All Colors Make Black


Black is the liaison which connects art and fashion
—Yves Saint Laurent

The Color Black, in Flowers
The color black has a long and symbolic history in art, culture, and power. Black can represent darkness, evil, magic, mourning, authority, law, secrecy, misfortune, falsehood, illegality. Black has another side; elegance, sophistication, solemnity, functionality, and authority.

I am drawn to this duality of black. On the one hand, black can be defined as the absence of all light and all hue—an absolute nothingness. On the other hand, a black pigment can also be defined as the appropriate mixture of all pigments—a total amalgamation.

Since 1984, The de Young Museum, in San Francisco, has hosted an annual Bouquets to Art exhibit, pairing floral designers with the permanent collection to interpret a work of art through botanicals. The 2016 florists were already chosen, however I decided to participate anyways, and I created a floral installation as an interpretation of the piece of art I look at every morning, Make Black, a print by Shaun O’Dell.


Make Black, 30 1/8" x 21 3/4", an etching from 5 aquatint plates by Shaun O’Dell. His piece was made during a residency at Island Press in St. Louis in fall 2013. I’m drawn to the piece for many reasons: its bold use of nuanced color, the way it shows process, and the slow patience required to execute the work.


img_0849Seeing Color
I have always been sensitive to, and curious about color. My senses are soothed and uplifted when I experience moments in the world of pleasing color harmonies. I am often drawn to dark, moody, full-bodied color with intensity, depth, and saturation. I always get excited by the bold and rich colors nature provides.

I remember drawing with my father as a child. We would look out into nature– the hills in Marin– and he would say, “See how many shades of green there are. There are purples, and blues, and oranges, and reds, and blacks in all those greens.” His drawings would be alive with contrasting and complimentary color, even though we were just looking at a swath of green trees. Its with this lens I look at Make Black and interpret its color through black calla lilies, plum branches, and willow all naturally occurring in their dark hues.


Contemporary Art & Flowers
Contemporary art and flowers are both luxuries, aesthetic pursuits, and at times, seem trivial in the big picture. However, I have spent much of my life in both worlds, and am fortunate to do so. Lately, I have been thinking about how flowers and art fit together. I was enchanted to read a recent NY Times article about a contemporary art gallery and flower shop pairing in London. I immediately felt a kindred spirit.

I think it's possible black is the liaison which connects art and flowers.



  • Black calla lillies
  • Brown willow (2 varieties)
  • Yellow forsythia
  • Red tulips
  • Oxblood plum branches
  • Orange ranunculus and geum
  • Violet lilac
  • Blue cornflower and hydrangea
  • Green palms and poppy pods


Post Pop-up Show and Tell: Thank You!

Rito-ito had a great time popping up at Erica Tanov for Valentine’s Day weekend and loved sharing our floral designs with the public. I was honored to be hosted by such a beautiful and thoughtful host and are grateful to all who came out to support Rito-ito. Thank you.

I wanted to share a few images of the pop-up event here:



Marin Country Mart Set Up



With ceramicist, Takashi Fukuda



Detail, Marin Country Mart



With Max



Berkeley, Set Up



Detail, Berkeley Set Up


Thank you:

Erica Tanov and staff, Max La Riviere-Hedrick, Nicholas Franco, Wendy Stamm, Stacy Boyington, Takashi Fukuda, and Mike Costifas for your support making the pop-up a success.



Rito-ito is popping-up at Erica Tanov

Valentine's Weekend Pop-up floral shop at Erica Tanov


Image courtesy of Erica Tanov

Rito-ito is thrilled to be partnering with the Erica Tanov stores to celebrate Valentine's Day. 
Stop by either location to get flowers for your Valentine!

Saturday Februrary 13th: Pop-up at Erica Tanov, Marin Country Mart, Larkspur

Sunday February 14th: Pop-up at Erica Tanov, Berkeley, 4th Street

Noon-5PM both days.

FLOWERS + Limited Edition Porcelain Vessels by Takashi Fukuda
Available in two styles at the pop-up.


Rito-ito is pleased to collaborate with San Francisco ceramicist, Takashi Fukuda. Take home flowers in hand-crafted, thrown porcelain vessels, designed for Rito-ito. The vessels will live on after the flowers have faded and be a reminder of simple beauty. 

Matte black velvet finish & celedon sheen finish.

Flowers for Sale for Valentine’s Day!


Rito-ito offers Valentine’s Day floral arrangements for pre order and delivery in Marin and San Francisco!

Ritual: flowers help us celebrate love of all kinds.
Intention: share a moment of natural beauty with a loved one. 
Rito-ito is offering flowers in 2 styles:



Magenta and red to celebrate pretty love. Bountiful blooms spread adoration, appreciation, and attraction. Spring is near.

  • lush
  • full
  • vibrant

Delivery in San Francisco and Marin on Sunday Feb. 14 ($20 delivery fee)

To place an order, email here.



Reeds and branches to celebrate handsome love. Linear, lasting elements show adoration appreciation and attraction. Spring is near.

  • elemental
  • sculptural
  • lasting

Delivery in San Francisco and Marin on Sunday Feb. 14 ($20 delivery fee).

To place an order, email here