Mauve….a “designer” shade of cool grey pink that was the topic of a passing conversation at the gallery yesterday. One of the owners was feeling a bit “mauve”, not quite having the blues, but not really seeing life through rose colored glasses either. I asked permission to blog this idea which is good only for a paragraph because my ping pong playing brain went off in another direction. Reason being, we decided that mauve is a shade of melancholy. Melancholy is a weird word, part fruit and part color, which made me think of my recently completed painting “Tribute to Fruit”. Ever realize how much American’s hate fruit?
I am not going to go all “wiki wild” on you and look up the documented stories behind the following associations; these are just some pre-nap time cerebral surfing.
Lemons…we say “life gives us lemons” or a car is a lemon , or somebody has a sour smile as if sucking on lemons. Limes….Lyme disease shares this citrus associated sound regardless of the spelling. Cherries….life is a bowl of cherries and somebody always gets the pits although sometimes they get a sexual stigma if baked in a pie. Plums….sometimes a person is just plum-crazy or somebody needs to call a plum-ber, neither of which is good... Prunes….we prune bushes by chopping them to pieces. Apples….which is the root word sound for appellate court. Melons….as in melancholy although one can get a melanoma which is bad too! Bananas….somebody is always going “bananas” which is never a complimentary situation. Peaches get the chance to describe life as in things are just “peachy” usually accompanied by a sneer. Peaches are rather icky anyway. Who likes to eat a furry fruit that drips all over the place and then has a big “stone” in the middle? Watermelons can’t even be discussed anymore without a racial innuendo that is totally undeserving. Pears….a woman with a bottom heavy figure is called pear-shaped. And finally…oranges, poor old oranges. Nothing in the English language rhymes with it and construction cones are made this color…..and unfortunately, the stately vegetables we call pumpkins, have to share the same pigmentation.
But lest you think only fruits are subject to our distain, a few veggies are just as ill-fated. Corn is a derogatory favorite (no, I am not going to list them this time). Peas….do I really need to elaborate on this one? Squash, gourds, beans……none free and clear of any lingual lashing. Carrots however….yeah, diamonds have carrots so that works to its advantage. Potatoes and tomatoes are just made fun of in music and political speeches which leads us back to the pumpkin, or “punkin” for cats and cuties.
It is little moments, conversations and phrases such as these that inspire me to paint my signature work. The “everyday” events that most people might not notice are quite inspirational and usually recorded on whatever available scrap of writable surface is nearby. Screw the sketchbook, I have a stack of cocktail napkins and table cover corners that would rival any hoarder’s stash. I am so blessed to be working in an offsite studio now where I can be motivated by my fellow artists and humbled by the vast amounts of creativity that surround me every day. Sometimes one’s lifebuoy shows up in the strangest of places under the oddest of circumstances. We just have to be smart enough to know when to swim for it when things seem just a bit out of reach at times. So whether one is feeling a bit mauve or quite “mauve-a-lous”, gather your fellow fruits and have a bowl each and every day!!