“Indigenous colors. A scarlet bird on a golden cactus bloom. A serpent carved from soft copal wood and painted bright green with topaz eyes. A Chinantec woman poised in a crimson blouse embroidered with rainbow geometries that held the history of her family. I filled my pockets with these gems and sank my toes into a rich, loamy earth. I breathed in the scent of freshly opened ferns and squash blossom soup with herbs from the mountainside, set to a soundtrack of percolating marimbas and the buzz of cicadas before rain.”
[from my book, “Blackbirds in the Pomegranate Tree: Stories from Ixcotel State Prison“]
The fascination with color stays with me now, especially accented after ten years of living in New York City, where to wear black was de rigeur, and the most color I could muster from the earth was a small patch of green shiso in a corner of my Bronx yard.
Now in Colorado, I have seeds ready for flowers every color of the rainbow. Last season’s garden has left me with myriad photos of everything from anemone to zinnia, which now lead me to create colorful art prints where I play with color to my heart’s content.
The house has some colorful walls, some indoor geraniums, some jewel-tone tapestries (Joseph’s!) and one or another bit of Mexicanidad that reminds me of my roots.
What is it that color gives us? I have friends who have absolutely beautiful homes done in tasteful muted earth tones. Classy! Yet I would still want to throw a cobalt blue pot full of fuschia impatiens on their coffee table.
Our winter here is full of color, as I make print after print in the workshop and wait for spring, grateful that I have been able to find (or make!) what I need along the way to feed my hunger for color.