Colors, painting and generally feeling good

I recently bought this acrylic painting beginner’s pack (I love how it sounds), you know, just black and white and the three basic colors (red, yellow, blue).

The big shampoo-like bottles reminded me of my former neighbor and later mathematics teacher, Lidia.

I think I was six or seven when she appeared at our door with these huge (for me at that time, at least:) tempera jars. I’ve never seen that much paint before; tempera came in 12 tiny tubes and that was that. I felt like the world was mine and that the world was color. She had recently painted a mural in her kids’ bedroom and gave me everything that was left from that project.

I didn’t even know you could paint walls like that. I am not sure my mother knew what this discovery meant exactly and how dangerous it was at the time. And a couple of years later I did the same for my bedroom wall, painting in ink. Terrifying my mother.

Anyway, back to the colors, I remember a certain unfulfillment I felt after the initial shock or the color ecstasy. My mother got it immediately and asked what’s going on.

It’s a lot of paint and all. And I like red, blue and yellow but I can’t just paint in these colors for ever, I remember saying with a great sense of guilt and shame. (Were these colors really not enough for me?)

But that’s what you need for all the colors in the world, they said. Colors are infinite, you just need to play and discover your favorite tints.

No way, I thought. I did mix colors before, making pinks and light blues and yellowy greens, but I would have never suspected that you could “make” all the colors in the world. That they don’t have to come in tubes. That if you finish up the green for painting too much grass one day, you can just go ahead and make more. I sounded too good to be true.

And that’s one of the reasons I love painting. It’s not that I am any good at it. (Wish I was.) It’s how color always surprises you and how it can make you feel.

What’s your favorite color? : )