Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What ever happened to puce?

What do kiwi splash, turquoise mist, and alpine valley all have in common? They're all on this paint card I picked up from the mega-monster warehouse hardware store. And they're all blue.

I've often wondered how they come up with these names. Is there some team of people in the paint manufacturing world who sit around and toss names back and forth?

"What do you think of Celestial Seasonings as a name for this bright orange?"

"Uh, Fred, that's a tea bag company. They make sleepytime tea."

"Hey! Sleepytime! That sounds like the perfect name for this neon yellow!"

Kiwi Splash is blue. Um, the last time I peeled open a kiwi, it was green, not blue. Besides, doesn't that sound more like a super sugared, ultra-food colored kid's drink? There's Blue Bayou on this other card. As if bayou is going to make the blue seem more, I don't know, blue. And Frivolous. I'll buy that, it's frivolous, but I've just got to have it. Just exactly what color IS Frivolous? Oh, look at that! It's also blue. No? How about Gulf Grandeur or Astral? None of those? Well, how about Free Spirit or Galactica? Yessss...Galactica, as in Battlestar? Maybe I should just stick with Just Jazz, or Safe Harbor. Teal Zeal sounds fun, but maybe just maybe, when I look at my walls, I want a Caribbean Holiday. Personally, I'd think a Caribbean Holiday color would not be midnight turquoise, but a bright flashy orange or hot pink. But that's just me.

Now I am an artist, and I do differentiate between light blue, dark blue, turquoise blue, versus a green blue. There's warm blues and cool blues. Blues that are on the verge of purple (a.k.a. blurple). There's navy blue, blue black, blue grey, and earthy blue. I understand blue sky, ocean blue, periwinkle blue, cornflower blue, bright blue, aqua, and blueberry. But I don't think I can conjure up a greenish/bluish ocean blue when I hear the words Alpine Valley. Maybe that's just me.

Most of the time, I ignore the names, and well heck, the color cards, and put my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree to some actual practical use! I mix my own paint colors! My family ribs me for this, but I hate waste. If I have a little of this, and a little of that, I make my own color that is only marginally off the mega-monster warehouse hardware store's paint palette, but for considerably a lot less. Most of the time it works out pretty well. Sometimes I have to go back to the drawing board. The verdict is still out on the kitchenette.

My studio is yellow. Why? Because I had a lot of different yellows in the basement and one really bright orange. I mixed some of the yellows, a spot of the orange, and dumped two cans of bright white in. I ended up with five gallons. I used three and a half gallons of the yellow to paint the studio, so I decided to use that color as a base for the kitchenette.

A survivor of the seventies, the kitchenette stove is a lovely olive green (not Party Time, nor Flower Power, nor Mexicali, nor Pretty Paisley, but olive green). Most of these mega-monster warehouse hardware store paint centers will sell two to four ounce samples of paint so a person can test Melodious Strain on their walls to make sure it harmonizes with Candlewood Lane. So, I bought two different DARK yellowish greens, Avocado Surprise and Jalapeno. Hey at least those names sound like something green. I mixed those with the yellow and added a bit of the earthy grass green Floyd painted in the office on the first floor. He uses Premium-Super-Expensive-Paint that us mere mortals can't really afford. I have no idea what the name was, but I'm sure it had nothing to do with green.

I must say, on one level, my yellowish green does match well enough with the seventies oven. However, I'm not sure it's really all that attractive. If I can pull it together with some other colors, it will be either brilliant, or a total flop.

Hannah, my youngest child and owner of one unhappy tummy, came to work with me today. She wandered up to the third floor while I was painting the kitchenette walls. "OOOOOoooh, PRETTY!" she exclaimed.

"You think so?" I asked, standing on the step ladder. "The jury is still out on this one for me. I dunno yet if I like it. Don't you think it looks like boogers?"

Hannah giggled, "Yeah, it kinda does. I still like it though."

"You know what?" I looked down at her sweet little face.


"I think I'll call this color: Sinus Infection."

"Mama, you're silly." Hannah called over her shoulder as she descended the stairs.

Maybe. It's either that, or the paint fumes. I'll just wait until tomorrow after it dries, and darkens up. Who knows? I might like it after all.


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