Courtenay St. John
Personal Color Analysis circa 1985
In the 1980s when Color Me Beautiful first appeared on the scene, I lived in a community where many younger women embraced Personal Color Analysis. Not only was I eager to have my colors done, I had my 6-year-old daughter analyzed as well. I was typed a Summer, largely because of my light brown hair, blue-green eyes and pink cheeks. My daughter’s consultation particularly interested me because, although she was, of course, adorable, her skin looked green and she had shadows under her eyes. She had no symptoms of allergy or illness and had tons of energy, though! She was an “Autumn with Summer influence.” This meant that khaki and dusty yellows were good for her - and she did look wonderful in those colors. It was not surprising that she had looked so sickly before—little girls' clothing in the 1980s was pink, lavender and blue.
Fast forward to 2010. As a grandmother, I was increasingly avoiding the face that looked back at me from store windows. The colors of my Summer palette just didn’t look good—and I personally liked them and dutifully sought them out! Like my daughter in the 1980s, I still had lots of energy, but found that my face looked harsh and drawn. Cranberry and steel blues did not enliven my skin. Was my hair color off? Something in my appearance was jarring and I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I despaired, thinking that I was going to be a tired-looking older woman.
Personal Color Analysis recognizes neutral seasons in the 12-Tone system
Not interested in plastic surgery or fillers, since it was the gray cast that I found so objectionable, I searched on the web for Color Analysis and found my way to the Sci\ART system. Instantly, I was fascinated. There were not just 4 seasons in this system, but 12. I headed to Barnes and Noble to research other books on the 12-tone system, to see if I could figure it out on my own. The colors I tried did not seem to make much of a difference, and trying to drape myself was ultimately frustrating!
Fortunately, I was able to locate a Sci\ART- trained analyst, Kerry Jones, who had a studio 5 hours away. I booked an appointment and hoped to discover a new physical identity!
The consultation proceeded rapidly; Kerry knew what to look for, and had no doubts that she was finding “It!” She announced that I was a Light Spring and showed me a Light Spring swatch book. I owned NONE of those colors! I could not even imagine what it would be like to wear them—surely, I would be a laughing stock of a mature woman, dressed as a jellybean.
Only one of us is a Light Spring!
Light Spring ease and a new fascination!
My worst nightmare did not come to pass. As I started switching out my closet for my new Light Spring Colors, the compliments were rolling in. When I passed a store window, I no longer grimaced with disapproval. Other women around me took note, and wanted their own color transformations.
I quickly became interested in becoming an analyst myself. At the time, no one in the US was offering Sci\ART training.
In 2013, while visiting the 12Blueprints website, (which had become a regular haunt for me!), I saw that Christine Scaman would be offering a 12Blueprints Analyst Training Course based upon the Sci\ART system. I seized the opportunity, hoping to gradually ease into business over 5 years, as I developed more expertise in Personal Color Analysis and retired from my full-time teaching job. Christine’s training course was thorough and demanding. The visual scrutiny necessary to observe each nuance in skin tone that responded to shifts in the calibrated drapes required an attention to details that I would normally not have been visually aware of.
Responding to the information conveyed to the analyst and client in the draping sequence requires focus, discrimination, and analysis—traits that have been part of me my whole life. In the past, my pursuits have been logical, scientific, and mathematical: teaching college logic and linguistics, becoming a Registered Dietitian, and thirteen years as a 7th-grade math teacher.
My hunger for the artistic has been an avocation until now. As a Personal Color Analyst, seeing the visual transformation that occurs for each client is thrilling. When their friends see their newfound radiance, they, in turn, show up in my studio!
Radiant Bright Winter
Your expression of vitality is my touchstone
Vitality - physical, intellectual, and spiritual, - is a quality that I value highly. Providing this service is fun and contributes to the vitality of my clients; they watch their inner energy come alive and find its expression in their outward appearance. My favorite clients are those who are over 70 years old, because they are the most amazed by their own beauty. Many are receiving compliments for the first time in years!
My other passions are hiking and sharing adventures with my family. This year, I will finish the last 40 miles of the Appalachian Trail, which I began in 1999 with my Mom. We both continue to work on our hiking goals together.
Family hiking trip to Lakes of the Clouds, Mt Washington, NH
My studio, located in Williamstown, MA, has been open for five years. A second studio opened in Norwalk, CT early in 2017. Travel dates are planned for Charleston, SC, Traverse City, MI, and Fairfield, IA.
Courtenay was trained by Christine Scaman of 12 Blueprints at 12blueprints.com