Not sad blue…color blue. I am so feeling the color blue.
It is time to paint our house, actually, it was time many moons ago, but the pandemic hit and blah blah blah you know the scoop. I would have let this go another year if my contractor had not shown up in my driveway with two arms full of rhubarb from his garden. I love my contractor. Seeing him reminded me that we probably should not go one more winter with cracked and missing stucco. Last time Andy worked with us we were on a tight (insane) deadline, major renovations with six weeks soup to nuts to get it done. He got it done. This time I said just let me know when you have time…whenever you are ready, we will be ready. On Wednesday night at 7:30pm he called and said I will be there tomorrow am…pick your colors. I love a challenge.
At first I wanted a fairy house…which meant I wanted to paint the house green, a puke chartreuse, a color seen in nature. The house one with the trees. I changed my mind on the drive by tour of childhood memories Greg took us on in Des Moines. His elementary school was cute… but I focused on houses, and there it was…a bright blue house with so much color you could not ignore it. Blue it was…Dad blue, Yeves Klein blue, blue with a touch of red so it sings. I want the little blue house on the corner.
Dad blue. My dad had five categories of shirts… shirtless, Fruit of the Loom white undershirts, tennis polo shirts (no alligator, he did not “advertise for free” by wearing logos), white business oxfords, and… dad blue shirts for dinners out or special occasions. He looked so gorgeous in blue. Swoon.
My first introduction in color theory was from my sister. Allison is five years older than me which means nothing now…but when she went off to RISD I was still a kid and in complete awe of her…she basically knew everything…about everything. Music, fashion, art, she was the master. Allison came home for Thanksgiving from art school wearing two different shoes with a completely new thrift store wardrobe. My father (who was probably wearing a blue shirt because it was an occasion) was a bit confused to say the least. I was mesmerized. That Thanksgiving she wore blue patent leather Mary Janes with a delightful little heel, I loved them and when I expressed my love she said “that is surprising, I think of you as more of a red blue person, these have so much yellow”. Mind blown. What did that mean? They were blue shoes, where on earth does yellow or red come in?
Picking paint colors brought this all back, gray blue, yellow blue, red blue…so many choices. What looks great on the chip might not translate to the house, a 1 inch square of color is so very different covering the side of a house. Light changes color, trees change color, how on earth could a decision be made in 15 hours. It gets done because it needs to get done…and three sample-size cans of paint later we have a winner…at least Greg and I think it is a winner.
One neighbor finds the color bold. That? For the whole house? Well, it certainly is BOLD! I am thinking her meaning of bold is a bit different than mine, to me bold is secure, bright, brilliant, and fun. Another neighbor found it a bit shocking but warmed up to it, and another screamed I LOVE THE COLOR!
So many opinions start to make me nervous. I became annoyed with myself, stop caring what others think! Luckly I have a friend who is a visually brilliant soul, she is a costume designer, sells vintage finds on Etsy, creates wreaths for Biden’s home at Christmas (nice little friend brag there)…and she knows me well. She agreed to pop over at talk me off the ledge of should I or shouldn’t I. It took her 10 minutes to go from sipping coffee in her pjs to being in my driveway reacting to my color choice with class. My guess is there is no way she liked the color for her house, but she completely calmed me from caving on our choice…supportive and not judgmental. Swoon.
I am at peace with the color, it reminds me of my daddy, it feels like the Greek blue houses by the sea, it is alive and it is joyous. While my paints were in the mixer the older gentleman behind the counter helped another customer. When done he said “young man, you have a wonderful day, live your life to the fullest, it goes by too fast”. Spectacular advice.