rothko musta been here
oh, look, you say. it is a house where they play paint-by-numbers. only, instead of paper, they play with walls.
why slosh paint all over, the way the normal people do? why not toss it just in little splotches?
the checkerboard effect: a dash of argyle here. stockholm down below. oh, look, over there, on the northern end, it’s a blob called scout, for reasons i cannot imagine. a variation of mud. one we all decided looked like something nasty smeared onto the wall.
the little one, not one to curb his words, told us impolitely just what he thought it looked like. the big one giggled. said, i wasn’t going to say so, but he’s right, you know.
which, of course, set me and the household critic back to musing color.
which, of course, set me, the chief supplier of said splotches, back to the little shop where the man sells many colors. so many colors we often get quite cross-eyed. and, eventually, rather color-blind.
who’s to tell the difference between the bluish-gray above and the grayish-blue below? does it really matter? well, yes, when you are married to the architecture critic. it all is scrutinized. it all is deeply thought.
so our house, quite often, looks as though it’s abstract art. looks as though mr. rothko’s been here, aiming opened cans of paint in the direction of our 8 1/2-by-22 plaster canvas.
it is our unique technique for deciding just which way the paint will roll. or, as those architecture people put it: we are eavesdropping on the walls, as they whisper to each other, discerning just who it is they wish to be. what is indeed their truest color? are they feeling blue? or are they deeply gray?
why horse around with little chips of paint, so small they make you squint? why not layer on the paint in splotches magnified, so big you really get the message?
and so it is that the room that once reeked of northwoods cabin, all done up in knotty pine, is now in midst of turning just a tad more uptown, morphing into music chamber where bass and keyboard will be bouncing off the pick-a-color-any-color walls.
and so it is that blue v. gray is once again the subject at the dinner table. no civil war, not here, just deeply-hued domestic debate.
trouble is, we are big on color around here. or at least one of us is.
the other, given his druthers, would paint the walls a minimalist palette. you might have noticed the kitchen walls are white on white on white. you might have gathered that one of us needed much convincing to lock her inner-paintbrush down deep inside where, every white-washed day, it hollers to be freed.
if keeping score, however, (and who would stoop so low?) the pyramid of drippy cans underneath the stairs might suggest that she who’s keen on color is ahead, 9 rooms to 3.
yup. the walls in the house where we live are, variously, schoolbus yellow (it’s not called that, but it might as well be), navy, gray, chinese red (known to the wise-guy architect—the one we pay, not the one we live with—as north shore red, poking not-so-gentle fun at the ubiquity and lack of imagination of those in these here parts who can’t help but ooze their country-club aspirations), and a few splashes of creamy, buttery yellow, besides.
once, not so long ago, in a fit of multi-chromatic fuming, one of the critics around here pooh-poohed someone else around here’s so-called kindergarten taste when it came to coloring on the walls. argued that to walk in here was to stroll through a box of crayola crayons.
at least i didn’t go for the 64-pack.
and so, in attempt to appease the color averse, we are down-hueing the formerly knotty front room. we are ditching sour lemon from surrounding walls. we are going argyle.
or at least that is now the bluish-gray of the western wall. with north, east, and south to follow suit, shortly.
ah, but as long as there are rollers, and painty puddles in which to roll, there stands a chance that we will once again change our mind and change our color.
mark rothko where art thou?
i have long been convinced i might be in a minority in the home-decor-with-hubby dept. (although, truth be told, things here are rather finer for his highly educated eye.) anyone decorate with a mate? anyone have a riotous color war on which to report? anyone else hem and haw over a scant degree of difference in the various hues at hand? go ahead, splash color…