The power of a colour

Colours surround us, even in the midst of a snowstorm. We may think that the world has turned a uniform shade of white, but a quick glance at any watercolour painter’s winter snowscape will  show you a wealth of blues and grays and browns and other shades.

It is only human nature to approximate colours. A child’s first fingerpainted snowflake will be a glob of white. Their second, also white. Later, they may add bits of grey to show a dirty snowflake, if they are so inclined.

Artists see it differently. Let me be clear – I am not an artist. I paint the world I see with words, not colours. However, I did grow up with two rather artistic parents who now have a gallery and a studio in downtown Toronto’s Historic Distillery District, and so I picked up a few things about art.

The most important thing I’ve learned about making art is this: Do what feels right to you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

If you like pink, make everything pink. If you don’t like pink, feel free to throw the tube of pink paint into your donation box (along with a few other colours and a paintbrush or two for good measure).

B used to like pink. She used to like pink so much that most of her wardrobe was pink, right down to her underthings.

She doesn’t like pink anymore. She’s growing up, I suppose, and her tastes have changed, and pink now falls into the domain of littler girls than she.

Unfortunately, she is surrounded by pink, everywhere she looks. Her room is pink, you see. Not entirely pink, as three walls are painted in large vertical stripes of peach and pale peach as well as pink, but the overall effect is one of pinkness.

A while back, she announced that she was no longer a pink sort of girl, she was a turquoise girl, and would I please make her a turquoise quilt to help turn her room into a turquoise sort of place. I said yes, of course, and we set out to choose the fabrics for her quilt. You might remember what resulted:

The Quilt of Many Colours

Not precisely pink-free, that turquoise quilt she wanted.

But she was happy, which made me happy, and so her room continued to be rather… pink.

A few weeks ago, she began campaigning anew, making random statements like “I’m just not a pink girl anymore” and “Pink is just… not my favourite,” all made with appropriate nose wrinkling and one-shouldered shrugs.

A few days ago, we decided to do something about it.

It looks white in the picture, but it is actually a very light blue, not unlike the sky some days.

As for the shirt… well, it was a painting shirt, after all. For painting in. One can wear pink for painting, if nowhere else.

Well, except for on the quilt. But that quilt is really a turquoise quilt, don’t you know, so the pink in the quilt doesn’t really count.

(Gotta love that kid logic.)

And yes, before you ask, that is my 8 year old cutting in the edges of the room. We have a long history of letting our kids paint the walls of this house.

We let them climb ladders, too.

(It is distinctly possible that we are not entirely sane.)

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