ISSUE 44  |  Cabinet of Curiosities

Required Reading: The Right Color by Eve Ashcraft

November 02, 2011 6:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

Anyone who has admired Martha Stewart's Araucana line of paints, based on the subtle shades of farm-laid eggs, should know about Eve Ashcraft, the NYC-based color expert who developed the nuanced palette. Ashcraft has been working out of a loft located on the edge of Soho since 1991, long before the area became gentrified. "The building used to be a sweatshop with a manual elevator," she says. Ashcraft spends her days pondering the complexities of color, so it's fitting that her studio is a well-organized, light-filled, bright space, serving as a backdrop for visual experimentation. Ashcraft works as a private consultant in New York, but her wisdom is available to all via her new book, The Right Color, and her new line of 28 custom colors for Fine Paints of Europe.

Photography courtesy of Eve Ashcraft and Artisan Books.

Above: "The walls in my studio are painted Benjamin Moore Super White, which is a very pure white; I needed the space to be as bright and functional as possible," Ashcraft says. "The floor is painted Durango 33-24 from Pratt & Lambert; it's a warm gray the color of a Weimaraner that grounds the room. All my work surfaces are covered in linen or canvas that I source from Blick Art Supplies on Bond Street."

Above: Color chips from Ashcraft's new line for Fine Paints of Europe.

Above: A collection of natural objects (sticks, shells, stones) turned into miniature works of art.

Above: Two wire-frame boxes, found on the street, function as a sculpture.

Above: Carefully stored brushes, an essential tool for the color expert.

Above: A utilitarian sink for washing up after color sessions.

Above: The Right Color, by Eve Ashcraft (Artisan Books), is $18.59 at Amazon. The painting is by Ashcraft.