In the last few days, it has occurred to me that what I have been bemoaning (now THERE is a classy word for “complaining”), i.e. all the time that has been stolen away from my “real work in the studio”, has not actually been lost at all. I can see that now, as I am nearly done. I will try to explain.
I have been painting my house, room by room…and, sometimes, the large, connected spaces, all as one effort. There has been A LOT of sanding, patching and prepping. I did choose a color palette for the entire house, thinking of it as “all of a piece”. But, except for the “white” spaces, in the end, I have abandoned the color chips, and mixed the colors myself. (That is a risky business, which I may pay for down the road, when the inevitable touching up is necessary). But, after more than one disappointing session when the color on the swatch or in the can seemed to be perfect, but looking too dull, too bright, or just “not right” on the wall
…I finally just started stirring up my own.
It is not as adventurous as it sounds. I have been working from a very limited palette: a fresh blue (actually named A Breath of Fresh Air), a light pink, and a cool and a warm darker gray. My white is a creamy one, just the color of whipped cream, with a dash of vanilla stirred in. All of the trim is white; most of the wall colors are rather light. My now pale pink dining room is a real treat. I love walking by it: the color changes throughout the day because of the light shining in through the windows. And although, the entry and the hallway up the stairs are the exact same color, they all look different, each from the other, all at the same time…Again, because of that magic light. The gray in the kitchen and down the halls is silvery. I mostly chose it because I didn’t want a “real” color. Early on, I did mix a blue to paint the ceiling in the nook off the kitchen, where we eat. (Little did I know, I was setting a precedent with that “paint-mixing thing”)…But again, because of the light, it is blue during the day, but gray like the walls when we are in there at night. The studios were all colorful flights of fancy, but I have written about them before…
Hit the wall (so to speak) this week though. The living room. The trouble with it was that we actually LIKED the color in there…but, it needed painting badly…and, in the end, it seemed too dark with all the lighter color play going on in the spaces adjacent to it. We made a best guess and picked a color: not quite the Wedgewood Blue it was, lighter, but blue. I painted a wall…and it was a lovely color…painted another wall and still lovely, but bright…just…BRIGHT. I poured the paint in the tray back into the bucket, dumped in some white, stirred and stirred…and painted another wall. Still…wrong.
Tried again: stirred in some gray.
UGH. Defeated, I quit for the day.
For the past few days, I have been walking by that room, trying to catch the light. I have a new plan for tomorrow…more dumping, mixing, and stirring…And, hopefully…the color will be beautifully “right”, and I will finally get to paint all four walls. Then, the downstairs will be done!
Which brings me back to what I have discovered about the work I have been doing for the past year or so. I was thinking too small when I complained about missing my creative life in the studio. A year and a half ago, I packed up all of my things, and curated as I did so. As I unpack now, I am still curating. There is almost nothing remaining that I do not love or which does not inspire. Most of it has found a new resting place. It all looks fresh.
And, the space I now call home is (almost) truly mine…right down to that “just perfect” color on each and EVERY wall. By the time I am finished (two rooms left to go), every single square inch of this house will have been worked on by my hand. The colors will sing. It feels good.