Paint Me AdventurousI was a painting major in college—not exactly the sort of painting I’ve been doing lately. For the past two weeks, I’ve been covered in house paint. I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever come off. Elbows, knuckles, hair. Even my poor dog has not escaped. Everyday I drive 45 minutes to our soon-to-be house and caulk and paint and sand.
For the past thirteen years, our walls have been white, but I’m rapidly becoming a seat-of-the-pants painter who is hungry for color. I began with a pale peach called Silk Gown, somewhat reminiscent of a nightdress my grandmother used to wear—a fresh, but reassuring color for the walls that will echo the warmth of the future clay tile floors.
I thought I’d play it safe with the doors. I chose white. But as I coated the walls with the creamy peach I sudden had a yen for a color to contrast the warmth. I went rushing back to Home Depot and picked out a color called Celery Ice—a pale shade of green. My husband even supported my color choice. Amazing. It takes a secure man to live in a pastel house.
My daughter wanted blue walls. I’d been putting her choice off for years. I’m not a blue person. My husband said it would be a nice surprise for her when she came back from camp. Guilt worked, so now her walls are a very intense medium blue called Lively Tune. I need sunglasses to look at the color. My contractor calls it neon. I have the urge to paint puffy white clouds to tone it down, but I’m resisting admirably.
You ask how this all relates to writing? Take a look at a paint chart and read the evocative names of the colors. They really are inspiring. Butter Cookie, Lime Lollipop, Snowy Egret, Clear Moon, Lilting Laughter, Morning Breeze, Sea Sprite. Imagine yourself wheeling up to the counter and saying, “I’d like five gallons of Juicy Mango or Bullfighter Red. These might be great colors to help define your characters or even to use as inspiration for a title. What sort of color would your character choose?
Today, I may try some Clay Mug or Lime Lollipop as transition colors to the bathroom tile, which is considerably rustier than I expected. I’m editing and polishing my color palette as I would edit my manuscript, refining my colors to evoke just the right mood. Lilting Laughter anyone? Or perhaps some Butter Cookie, which is as rich and warm as it sounds.