Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Variegated Pallete. by Patresa Hartman

I am grateful for many things today: pizza delivery, red wine, my sisters, my parents, my dog, my 10:10 reading class. I am grateful for vitamins and clean water, for indoor plumbing and the joy catnip brings my cats. I am also grateful for color.

I love color. I love turquoise and red. I love greens and yellows, browns and pinks. I love to pair purple with the unexpected orange or brown. We bought our first house three years ago, and my soul, finally free of renters' white wall restrictions, exploded into wall colors. Sensual jade covered the walls of my thinking room, grape leaf green in the bedroom, lavender in the guest room, brown and sage in the office, pottery red in the kitchen.

Red is my favorite accent. I will wear brick red boots with any shade of sweater.

I love paint samples and swatches. I love the square color cards and the rectangular color cards in graduating hues filed away on shelf displays at Home Depot. They are abundant, and I did not know the tiniest differences in their tones could pull me in for an hour or more. I study them, try to imagine myself swimming in them. I let them sneak past the limits of my skin and pay attention to the ones that tug on my brain. I am drawn to the bold ones. They are the cookiest corners of myself, and I want to give them air. I want to watch them oxidize when exposed.

Our new room is complete: The wall is down; the floors are laid and lain and lay; the furniture is reassembled. The new color is a dark, midnight navy. I am looking at the wall now, and it is rich and deep. The lamp casts an irregular circle the size of a pie plate on the wall -- its center, dirty yellow and fading out into cobalt rings.

Where did all this color come from? Such a brilliant pallete. I cannot imagine a world of only white and black. Give me all the colors of tree bark and berries, of dirt and sky and leaves of every variety. I love the subtle degrees of flesh and hair, of iris and freckle. Ingenius the way we contrast and blend, creating line and shadow. How do we not see how beautiful we are?


Kathryn Magendie said...

Ohhh, color! Our log house is autumn all year round with it's orangey walls on some walls and quilts with all kinds of color, it's golden log walls, and red couch, and light brown leather chairs in the study and and ....ohhhh

your room sounds wonderful!

Barbara Quinn said...

You're wonderfully and admirably willing to use color and your room sounds fascinating. I bought a red chair recently and it looks great sitting amidst the sea foam of the rest of the room. Sheesh, it took me forever to figure out that it would work there!

Angie Ledbetter said...

These are the words of a true artist: "They are the cookiest corners of myself, and I want to give them air. I want to watch them oxidize when exposed." Kudos!

Ami said...

I'm a bit jealous of your ability to embrace color on your walls. I think I've lived and worked in too many institution-white rooms in my life, because color is major commitment for me. It took a lot of mental strength to purchase the blue that warms my office. And I'm hemming and hawing between shades of red and shades of beige for my dining room. You've convinced me red is the right choice.

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