My life in colors

orange_yellow_ranunculus.jpg
Orange rununculus, Canon Digital Rebel

Neon cantaloupe: The house newly painted next door. We watched them test colors in the backyard one day, salmon, bright salmon, dull salmon, cantaloupey salmon. We were incredulous. No salmon please!! But our neighbor doesn’t speak english and is so sweet and cute and old, and how could we risk offending him by bring over our swatches of blue and sage? It just didn’t feel right. We secretly hoped that a family member or friend would come to the rescue and talk him out of it.

It’s painted now, and so bright, so god-awful that people literally cringe when they walk by. I’ve seen people point at the house on several occasions and say, “what the?” When I have a conversation by a window in my house, people’s faces have a peachy glow. It is like a sunset beaming in at all hours of the day. And not in a good way.

Blue: The color I wanted my eyes to be, right around the time when I wanted a button nose, smaller lips and the name Christy. This was the early 80’s and magazines were full of Cheryl Tiegs types, all blond hair and delicate features. Funny to me how even people’s features can be trendy, how today, women will pay thousands of dollars to have full lips. I am personally waiting for bushy eyebrows to make a comeback.

Lime green: The new beads I recently found, some that look like martini olives made of lucite, others a grassy cut crystal, glittering away on my desk.

Chocolate brown: The UPS socks I own {two pairs in fact!} that feel cozy to me at night when I scrunch up on the couch. They were from a boy I dated a long time ago in Santa Barbara. He was sweet and kind, and in a moment of silliness, I told him that I had always dreamed of having my very own pair of UPS socks.

We didn’t last, had a bad falling out and didn’t speak for a couple of years, until that fateful day when a package arrived in the mail. No note, only a return address that I recognized, and two pairs of chocolate brown UPS socks. A peace offering.

Purple: My 9 year old self that couldn’t get enough of it. Purple and red, purple and green, purple and orange… and then I grew out of it. I hear it’s making a comeback. Welcome back purple! I even made a purple necklace for the first time in years.

Shamrock green: I am a bit of a color nazi as they say. My husband rolls his eyes when I very casually, very quietly, switch out the plate he has laid out for me because it doesn’t go well with the food that will be placed on top of it. I have a set of Fiestaware dishes and bowls and tend to color coordinate my food to the dishes I use. I find that the shamrock green plate goes with little to nothing.

Paint chips: Can’t get enough of these. They are how Matt and I fell in love. They are what our wedding invitations looked like.

Eating the colors:When I was a painter, I struggled for years to write an artist statement. I knew it was supposed to sound smart and academic and place myself somewhere in a historic context. The only thing I could come up with was, “I love the pretty colors. I want to squeeze the tubes of paint into my mouth and eat them.” My friend Jeff told me this is his favorite kind of artist statement. And I trust his opinion.

If you like em’, shoot em!: The motto of one of the best vacations I ever had. My friend Sasha and I decided to go on a self-made artist’s retreat in La Paz and Todos Santos, Mexico. We spent 10 days writing, drawing, and painting in our journals, as well as “collecting colors” as we called it. We would see a beautiful juxtoposition of color {peeling red paint on a restaurant wall with a lime green bucket and mop leaning against it} and we’d say to each other in our best southern hunter’s drawl, “If you like it, shoot it!” and snap away with the camera. This is the very best way to travel.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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45 Comments

  1. Laura

    Want to see the “What the–?” house! Can you take a sneaky photo?
    I have bushy eyebrows too.
    I bet mashed potatoes with garlic and dill would look great on the shamrock green plates. Or homemade sugar cookies.
    Love your color stories. I want to make some too.

  2. jackie

    Andrea-
    This has got to be my favorite post. Maybe its because I associate everything with color (must be the painter in me). I may not remember inportant things like how to get home, or where I put my wallet or keys but I can always remember the color of someone’s hair and eyes and the sky as I am lost for the upteenth time. Its good to know that I am not the only one who eats dinner on different plates so that the food looks better.

  3. mati

    i LOVe this! i’ll have to walk by the neon house:) i’ve been dreaming of traveling all day… and i do think it’s about the colors… the cuba blue patina bekons me!

  4. kristal

    I love paint chips, too. My husband is a painter (houses, not canvas) and he always has them around the house. We use them for projects with the kids all the time.
    Your invitations are fantastic! I wish I would have thought of it… One of my favorite tshirts:
    http://threadless.com/product/98/Inside_Out

  5. chicamaravilla

    I do that with dishes too! People think I’m crazy because I will only eat off the blue plates in my house and leave the mustard yellow ones alone. I think it’s perfectly sensible, since the blue plates complement every shade and the texture of your food … the yellow washes it out.
    Lovely post. Cheers.

  6. celisa

    i so relate to this post andrea. oh and by the way, tomato sandwiches look great on the green plates, especially with sour cream and onion chips. i have the fiestaware too, and i love how my my tomato sandwiches look, but it has to be white bread, otherwise it throws off the color flow. i’m obsessed with color. anytime someone new walks into my house, they exclaim “wow it’s so colorful in here!”or the ones that are trying to politely protest this amount of color mildly state, “so, you like color huh?”. either way i kinda cringe, because there is that part of you that questions, “is this tacky?”, but then again, there is a part of me that congratulates myself for being different…for not being scared of color, for being inspired enough by a strip of paint chips to hang it up on my fridge, or on my wall so that i might gaze at it and smile throughout the day. silly what turns us on, but color does it for me!

  7. Piper

    OOOH!!! A purple necklace?!? I’m still obsessed with purple – please tell me that you are making it as a new type of superhero necklace. If you are, you have your first buyer right here!
    -Piper

  8. Milly

    I totally understand what you mean about colors and wanting to eat them.

  9. Emily

    I love this! When we were in Mexico, my boyfriend would have to reverse the car for the sake of me getting a photo of yet another brightly coloured Guadalupe, flower or gate which took my eye.
    I love reading your site when I get home from work – it reminds me of good things. Thank you 🙂

  10. Lu

    I had to laugh when you said you changed the plate because it did not coordinate with the food. I would love to have fiestaware in every kind of color. I hear they have the mother of all factories in Pittsburgh full of fiestaware. I think I would faint being in the midst of so much color. And I like the idea of relating your life to color. I am inspired to do the same. You really took me back to my love affair with color.

  11. Kate

    I chose my present apartment based on the fact the kitchen and the bathroom were LIME GREEN. I could not resist! And then I set about making each room as green as I could. My brother said my apartment looks like the green room in “return to OZ” – where Dorothy places her hands on green objects, says OZ, and they become her friends. My brother bought me a set of milky green Buddhas to join in the fun. You can never have too much green. Maybe green is my favorite color. My favorite thing to eat is enchiladas with my homemade GREEN-GREEN-GREEN sauce (with avocados, cilantro, serrano chilis, limes, tomatillos, and chives). I would suggest avocados on a shamrock green plate. Yes, I think I love the color green.

  12. joy madison

    LOL!!! I love this post. I’m a scrapbooker, used to work at this store…I’d tell my friends that I wanted to lick the paper b/c it was such pretty colors!!! I totally relate!

  13. Witzy

    Awesome picture and a very nice post indeed! They say the colors you surround yourself with, have quite an influence on your senses. Wonder what your neighbor’s house is doing to you? 🙂
    Love reading your posts!

  14. m

    You have an excellent face … Cheryl Tiegs and the other blondes of the ’80s have nothing on you.

  15. Dad P

    Really liked the colors commentary. The Ranunculus (?) is nice too. Your comment on the salmon colored house and an old owner reminds me of the time I painted an old ladies kitchen a yellow so bright I was practically blind by the time I finished. I painted the rooms in our house white; now that I’ve aged I think I want bright – maybe ranunculus yellow – wellno not that bright. Oh yes. you’re far superior to Cheryl.

  16. Julia

    As a self proclaimed “color junkie”myself…I loved this post!! So good to know that your plate has to coordinate with the food. I thought this was simply my own personal neurosis. As for blue eyes…I have them. And I always wanted dark eyes, curly hair, and that more exotic, ethnic look. Funny how we always wish for what seems most different than what we are. You are a beautiful lady. Don’t change a thing. Your inner goodness mixed with your outside prettiness, makes you a goddess! 🙂

  17. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  18. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  19. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  20. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  21. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  22. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  23. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  24. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  25. Anonymous

    me,too…
    my favorite is fresh strawberries in the yellow bowl…

  26. ali

    You are just so darn cool.

  27. denise

    yummy
    i dream of eating paint too!
    🙂

  28. Anja

    I’d like to see those beads!
    I always have lemons in a blue bowl in the kitchen – just because I like to look at them. (Cooking with them is nice, too)

  29. Mads

    I was obsessed with purple too! It was my 16 year-old self, and lasted until I turned 18. I loved the fact that the color was being associated with the mystical and spiritual. My mom however, finding about this obsession, gave me so much purple that I outgrew the phase pretty quickly. Now that I live in New England, I decorate my dorm-rooms with as much tropical-looking colors as I can squeeze in, so that I don’t feel so homesick for the Philippines.
    I also have a love affair with paint chips. People think I’m wierd. Speaking of colors, here’s a website that combines two of my favorite things: http://www.colorstrology.com
    And guess what? My color is ‘grape royale’. So I guess my obsession with purple did mean something.

  30. Jen

    That picture took my breath away.
    I absolutely love rununculus…my entire wedding bouquet was made up of them.

  31. eMiLY

    yes to colors and a puffy brow!

  32. Marilyn

    Fabulous post, Andrea! I’m going to view this as a meme…and run with it. 🙂 And the photo? Knocks me out!

  33. Alex

    Andrea,
    Is this photo for sale by any chance? My parents “flower” is the runuculus and my dad has been in intensive care the last month. I would love to bring this print to them! if not, I’ll forward the link as I know it will put a smile on my mom’s face.
    Thank you!
    Alex

  34. Theresa

    I’m painting my house salmon. no kidding. I do live in a colorful neighborhood, though.

  35. kerstin

    this is a great post. i love the brown socks story too. what a perfect peace offering!

  36. Paige

    Me too! Waiting for a bushy-eyebrow comeback. My living room is salmon, pumpkiny, somethingish. I’m ready for a change. ;>)

  37. Nisa

    I began painting again recently. Last night I had one of those amazing nights with my paint and canvas where everything just flowed. I didn’t question the process and the end result was this strange familiarity with the colors and how they related to one another. Wonderfully cosmic stuff! Thanks for bringing my excellent night back to life this morning…I’m gonna hit the studio!

  38. Kristen

    What a gorgeous photo, and a lovely entry to go with it.

  39. sarahj

    Andrea…you are the greatest….your pictures make me feel so much better…it’s been a rough week ….I’m so glad I had the sense to come to your site this morning…..what a blessing….rununculuses rock! and so do you!
    *hugs*

  40. Natascha

    It?s so nice to wake-up, eat breakfast and go to your web site and read your entries…..I love the way you write…and your photos too!!! Thank you for sharing!!!
    Best wishes from Spain!!

  41. jessica

    love your take on color. i’m slowly sliding into color obsession. colors are everywhere and i want to transpose them into my world. i think i may take on your *if you like it, shoot it!* mantra.
    i blame it on the beads, painting rooms in my house, a collection of fabrics (& no sewing talent) and a developing crochet habit.

  42. Matthias

    black: beautiful words in your blog. Great post!
    Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
    Matthias

  43. Caribou Raisin

    I love where you let the colors take you in this entry. I, too, remember wanting blue eyes and blond hair (too much Brady Bunch) and having to come to terms with plain brown hair. I also had my own love affair with the color purple around age eight. I think it’s something in girl genes. Fortunately, I wasn’t given the opportunity to decorate my room at that age, like my friend Barbara was. She had to live with purple walls and carpet through high school. Light purple walls and dark purple carpet…

  44. Rachel

    Maybe you should try serving a curry with rice on your shamrock green plates.
    The soft yellow of the curry and the white rice. A sprig of coriander makes it complete.

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