Saturday, March 27, 2010

Color My World

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” –Alice Walker

Springtime in Central Texas is such a magnificent season. As I drive by the same fields throughout the week, it feels and looks as though The Great Artist Himself has painted more and more brushstrokes, displaying His colorful genius. The breathtaking bluebonnets have begun popping up everywhere, delighting the eye and capturing the imagination. Why only yesterday, I told my husband that I would like to be photographed in a field full of bluebonnets with only my head showing. What an interesting picture that would be – my head emerging from a field chock full of bluebonnets.

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” –Marcus Aurelius

I feel so full of the joy and colors of spring. Therefore, my soul simply must be bluish-purple or at least a bright magenta. Being inspired by the beautiful Texas wildflowers and redbud trees that are dotting the landscape, my husband and I have decided it’s time to paint the inside of our house. No, that does not mean I’ve lost my mind and am painting our living room pink. It simply means it is finally time to add more color to our existence.

At first, I thought this might be a difficult task because my husband and I have such differing color preferences. When I first moved into Gene’s home, before unpacking my things, he mentioned that his least favorite color was red. Considering most of my accent colors are a deep, wine-colored red, pumpkin orange and golden yellow, I worried that Gene would want me to replace my favorite pillows, paintings and quilt hanging. However, devoted and loving husband that he is, Gene has adjusted and now seems to be comfortable with my choices in decorating.

The actual difficulty in selecting paint color is simply that there is no possible way to determine from one miniscule swatch of colored paper which color you are actually buying. I was elated to find out that several brands of paint now offer color samples. However, I may’ve already spent enough money on samples to have bought several gallons of paint at this point.

As we reviewed the paint brochures and color swatches at Home Depot, Gene instructed me on how to select a paint color. He told me the paint is always darker on the wall than the swatch. So, if you think ‘Custard’ is the color, pick the next lighter shade. Keeping that sage advice in mind, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted on our dining room walls. Glidden’s ‘Haystack’ was going to be the perfect color. I just knew it!

It stunk. The color was so light that I envisioned being blinded every morning, walking into our dining room. I’d taken Gene’s advice to the extreme, it seems. Darker, I was going darker next.

The very next morning, Gene and I hopped back into the car, returning to Home Depot, and marveled at the glorious, red Indian Paintbrush wildflowers and the Mexican plum trees covered in white blossoms. With new colors circled on our paint brochures, I felt armed for success as we headed straight for the paint section. I couldn’t go wrong with ‘Honey Beige’.

Arriving back home, I optimistically shook up the small container, which cost just under $3, and poured a small amount in a paper bowl. I studied ‘Honey Beige’, wondering if it was also too light, but after brushing a few strokes next to the other, lighter yellow, I was relieved to see how much better it looked. I tried another place on the wall, next to the door trim and stepped back to observe my selection. It was definitely a warmer color than the first and was toned down, which was good. My husband nodded his head in approval, and I felt victorious.

Gene and I walked into the living room and sat on the sofa, facing into the dining room. We talked about our color adventure and after about ten minutes, I confessed that I didn’t like the new yellow I’d selected. Gene gave a sigh of relief and agreed that he, too, had come to the same conclusion after studying the color from afar. It was back to the drawing board.

I felt like a woman obsessed. I had to find the right color now. My reputation was at stake! I like to think I have good taste in color palettes, what with all my quilting creations. But, doubt was beginning to sink in. I couldn’t stand it. I studied and studied and finally arrived at my newest choice – Martha Stewart’s ‘Cornbread’. I coerced my husband back into the car that same evening. We made our quick purchase at the Home Depot, and I couldn’t wait to get back home and slap that color on the wall.

Good grief! What was I thinking?! ‘Cornbread’ was hideous for my room! It was way too dark and too bright. Baby puke came to mind. I have begun to deplore yellow hues, observing they are sneaky colors by nature. I believe yellow should stick to flowers and brick roads instead of on walls!

Now, after a 24-hour reprieve, I have resigned myself to select a tan or more neutral shade for the dining room. I’ve concluded that the more brilliant colors in my world are better painted by The Glorious Great Artist above rather than by me. I think I will drive extra slow to Home Depot tomorrow morning and savor the view.

I’ll keep you posted on my painting progress.

May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers, Y’all!


  1. I love reading your blogs! As we are looking at closing day coming up soon I have been thinking about paint colors. I think I will not be doing anything in a yellow!

  2. Too funny. I must confess....everytime I choose ANY form of yellow, I have hated it....lucky you, you only got samples. I actually tried to convence myself that I liked the entire "yellow" wall that was totally TERRIBLE.


  3. and here I was...contemplating cornbread too...

  4. I searched and searched on the net for someone who had the same experience as me - LOL.

    Just purchased two gallons of Honey Beige and it is oh-so-not-beige-anywhere. I have painters coming in and don't know what to decide.

    I think I will mix with some cream paint I have and see how it goes.

  5. did you try the cornbread on the wall? I just used it and it looked very bright in the can and on the brush but it looks nothing like the picture you have above. I wonder if they mixed it wrong! Anyway, it looks warm and a nice deep yellow/gold on my walls anyway.

  6. Anon #1 - you are a brave soul, mixing your own paint! I ended up with Autumn Harvest, which my husband and I really liked. It's a strange color - beige with a green tint. I used the leftover paint in my office/sewing room. Good luck!!

  7. Anon #2 - not to worry- the photo above with the paintbrush & yellow paint was a stock photo, not the actual shade of Cornbread. I'm envious to hear it worked in your room!