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Color Becomes Her

Photo by Barbara Clare

Some of the best things in my life have come to me when I wasn't looking for them - my husband, my home, and many of my friends, to name a few. Here's another example of a delightful surprise that appeared in my life recently. It prompted me to follow up on my 2022 intention to fight COVID with COLOR!

I took my sister-in-law and niece to a local consignment store that carries furnishings, jewelry, and some clothing. They were primarily interested in the jewelry, but first we checked out the furnishings.

Hidden in an obscure corner, I discovered a dark statue. It was all black carved wood, about three and half feet tall, and appeared to be a sacred figure, possibly from Indonesia. When I inquired about the statue, the store owner couldn't give me any background information on it. Perhaps y'all can fill in the blanks for me?

Because she was entirely black, with only a dusting of beige outlines in crevices, you could barely see that she was wearing a robe, a veil, and carrying a container of something. In other words, she had almost no contrast. Without contrast, an object will not show up. Deft color composition always involves a skillful application of contrasting colors.

I took her home with me. During the next few days, I studied her. She needed some color contrast to reveal her full beauty. I decided to add some color to her. But what features would I pick out with color and what hues would best suit her?

On a snowy, winter day I was ready to start painting. I added color gradually and would stop from time to time to assess if she needed more highlights.

First, I pulled out my metallic gold paint and painted her veil with it. She began to glow. Ahhh...I loved the shimmery effect the metallic gold was giving her. Then I painted her container gold. Beautiful, but she didn't look balanced. She needed some gold at her base. So I painted her pedestal metallic gold as well.

I thought, "Wouldn't it be lovely to have her robe show up?" I rummaged through my house paint, found a can of a sky blue and began painting the center of her robe with it. Once I saw the sky blue on her, I knew that the inner sections of her robe needed to be metallic gold and her side panels a contrasting darker blue.

For additional accents, I encircled the end of her sleeves, her neckline, and the base of her hem with a band of metallic gold. Voila! Now I was able to see this sacred spirit emerge in all her vivid charm.

Her benevolent presence graces our living room, though I imagine I will move her around when I need her soothing glow elsewhere.

Typical me, in my zeal to get started painting, I forgot to take a BEFORE photo of her. You'll just have to imagine her all black. She has come out of the shadows.

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