Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blue Room:

Once watching out for Cebah became a pretty much 24/7 thing, I (very reluctantly) gave up my divine nest in the studio and started sleeping in my dad's room in the house. Everything about my sleeping loft in the studio had been carefully planned to suit me perfectly, and it did. It made me happy to wake up in that spot, with the dawn coming in through the limbs of the beech and the tops of the bamboo.

On the other hand, nothing about the room in the house suited me at all - the bed faces the wrong way, and the space is confining, but not private at all. Perhaps the worst is that it is well sealed. I like cracks that let some air in. But I decided that it didn't matter; I have a job to do, and for the time being, my preferences are irrelevant. I thought it could be a bit like traveling. When I'm traveling, I know that I'm not going to be able to choose the orientation of my space, or the details of what the space is like, and that's not what I'm traveling for anyway - I can sleep on a train (love it), or in a train station, or in a cellar (Nice is worth it) - on the beach, on rocks and roots, in a corner, or just doze wherever until it's time to move again. I hadn't really thought about being in that condition for an extended period of time, at home. Once I realized that's the way it was going to be, I hung a favorite painting, of the ocean surf and rocks on the Quinalt reservation, for something to look at when I wake up.

I had some paint left over from the cloud ceiling, quite a bit of medium deep sky blue, and some pearl grey. Semi-snowed in and with a little time on my hands, I thought that if I combined the two there might be just enough to paint the room. I didn't want to go out just to buy a paint brush for walls - I loathe painting with those things anyway - so I decided I'd try painting with a large hog bristle brush that I really like. It's only 3 inches wide, but I paint fast. Still, it was a lot of small strokes to cover all four walls!

The color turned out to be one that I'd probably never have chosen for a bedroom in a thousand years, but I'm so cheap and love making things like this work out. I decided to call it "Ocean Mist" - seemed like something on a paint chip. In these photos the color looks even more lurid than it actually is, because of the flash, but it IS pretty intense.
(The third photo, of Chisato's calligraphy ("Water") - is without flash & shows more of the grey aspect. ) But it's a lot better than the off-white paneling that preceded it - trust me. After the walls were done, I went to the studio and picked out some art, some by me, some by my dearest friends, all with water imagery. It turned out odd, quirky, and now I feel like I can actually inhabit the space myself, rather than just enduring it.









30 comments:

milly said...

i think you did a good job making the room into a temporary nest but i admire you for taking care of your mommy. read 2 chronicles 15:7 and we'll see you tommorow.

Dan Dutton said...

Thanks Milly. It's an honor really, and I'm so glad that I can do it. I feel lucky that my circumstances make it possible. My mom is simply the greatest and I want this part of her life to be the very best that it can be. In spite of the many tribulations that the frailty of age has brought her, we still have a lot of fun.

And I'm learning interesting things - about memory and perception - that are essential to the work with art that I want to do - so it is working out well.

mgb said...

I like the clemantis on the dresser, but I am so sorry to hear that your mother is in not doing well. She is an extraordinary woman.

Dan Dutton said...

Thanks! My sister, Ruth Ann, gave us that clematis. At the time I painted that on the dresser, it was growing up on an old post. I set out a lilac by it, and now the lilac is taller than the post & the clematis went on up to match. I appreciate your comment on my mom ~ you're right, she is something else! The grace and strength that she has mustered, even as she loses powers of memory and cognition that most of us take for granted, is really an inspiration.

Cathy said...

I liked the room before and now it's even better. I love that blue!

Dan Dutton said...

Did you notice the strange ovoid form, like the beach bleached maw of leviathan, in the corner on top of the dresser? Category: art that is white.

Cathy said...

HA! No, I'd missed that on first glance.

A lot of toil and tears and melted plastic went into that masterpiece.

Dan Dutton said...

Not to mention oven cleaner...

Cathy said...

No oven cleaner was needed, amazingly. Clearly, the gods of artistic endeavor were watching over me. And my oven.

Dan Dutton said...

I can't wait to make up an answer when someone asks "what is THAT?"

Cathy said...

Please let me know what you come up with.

Apifera Farm said...

OK, I don't want to brag, but you know Martyn and I sleep within the same blue? Martyn wanted blue in the old house, so I painted his little house blue through out and it was perfect for the cottage feel of his 500 sft house in Portland. I am a green person. When we moved to the farm I did him the honor of painting the bedroom blue again, without asking. But then I did the rest of the interior house in the dusty light olive greens, and just touched them up in the guest 'Loup-Dutton Suite" ; and MArtyn says, I like this green [after living within for four years] and I think the blue seems too bright now. SO the blue will be painted my beloved blue this spring when[fingers crossed] new windows go in...But for now, we all three sleep in blue!

Dan Dutton said...

Oh that's a comforting thought! For most of my life I've lived in spaces that were made of old wood. When I built a bedroom addition on the old studio, I painted it white (with moss green carpet) - the new studio has the most wonderful wood everywhere, very old poplar mostly, and of course I adore it. But I'll have to admit that waking up to this luminous blue - which seems to vibrate in the predawn light - is pretty cool. If I had a sweety like yours to wake up with, I'd be in blue paradise!

When I first painted it, the associations were mostly oceanic grotto - but there was a moment where I thought it looked like jasperware. Thinking of you two lovebirds made me think of another blue - robin's egg!

I'm sure Cathy will vouch with me that we found the guest room sublime in color and every other amenity.

Cathy said...

Except for your snoring.

Dan Dutton said...

Another blue room memory... the aunt of a friend had one of the strangest rooms I've ever been in. The curtains were royal blue velvet, the carpet and furniture were blue - there was a baby grand piano, the top entirely covered with pyramid scheme vitamins & there was a life-size poster of Jesus stepping out of clouds of glory on the back of the door. It had something to do with Elvis too, but I don't remember what.

I came really close to putting some alizarin in the paint and trying for an amethyst shade. That's a hard color to get just right tho... I've never seen a violet room. I guess it usually candies out to lavender.

Dan Dutton said...

Cathy do you HAVE to tell everything?

Cathy said...

Blogs make me confessional, I guess.

When we moved into our place, EVERY ROOM was painted the most awful shade of lavender. The previous tenant was a very odd woman, and for months afterward we got mail from some anti-vivisectionist group.

I did like the soft green of your walls, Katherine. Very restful on the eyes.

William said...

I had to click and enlarge that last picture to see the white thing in the corner. Hmmm. I'm going to have to stop by and take a closer look.

Cathy said...

William, I'm quite certain a large fuss was made over that objet d'art when we were last at Dandyland together.

Apifera Farm said...

I had a dark purple wall in the 80's when I was into Prince. Good God...I couldn't live in a lavender anything, unless I was lying naked as a worm in our lavender field. I actually made the guest room color the same as the living room now, so it's a shade less bright, but so nice.

I'm surprised you didn't hear Martyn snoring...Dan, if you saw Martyn's attire you would die laughing- he comes to bed [even in summer unless it's over 80- in long johns covered with wool pj bottoms, a shirt and heavy wool sweater, socks and then a wool hat that he pulls over his nose. Of course I'm buck naked - it's Cathy she makes me feel so...honest, on my comment posts.

Dan Dutton said...

William I had so many excellent examples of your work to choose from that it was a challenge to pick which one! "Stay Behind Cable" came close...

The frog on screen was just right. There's some of your Olympic Penn pix in the small frames, & our beach poster made the cut too.

Dan Dutton said...

LORDY K.! You must have to use sheep shears to get to the man.

I wore shorts as a token nod to modesty while I was snoring at Cathy, but it's just wrong. Pajamas are instruments of strangulation. I only put on longhandles if death by freezing is likely.

Dan Dutton said...

Purple Rain was the only time I actually fell asleep in the movie theater. But I did buy Prince's first two records, before he became popular.

Speaking of lavender, there's a bowl of apifera on the dresser. I just need a little naked figurine of you to lay in it.

Apifera Farm said...

Note to self: must dig clay, make naked self portrait...

Apifera Farm said...

I agree! I was a naked wonder since day one. I guess i used to climb out the window of our old house at the age of 4 and sun myself...Since we're sharing way too much, and you brought it up, if M. is feeling amoureus[sp?] I can hear him under the sheets trying to quiety shed layers - it's such a turn on! I alwasy joke that he needs to write a love manual for farmers- with tips like, "The little farm gal will quake in her sheets when she can tell you're down to the last layer of underwear..."
Make me stop...

Dan Dutton said...

Martyn's Agricultural Love Tips. Now THERE'S a tome I could read in bed!

Dan Dutton said...

Just for fun, the artists in the blue room:

William (3)
Cathy (1)
Shirley Honie ( Hopi katchina maker) 1
Katherine (1)
Alan (2)
Kota Ejiri (1)
Chisato Ejiri (2)
Cari Norris (1)
Meg (3)

Apifera Farm said...

wow, I'm honored!

Dan Dutton said...

It's (ahem) blue ribbon company!

Cathy said...

Hee hee! Sorry, Bill, I thought we were talking about me me me.

Dan, we should have discussed this. I hate wearing anything to bed.

I hope Martyn writes that manual, K.