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COLORS, April 29,2021

The greens on the trees in my neighborhood this week really lift my heart.

Green leaves in a city park
Green leaves in a city park

Ah, Green--spring green, sea green, pea green, olive green, jade, celadon, celery, lime, turquoise, chartreuse, teal, Nile, Kelly, moss, emerald, mint, British racing green, you're all so beautiful.

When I was looking for a dress for Jessie's wedding this dress called to me from across the floor at Saks.

Mother and Father of the Bride
Mother and Father of the Bride

I've worn it to five weddings since Jessie and Lee's. Now it hangs in my closet, complementing the pink wallpaper, reminding me of happy days, waiting for the next wedding.

a green dress in a pink closet
a green dress in a pink closet

Green is not my only love; look at this unusual combination in a tree pit on Bleecker Street. It's the purple and orange that caught my eye.

Spring medley-purple, orange and Green
Spring medley-purple, orange and Green

This reminds me of a story my brother, Alan, told me. They're all sitting around the dining room table; Alan, Donna, their son, Allie, and granddaughter, Arya, age 3 1/2, all just hanging out. Donna and Arya are coloring.

Donna says, "Arya, do you know what colors we mix to get orange?"

Arya rolls her eyes and says, "Grammy. I know my secondary colors."

Do you know your secondary colors? Purple, orange and green.

Here, in a nod to Arya, I made the three Wise Men resplendent in their cloaks of secondary colors.

Pen & Ink drawing , the arches, three men on camels
Three wise men, three camels, We three Kings of Orient Are

Then we have the primary colors--do you know them? I once asked my first graders to name them and one hand shot up,

"Green and gold!" she said with utter confidence.

"What? NO!" I was appalled.

Then I realized that outside the door she entered every day was a sign that said "Primary School" in the school colors which, of course, were green and gold. So I forgave her, but we had to have a little lesson.

If you watched the Howdy Doody Show, sponsored by Wonder Bread, you heard Buffalo Bob say repeatedly,

"Look for the bread with the red, yellow and blue balloons, printed on the wrapper!"

Wonder Bread, red Yellow and Blue Balloons printed on the wrapper
Wonder Bread, red Yellow and Blue Balloons printed on the wrapper

My family is looking askance at this--rest assured, I'm not telling you to buy Wonder Bread--just look at the colors. Those are the primaries.

Then there are the complementary colors--the opposites on the color wheel.

The Color Wheel
The Color Wheel

Put the complementary colors next to each other and they pop. Red and green? Think of a Christmas wreath. Yellow and purple? A bouquet of sunflowers with some purple heather tucked in.

Orange and blue? This reminds me of a moment in my painting class at the League; a tiny old lady did an abstract of several shades of blue; it was very pretty, but what made it absolutely sing was one stroke of brilliant orange like a bird soaring across the upper left hand corner. The whole class stood around admiring her. When I say she was tiny I'm not exaggerating-she was about 4 foot 9. She said, "I'm the joy of the family!" It seems she was a milestone for the grandchildren-the first grown-up to surpass as they grew taller.

As I free associated on color and what it means to me, I googled a quote from Alice Walker and up popped, "State of Texas bans the color purple."

What? Now I've really had it with Texas. Actually the prison system banned The Color Purple because of

"graphic sexual content and situations of violence and abuse."

I'm not in favor of banning books but at least they didn't try to ban the color itself, although I wouldn't put it past them to try. The quote I was looking for is,

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see God is always trying to please us back.”

"Color was made for the perpetual comfort and delight of the human heart." John Ruskin said it, and I believe it. Here's some comfort and delight from my neighborhood to yours.

A Rainbow in Greenwich Village
Rainbow in the West Village

April 29, 2023

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