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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Color Purple

I've been into decorating interior spaces since I was 15. My sister, Barb, and I shared a room during our teen years. Barb was pretty cool about giving me creative control not only of our room, but our clothes as well. I designed a chart designating who would wear what on which day so we would not fight over our clothes. This probably kept us from killing each other.

The colors I used in our bedroom was blue and orange. These are contrasting colors that look great together. At first my family thought I was nuts for selecting such an odd combo but after seeing a table lamp I painted in those colors, they quickly came on board. My Mom ended up sewing curtains and bedspreads that matched.

For my new studio
I picked the Glorious color scheme
from the Olympic Paint Audubon Collection.

Click on picture to see larger image & paint names.

I used Blackberry Jam B41-5 for the bookcase wall, Brown Clay B24-5 for the studio walls and Apple Cider B18-4 for the ceiling.

Why I didn't stick with lighter colors?
Simply because

I wanted a color
I promised myself
I'd use one day
on my walls.

The Color Purple

One of my long time, dear friends, Penny, had the coolest house in the early 70's I've never forgotten. Her husband was an artist, and she was an extremely creative woman, and the mayor of Meiner's Oaks, CA, a small burb in the Ojai Valley. Penny owned a plant shop in town that also doubled as the mayor's chambers. In the middle of the large room filled with lush green plants from ceiling to floor was a group of cozy chairs holding court on an old Oriental rug. The coffee was always hot, and guests helped themselves to a mug and a seat on the rug. Many a world problem was solved in the mayor's office including some of mine. Penny always made time to shed some light on my darkest hours with words of wisdom.

Penny, and Mrs. Briggs, her Benji type dog, rode to "her office" on a Moped. Mrs. Briggs sat happily in a basket on the front wearing a scarf around her fuzzy neck that flew behind her like a kite tail. Everyone in town waved or honked at them as they flew by. I can't help but smile at the memories of Penny's long legs straddling the motorized bicycle with her back straighter than an arrow, and her curly, short hair never looking worse for the ride.

Penny's home has remained my creative influence to this day as a model of freedom, ingenious hospitality and living outside of the box. She painted her walls in rich colors that not only made Bob's art literally POP off the walls but also transported me to a mystical place whenever I gazed at them. She introduced me to Peter Max and drinking wine out of Mason jars. I guess you could say her style was an eclectic, hippie, yet cultured blend. I always felt at home in her house and was amused and awestruck by the funky things she used to decorate with. Penny was cool long before anyone on HGTV ever thought of marketing the "re-purposed, shabby chic" style so many are claiming as their own ideas-invention. We hippies birthed that movement out of necessity and good herbs...

There was one room and hallway that was painted in this deep plum color. I'd never seen anyone use any color like this on a wall in my entire life. Purple? On a wall?? I can still close my eyes to this very day and feel the yummy way the color made me feel when I looked at it. I vowed to myself I'd paint some walls purple in my home one day... Hence, my choice for using Blackberry Jam for the focal point in my studio.

I wanted a color that would accent the dark wood of the built-in shelves and cupboards. I wanted a color that would make my paintings POP off the wall like I'd seen in her home some 40 years ago. I wanted one of my favorite memories to come to life again. Plus, I want to make some new, fabulous memories for others to take with them on their journeys in life as they soak up a piece of my world today.

a sneak peak of the studio...

After surviving a near-death experience.... Why wouldn't I want to paint some walls purple?

Add some color to your world.
You can always repaint it white,
or black,
or tangerine,
or blueberry...
or anything you want to.
It's just paint....


  1. I can't wait to see your finished room!! Purple is my favorite color, and I always find a way to use it in whatever home I am living in at the time. Currently, it's only made it's way into my "girlie" bathroom... Deep plum on the walls with white cabinets/trim, silver/brushed metal accent pieces, and (also my favorite) green cymbidium orchids. You just can't go wrong with color!!


  2. I love colorful rooms and my younger daughter is always telling me to lighten up - which with her - means white or beige walls. I cannot think of anything more boring than white walls. YOU GO girl!!

  3. I LOVE COLOUR.I so get the connection. Beautiful gorgeous words painting wonderous images in my mind. Thankyou for transporting me yet again!!! You are an inspiration in words and deed and I LOVE your creative space...please dont go and look at my blog describing my new space! RAOTFL I am just happy to be off the coffee table and not somewhere paint could get on the carpet! LOL

  4. Hi Lille Dianne,
    Lovely post, great colours.
    Hope you are doing well.

  5. Have you been peeking? I'm painting my living room. FINALLY! Remember the color that was supposed to be taupe? Instead it looks like a very old, very dirty desert rose. Never liked it. I swear the painters got it wrong!

    Now it will be a dark slate blue... more slate than blue. I've been painted patches of color everywhere to see how they look in the light. My first words this morning were, "WHOA! Too blue!" and off to the paint store I went.

    I love the colors you chose! I can't wait to see our new rooms! I love color!

  6. The paint colors are fabulous and so are the paint color names :-)

    I'm with you COLOR on walls make such a difference and your studio looks lovely.

    Thank you for your kind words on my post about my late friend Mrs. Smith. I really appreciate.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. Hello there, I just spotted your face in my follow box, so I thought I'd come over and say hi.

    I love colour but overdid things a few years ago ... I've now balanced things with a touch of white and cream but who knows how long I can maintain that balance*!*

  8. I'm in many beautiful hearts....and now another

  9. WOW, great color choices. Good for you to not be afraid of using color in your home!

  10. Yum!! My massage room is a mid shade lavender - after a client looked at the art I had on the sage green walls, & mentioned she could see it lav - yes!! She also loved painting with the middle to darker range on a paint sample. Our Doc's TALL son painted it for me (it's a high room) & another therapist also decided on lilac for her room.
    This sounds so yummy - I have a wall in my living room that I also want to paint purple - I have the paint - this is inspiring me!

  11. i LOVE purple. my favourite colour :)

  12. That is awesome I love purple. I can hardly wait to see the finished room.

    Now, years ago my aunt owned a home that had a water fall in the living room. The guy that she bought it off of, was a Disney engineer. He designed the entire house on the inside. It was really cool looking. It looked as though someone built the house around this waterfall. It looked like an old cave.

  13. Thank you for the wonderful memories of that special place and time. You paint with words as beautifully as with your brush. ;-)


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