Feb 26, 2016

The Colors of Your Life

This past week I’ve been investing time in colors, decisions about paint and carpet colors.  This is when I wish my sister, Ana, lived closer. She is great with colors and most important, she can visualize the entire room or space in the potential new and different color. 

I’ve done all the usual things, I got sample size paint cans, I painted the sample boards, placed them all over the rooms, looked at them during different times of the day, night, with lights, without, all that jazz. It’s still not my favorite thing to do. I’m getting some help in making the final decision. 

My go to colors are certainly not neutral tones or neutral colors in anyway.  

The downstairs of Winterhaven is blue, yellow and the “great room” as they call the living room space in the south, is a burnt orange, with a tinge of caramel.  Maybe that’s not the best description, the color is warm. 

All this color consideration got me thinking about colors, the colors of my life, colors that have stark, vivid reminders of people, places, emotions.  Colors that have followed me my entire life, colors I ran away from, colors that call my attention time and time again.

Blue is my favorite !  Its always been my favorite ! 

The blue of skies painted by angels, the blue of still oceans, the blue of consideration, the blue of comfort and rest.  I have a MOLA framed in my room against a blue wall. The photo below gives you an idea of the blue colors, but it certainly doesn't convey the blue of blues in the layers of cloth stitched by the hands of Cuna Indians in the San Blas Islands of Panama. I love the fish Mola, thanks Maggie ! ! ! 

One of my all time favorite blue memories, in Sorrento, Italy. The Parco dei Principi Hotel on the cliffs of Sorrento over looking the Gulf of Naples. The entire hotel done with blue ceramic tiles, every room, every hallway, the dining hall, the terrace, all different patterns of blue tiles, paints and mosaics. Staying at this hotel was a delight, I would go back tomorrow if I could.  The patterns of blue, every shape, size and shade, complimented by the proximity to the expansive vistas of the skies and ocean, wonderful. 

Parco dei Principi Hotel, Sorrento, Italy 

Red, I always run from the color red.   

When we first moved to Barstow, CA. and had to have winter jackets, my MOM bought me a very warm jacket, it was certainly made well, but it was red, fire engine, screaming red. I didn’t like it on day one and it hung in the front closet of our home on College Court for years. Overtime my Mom figured out I never wore it and asked me why ?  I remember telling her that I did not like the attention that came with that color.  No matter how many people in the room or the lunch line at school, I was a red beacon, I did not like the red jacket at all.  

After my MOM died, I kept that jacket in my life for many many years.  The jacket served me well, the memory of her care, the memory of my Mom recognizing that I didn't like the color red and her being OK that I never wore it.  It was eventually dontated to the Goodwill, almost in new condition.  

My other red memory, when I traveled for work, on my Avis car rental customer profile, “DOES NOT RENT RED CARS”.  Avis tried to assign me a few red cars over time, I was always the customer who did not drive red rental cars.

Colors that call my attention today, usually combinations of colors. For example the tri-color of Maddie and Morgan’s coats. The ever so delicate gold half moons painted over their eyes. I tell them almost everyday how beautiful they are and that for sure their faces were painted by angels. I never tire of looking at them, every morning when they get a taste of cappuccino milk foam, they're always up close and excited, I love looking at their eyes. Morgan as you can see is starting to grey. 

Morgan Sofia

Maddie Louise 

My brother-in-law, Parker has photographed sunrises at their house in Florida that are simply glorious. The color combinations and formations of the clouds are works of art like no other, the heavens calling for sure. There are no words to describe the natural beauty offered to us at the beginning of each day when God paints a sky like the ones photographed below. 

Shalimar, Florida 

One of my all time favorites, taken January 2016
Shalimar, Florida 

I love most every painting by Vincent Van Gogh. His colors thick, rich, determined, speaking the emotions perhaps of a troubled mind and delicate heart.  I got in trouble at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles taking the photograph below, the flash went off when the picture was taken. I got a very stern scolding from one of the museum staff and rightly so.  I thought the flash was set to OFF, operator error for sure.  

My favorite Van Gogh Painting 

I've shared this poem before, it's one of my favorites. I wrote this after visiting the museum in Los Angeles in 2005.  

Flowers Painted At The Asylum 

Vincent, I passed your garden this Thursday 
and bowed my head

The earth so dry beneath the irises, 
I hurried for water

Where exactly did you imagine those colors 
Under what sun did you paint those blooms 

What courtyards did you visit
What masters did you seek 

Who at Saint-Remy sparked your passion 
Tell me Vincent, what came first, 
the palette or the pain 

What did your eyes really see when facing the canvas
Tell me, was the yield of blue....... the color of your life 

And the one white flower, was that your marker 

The single white iris, an anchor of your sanity

A signal of your strength, of your grip
in that thick blue forest of blooms.

By Elena Arosemena