Trends come and go. Styles change. Pantone tells us the new IT color before it even becomes IT, life goes on. And some things stay the same.
Do you remember your favorite color from childhood? Has it stayed the same? I suppose if it was bubblegum pink, perhaps not.
I’m the blue person. Specifically, I’m really an indigo and turquoise person, but we’ll say blue for simplicity.
In childhood, when we were moving from an apartment to a house, my sister and I were able to choose our carpet. I was 12 and about to have my own bedroom for the first time. Naturally, I chose blue. And a blue bed sheet set, blue comforter, and blue window blinds. Even though it was all a shade of my favorite color, it didn’t take long for me see how atrocious an entire bedroom decked out in 80s country blue could be. Haha! When the family grew, I was moved from that room and sent to a new basement bedroom. I went with navy blue and a steely grey. I thought it would be more timeless, but instead my room looked like a stark dental office. My mother hated it. I loved it. I probably loved it since she hated it.
The blue theme continued over the years. My first apartment, then our first real apartment after real jobs happened. I remember our living room being a hodge podge of IKEA and turquoise with pops of red. We eventually moved to an adorable pre-war walk up with all of the original fixtures. I poured through issues of Elle Decor and incorporated my blues into a quirky eclectic theme that included a lot of vintage. Partly because most of our belongings were from estate sales at the time.
Eventually we ended up in the house I’m currently writing from. One of my first projects here was painting the living room a color called Aegean Sea, but really could just be electric blue. It is a color no one in their right mind would paint a living room, yet people who really know me say it is perfect for us. This is the house where I also painted our bedroom and dining room a midnight blue called Cyberspace. And the other bedrooms are all shades of blues called Still Waters and Rain Drop and the like. Despite our lack of furniture, there is definitely a unifying theme throughout the house.
Which I suppose is why blue is such a strong part of everything I do in my studio. Supposedly it is the color of peace, but to me it is the color of new beginnings. Every work I do, whether I’m starting with acrylic paint or watercolor or ink, starts with blue. Canvases start with Golden High Flow Indigo. Ink abstracts start with a streak of Prussian Blue. Maybe a teal or turquoise will accent. Lately, I’m loving the look of copper with the indigo.
Some people might find that much continuity with color to be stagnant, maybe even repugnantly stale. For me, that bright yet dark indigo is never stale. It always represents new adventures AND old memories. It is a new painting, a new home, a new view of one of our many Minnesota lakes. And it is also my grandmother’s collection of blue glass bottles and vases. It is my past design mistakes. It is in the first canvas I ever touched. It is past, present, and future. A color of renewal. My love affair with old fashioned blue isn’t likely to end anytime soon. And I really don’t want it to.