“The meaning of a word – to me – is not as exact as the meaning of a colour. Colours and shapes make a more definite statement than words.”
Color is evocative. It’s personal. It brings memories. It shapes our mood.
I started thinking about the significance of color this weekend, after I joined in helping my friends Zak and Lindsey** paint a room in their home.
Lindsey joked that the visit might inspire some blog posts for me, because with their house in the early stages of a radical fix-up, “There isn’t a clean surface anywhere in the house.” I didn’t think that was strictly true, but yes, in the end I was inspired to write .
For the record, with the new paint we applied to the walls and ceiling, there are now some lovely new clean surfaces in their house.
The paint color was carefully chosen by my friends to recreate the look of a specific place: the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Park. I’ve forgotten the official name of the paint color now, but it doesn’t matter. Like Georgia O’Keefe said, words are not exact. If I tried to categorize the color, you would get the wrong idea. Let’s just say it is a warm color, and it makes me think of Pottery Barn catalogs, and Italy — or at least my idea of Italy, I’ve never actually been there. I haven’t been to the Ahwahnee either, but I guess I know what color the walls are.
As the paint slowly dried, in what will eventually be Zak and Lindsey’s master bedroom, something happened to the room. We all noticed how the color affected the feel of the space. It wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint, it was a transformation. Never-mind the absence of a floor, the broken window, and the dangling wires — the room was suddenly established as inviting, cheerful, and warm… a place to be, instead of just a work in progress.
That kind of change is exciting. If we had painted the room white, I can guarantee that the effect would not have been as dramatic; the room would only have looked cleaner…a clean surface, but not an inviting one.
Color is a gift.
~I have written before about color, and the powerful effect it can have on me (see Autumn Bliss, Rediscovered).
~The two poppy photographs above are among my favorite personal photos, and their color-match with this blog is just a happy coincidence. They were taken on a walk during a vacation in Stinson Beach, California.
** I normally don’t use friends’ names in my posts, out of respect for their privacy, but I recently (quite accidentally) discovered that Zak and Lindsey are already mentioned — and even shown in photographs — in a blog by one of their other friends. So, that bridge has already been crossed. See this friendly blog post from David Easson who knows Zak and Lindsey, and their dog Hoosier