Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Color Forms

(This one is for my maker's mom who loved my stories so much.)
I always love to get in the car. Strapped into my seatbelt, nose at the window, I always know I am in for some fun. Abbot bounced in his seat like a rubber ball. My maker's very tiny car bounced down the road with equal delight. The car gets to go everywhere, though, and Abbot and I barely go anywhere. This is fine with me, however. Such is the life of a monster. We remain hidden most of the time. But this day was different. I wondered where we were heading as I watched the farm fields turn to neighborhoods and the neighborhoods to the shopping district. As I thought about this my maker said, "Caruthers, I am taking you and Abbot on a great adventure. The fruits of this adventure my family will live with for quite some time, so you and Abbot need to concentrate and make the best decision possible. Can you do that?" I nodded to her that I could. Abbot shook his head. He meant "yes" but still has not figured out the whole answering with one's head thing. My maker tossed into the back seat our trusty bandannas. "Here," she said, "Put these bandannas on your ears. They will help you get in the mood." I took the green one and handed the black one to Abbot. But he was adamant that he would NOT be putting any bananas on his ears. "Not bananas, Abbot," my maker called from the driver's seat, "banDANnas. A cloth you put over your ears to keep the dust out when you work." Hmmmm, I thought. We were going someplace to WORK?

When we walked into the Sherwin Williams store it didn't LOOK like we were going to work here. It was shiny and clean and COLORFUL. After a few well regarded and confirmed stares Abbot and I gave a quizzical look to our maker. She lead us over to a wall display that was loaded with colorful cards, and on the cards were colorful colors in every shade of the rainbow. My maker helped us up onto the counter top and said, "Caruthers and Abbot, I need you to choose a color for my bathroom. It has been 11 years since I painted last and I'm ready for a change." Abbot and I were so excited we began scouring the cards for the perfect color. What makes the perfect color? Is it a question of philosophy, emotion, physicality, ambiance or all of these? I had never really pondered the meaning of color. I have watched my maker work, however, and I don't think she ponders the meaning of color either. After she arranges a design for a doll or a monster (or a purse, curtain, quilt, or blanket), she always stands back, looks at it from afar and nods her head yes, or shakes her head no, and then changes something. Maybe color and design is just what looks good to a person, with no meaning intended at all. Could it be that simple?
Abbot chose an orange color. He said it reminded him of orange Popsicles, which reminded him of summer, which reminded him of being warm, which reminded him of blankets, which reminded him of winter, which reminded him of summer, which reminded him of orange Popsicles. "That's a good color Abbot," my maker said. "But we already have that color in our hallway. Let's try another one."
I liked this green. I was certain there was a stripe of color in my nose that was this color, and it made me feel happy. Green is such a happy color. But so are yellow, red, blue, orange, purple, and a jaunty plaid. I was feeling so indecisive. I knew I'd be no good at picking one color. I wanted more than one. I wanted all of them! I told my maker that she'd have to let me pick about 14 colors, or make the choice herself if she wanted only one. Abbot and I couldn't decide. She took out two color cards that were similar in color. Both were bluish-green. She set them on the counter and Abbot and I tried to see a difference. Finally I could see one color had more blue and the other color more green, like Abbot's face after he tried a bite of a sardine and found out what it was.
When we arrived home again (after stopping for a few bags of chocolates, in which we were not permitted to come into the store and Abbot howled for 10 minutes, so loudly that people stopped to check our car as to what was making that noise) we started our painting project. My maker had to be very careful with Abbot and I around the paint. Water is one thing, but it dries clear. Paint, however, would never leave our fabric bodies. I helped paint the edges of the walls, until I started dripping paint all over the cabinets and lost my job. 2 minutes never felt so fun.
Abbot and I were then given tape duty. We were to unroll and stick the tape to the surfaces that we did not want paint to touch, like the baseboards, counter top, and window frames.
Yet, it was another exercise in futility. Abbot didn't want any paint on himself, however, so I guess it could have been deemed a successful account.

After the edging was complete it was time to roll the paint onto the big empty spots that remained on the walls. My maker was excited. She let us pose for this photo but in no way would she allow us into the bathroom once that tray was filled with paint. Abbot and I watched from the hallway as the drab, boring, off-yellow bathroom transformed into a beautiful bluish-greenish oasis. Abbot says greenish-bluish, but then again, he doesn't know a head nod from a head shake. I can't wait to watch the next room get transformed. I just hope it will be in 14 colors and not one.
Until next time.