I’ll Always Be a Color Girl!
“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.”
~ Hans Hofmann
I think it harks back to my Crayola Crayon days. Do you know what I mean when I tell you of the pure joy of opening up a brand-new box and seeing all those little colorful soldiers standing straight and tall with their perfectly-pointed cone hats?! My big box gifted at Christmas was extra special, where row after row my eyes would scan, trying to soak in so many magical colors…and then I would take each one out for a test drive, marking broad sweeps side-by-side on a new sheet of paper. (And don’t even get me started on their incredible aroma!!)
COLOR – I don’t know why I am so drawn to it, but I can’t see my life without it. And it’s everywhere around me, especially in the beauty of my flowers in spring and summer. I think it’s because the outdoors is where I’d rather be that I especially love to see the contrast between color and the natural earth tones of tree bark, soil, mulch, and the woods’ floor.
Hmmm….Maybe that is why my favorite technique to date of using milk paint is to allow that wonderful chippiness to happen, allowing the natural wood tone of a furniture piece to shine through the gorgeous rich tones of the paint – color and wood working so well together: Contrasts and Harmony….. I think I just named my next post and design to share!
Guess what I dug out of the corner of my cellar the other day? I knew it was there because I had just put it there when recently organizing my painting supplies, but I hadn’t opened it in years, actually like decades. Feeling like I was an elementary school girl again, I dragged it out to my favorite “room” in the house: the front porch. There I have dappled sun, and flowers, and painted pieces, and gardening tools, and treasures – my little piece of heaven on earth. I knew vaguely what was inside, but as I opened the box and began removing what lay within, I smiled and smiled as memories of my childhood flooded forth full force.
Therein lay boxes of art supplies given to me and my brother and sisters by my uncle when we were all such little tikes. Boxes of oils and pastels and chalks and crayons and pencils and paint brushes and paints, some with our child-like handwriting proudly displaying our name. Call me silly, but I knew I had to give them a chance to shine with all their glory (AND I couldn’t resist playing with them all once again), and what better place to do it but the porch?! So I grabbed a few of my favorite things and set off to give them some beauty shots with the regular porch inhabitants.
So we recently had to remove a beautiful and enormous pine tree, which still makes me incredibly sad, but before it was so quickly broken down and whisked away, I took a very small part of its base as a token of its once spectacular presence. It sits with some smaller pieces in a wire basket under a vintage 1940’s kitchen table, my mother-in-law’s first kitchen table in fact.
Notice that gorgeous color taking center stage?? That’s the one and only magenta, still one of my most favorite colors, AND oh so glamorous did I think of the sound of its name as a little girl, always the color I’d search for first in the “big” box.
Speaking of boxes, yes, I can’t believe I do still have my little wooden crayon box. And check out that box of limited edition collector’s colors!!
Watercolors and paint brushes: not too shabby after all these years, sitting pretty next to my galvanized every day watering can that I keep in an old wooden beverage crate also under the kitchen table. And no, that shovel was not staged – it’s still sitting there waiting patiently for me to finish my hosta planting along the stone wall we finally were able to have built after many years.
When I reached the paints, I hurriedly searched for my favorite two that to this day, when I see those colors, I refer to them as poster paint blue or green – so beautiful, so special, so nostalgically dear to me (“Paint. Really??” you say. Yes, I must have issues.)
Anyone who knows me knows I love rocks and stones and have dug every last one out of our yard in the last 28 years to use as borders for our gardens and beds. So when we actually bought the beautiful blue-grey Colonial stone for our garden wall, you can bet I was out there collecting every last piece. Yes, I give new meaning to the phrase “leave no stone unturned!” Not when the tiniest of them can be used for flower pot drainage, to weigh down baskets, and of course to simply bask on display, showing off their pure beauty!! And can you join in my happiness in seeing how the Sketcho’s spectrum balances so beautifully with the stones’ coolness?! (Look at that awesome rusted handle of sorts I found when excavating for the wall!)
Speaking of excavation, what’s better than finding the old daisy and dot ceramic cookie jar I grew up with, half-buried next to the shed of my childhood house that my Dad recently sold?? Well not much is better than that, but discovering my 3rd-grade box of school crayons is a close second. What happy memories of childhood innocence: coming home to cookie-nibbling after a tough third-grade day of coloring!
Can you believe I still have a totally new, unused box of chunky crayons? You know, those designed for little fingers too young to hold the narrower ones. Used as in first grade – as in the well-loved box next to it with my formal name that I insisted my mother write out on a little slip of paper so that I could copy it onto all my first-grade papers and possessions.
Opening this box of Prang chalk crayons was like uncovering a piano keyboard of color. Oh my gosh their gorgeousness sets my heart a flutter even more than the Sketcho oils! So vibrant, so soft in texture – messy fingers equals happy heart!
Well finding my box of color and memories after deciding to write about my love of color certainly made it easy to show off its boldness and full spectrum. It is my mission to continue to use its wondrous hues in my life and the things I create, whether they be strong or subtle, the center of attention or a supporting force, alone or contrasted with the warmth of earth tones. And it all began with crayons – that simple tool used hundreds of times in my life, still so near and dear to my heart!
…Signing off until next time with a parting 45-year-old note…..