for Flowers, I like to say that we kind of fibbed on that name because it's much more than just for flowers. It can be sprayed on hard surfaces on glass, wood, wicker, or you know on wood - it acts like a stain. On ceramics or glass, it's kind of like a glaze, and you know, dye on ribbon. There's so many things that it can be used on besides just flowers. I think the color-know-how is a great way to start understanding how to work with color on color of knowing your color wheel. Design Master might not have all the color trends represented in a dedicated spray, but we can definitely help create most of them with color shifting if you want to spray a container and get a unique patina.

Gretchen Sell (38:14):

The one of the easiest techniques to add a visual texture is using the water resist technique. And that's real simple. You take a spray bottle filled with water, mist the surface of an item and whatever spray color you want on top. Then, dab off the moisture where the water drop was. Where it resists the paint. So, you get this really organic and interesting visual texture. And then the best thing about that, you can keep layering, just doing another color on top of it. And then another one on top of that, if you want, you can just do one color or you could do multiple colors to make a really unique patina. And to me, that is the most versatile and quick technique to create some really cool looking finishes.

Sharon McGukin (39:10):

And that's what I love! Making cool finishes on a product that you already have. You've differentiated your product, upscaled your product and you've cleaned out the shelves. Yes, I think that's fantastic for sure. Okay. Any words of advice?

Gretchen Sell (39:31):

Well, I think color is such a huge part of floral design. And as creatives, you understand the power of color to set the mood and stir the emotions. So, I think have fun with it. Just keep exploring color and get a sense for the little differences of things that you do that changes what the message is or the design you're creating, learning the contrast of color. I think there's so much power in understanding how the colors contrast, the basic color contrast, whether it's value, contrast hue, contrast saturation. Contrast. To me the emotion of color is determined by the contrast because the perception of color is so dependent on the color next to it. And managing the contrast of color can help push your color knowledge and your ability to give customers some unique combinations and palettes that they might not have explored. Just by understanding those little differences and finesses to color.

Gretchen Sell (40:45):

One of the best tools that you can use in learning how to color shift is the color wheel. The color wheel is all about the relationships of its hues and these natural connections are the cornerstone. It all begins with the basics, the primary colors and how they're mixed with the secondary colors. And then those are mixed to get you the tertiary colors. Knowing the origin of the color that you want can help you choose the direction of what spray color to use onto top of that. Typically, analogous colors are probably the easiest and simplest to shift because they always have something in common.

Gretchen Sell (41:31):

For example, you want a peach-tone bloom that you don't have on hand. Peach albeit, a lighter value, has an influence of red and yellow to make peach. Select light valued colors of yellow and red, such as a soft yellow flower and a pink color spray.

Relying on the basic color harmonies we learned with the color wheel can be very easy guides in how to color shift a blossom from a color to the color that you need. Analogous is probably the easiest because you're working with neighboring colors and you can easily identify the colors they share and can pick one out to match a color with a flower. Monochromatic is rather easy too, but with that, you'll want your monochromatic shift. You're really just basically shifting the value of a color. So, if you have a light hued, a light-colored flower, say in pink, and you wanted a deeper pink choose a deeper colored spray, and that will create what you need.

Gretchen Sell (42:41):

So that's rather easy too. And then one of the most intriguing situations is working with complimentary colors. Those colors directly across from one other on the color wheel when those colors are in the paint world. When those two colors are mixed, you create a brown. You can create really cool muddied hues by taking a yellow blossom and misting a purple on top of it say, purple, Just for Flowers on top of a yellow creates this really awesome muddy hue that’s in the perfect palette. It is just a wonderful bridging color. So there's some really fun, unique techniques that you can explore more. We have a brochure on our website of blog posts on color shifting that you can find on our website, DM It's in the Inspiration tab.

yperSharon McGukin (43:43):

We thank you so much for being with us today. Gretchen, we really appreciate you sharing your time and talent with our audience. We love the practical color spray tips and techniques you've offered us and will definitely give them a try. Thanks for joining us on our, ‘How we Bloom’ podcast.

Gretchen Sell (44:02):

Well, I have to tell you, I think you’ve found a really good avenue for expanding your audience, your capabilities in our industry, by doing this podcast. You make it really comfortable and easy, and I think you come from a basis that your audience really can relate to. You've been a florist. You continue to do events and you're working with industry manufacturers. You’re AIFD. It's such a professional package. You have such a calm demeanor and just a soft humor, perspective, humanistic outreach and personality. It just feels like a really good position for you to be in. And there's that room for growth.

Sharon McGukin (45:06):

Thank you, Gretchen. I appreciate your kind words. And our audience joins me in thanking you for teaching us to bloom by “Mastering the Art of Floral Paint.”

Sharon McGukin (45:28):

In closing, Smithers-Oasis North America and I want to thank you for joining us today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend and be sure to hit SUBSCRIBE. You don't want to miss the inspired solutions our upcoming guests will share for your personal or business growth. Until next time, I'm Sharon McGukin, reminding you that like the unfurling petals of a flower, we grow by changing form. Soaking inspiration in like raindrops. Absorbing energy from others, like warmth from the sun. This growth opens us up to new ideas, and that's How we Bloom!