Nursery painting as meditation

In retrospect, I think it was a very wise move to take on the nursery project now, even though I know we have months and months to go before it will be occupied. I like the physicality of painting rooms, after the minutia of my illustration projects. I like the trappings...the tape rolls and buckets and paint keys and rollers. And I love the movement. It's tiring, once you start rolling - but you can feel it in all of your body, and there's something heartening about that...like work in the field.

There's also a meditative quality about it, the solitude and the hard work, and the change of the color and mood of light in the room as you add color and it absorbs the light, as the day wears on and the slant of sun moves around the room. There's also something about doing this for Flynn's room, for the room she will live in and come to know, the room that will be the secret heart of her world as she comes to know this new country and her new family, and to watch her life stretching out ahead of her into the future. I think that's good for me now...to imagine her in it, to imagine her coming to terms with this new environment, how it will shape her and how she will shape it, and where she will go as her universe expands beyond this room and this house. I even like to think of how she will remember this room in her adulthood, long after she has moved out of this house and on through the phases of her life and developed a world of her own.

Sam comes in every now and then to check on my progress, make sure I've got all the corners covered and that I'm not tracking any paint on the hardwood floor. Sam's my detail man. He keeps me honest.

It's hard to take a photo, and then put it on the web, and actually have the colors resemble the way they look in real life. The color I chose is the color of new terracotta. The actual Behr paint shade is called "Grounded", which I also like. I'm very picky about color, and I spend a long time looking at photos and mulling over paint chips and pacing from one room to the next before I actually choose a pigment. It's probably my Mediterranean blood, but I like warm colors. Even the blue in our bedroom has more red in it than your average blue. While I was working on that room, we went to see a wonderful play called "1001", which was a riff on the Tales of the Arabian Nights. There was a blue silk scarf that had various metaphoric meanings in the play, and at one point it was described as holding the color of the sky at twilight. That was how I picked the blue for our bedroom. The sky at twilight, just when it's still holding on to the last of the sunset.
I also like colors that I don't see everywhere else. I like uniqueness. When it comes to my home, I want it to be identifiable as mine, and not resemble anyone else's. I am sometimes tempted by particularly attractive trends, or by the style of others that I admire. But in the end I always have to come back to my own temperament and put that stamp on it.

In this picture, I'm really liking the color. It looks right as it begins to fill the wall. I also thought very carefully about how it would look from the interior of our blue bedroom, and vice-versa, since the bedroom and the nursery open out on one another, and you can't really consider them seperately.

I always feel a bit like I've been fighting a war at the end of a solid day of painting. My arms hurt and my back feels like I've been doing heavy lifting. But, like running, it's a good sort of tired. There's a real feeling of accomplishment to this kind of work.

I also like to see the room "coming into its own". A room really does have a life of its own, and if you do it right, it begins to take on that life as you work, until eventually it tells you what it needs. I can feel that happening to this room, and as it does, I can feel it "becoming" the room that will be Flynn's. Of course, I don't know her yet. I don't know who she herself will become. I can only hope I'm doing right by her, and creating an environment she will feel good in.

Finally (and unrelatedly), this is my new necklace that came from Singapore, and which the post office here in Berkeley most definitely DID NOT want to surrender to me. It took me four days of going in, calling, and presenting my registered package slip before they finally turned it over to me. Sheesh! But it was worth it in the end. It's a snippet of a vintage Chinese/English dictionary which contains the word "earth" and "globe". The brass setting combined with the yellowed paper gives it a wonderful antique feel. It's from the Etsy shop of Doris Tian, called DorisWorks.


kris said...

Oh my god you are so freaking adorable, look at you!! Who looks THAT cute painting a room?? And I SO love your color choice!!

Great necklace too (wink).

Tamara said...

Ohhh, that is a very good color! I was hoping (and expected) you'd do something a little off the beaten path. It reminds me of sunshine (I know, terracotta doesn't equal sun, but against the blue...). I have to tape too.

You know Target has a line of baby stuff by Dwell now. I've not seen it in our stores yet, but a friend told me it exists. It must approach "real people" budgets better than the boutique line.

3D said...

Love the colour and the perspective on what that room means.

Keep smilin!

Heather said...

That room is going to be beautiful! I love the color. Our master bathroom is painted terracotta and it never ceases to make me smile! It's so warm and safe feeling. I hope Flynn's room has the same effect on you.

Yoli said...

That is a very beautiful color, it reminds me of the picture that Maryam has of the Sahara desert. It goes so well with your Arabian nights blue. Love it.

The necklace is exquisite.

Oh, and I love your low pony tails, I do that to Sally's hair for school every day. You are the cutest painter I know.

Carrie&Aaron said...

that color is very nice! and the necklace to cool!

Margaret Miracle said...

I Love the Color. I can't wait to see the rest of the room as it comes together!

Tasha said...

looove the necklace and love how the color plays off the blue from the other room. Feels like the beach for some reason.

J said...

Hey, that looks like exactly the same color I painted a wall in B's room!

Snowflowers Mum said...

love it Maia..we had a dining room the same color and it was so serene.

Snowflowers Mum said...

hmmm, the necklace is lovely...her work is great!

Anonymous said...

Love the color ! Looks like you did a great job !