Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weather, Wine and the (water)Color Yellow

Yellow. The color of the sun, which, is not out today, nor has it been out very much these days. The tumultuous weather, with random bouts of violent winds, extreme rains, threats of sunshine alternating with gray overcast-ness reflects my moods and mental state these days. Manic. Dark. Borderline.

But back to yellow. During a power outage last night I decided to pull out my K-mart watercolors (don’t knock it ‘til you try it) and paint by candlelight. Of course as soon as I had my candles lit and a perfect little art corner set up for myself, the power came back on. Sort of like hanging clothes out on the line to make it rain. By then the watercolors were staring me in the face, and I had to use them. It had been years since I painted with watercolor, my paints all brand new and the box of cheap brushes not even opened. It took me awhile to get back in to the watercolor groove, but I got there, through a process which ended with a minimum of 10 crumpled pieces of watercolor paper and a maximum of zero pieces I liked. Ahhh… temperamental artist-ness.

But back to yellow. While working with the yellow watercolor, I realized what a fickle, petulant, unpredictable color yellow is. The way that you must use only the cleanest brush when you work with yellow watercolor, and be sure your water is uber-clear, constantly toweling off its surface to ensure purity of hue. As I moved onto colored pencils (yes, also from K-mart, RoseArt baby!) I found similar results. Needless to say, yellow does not play well with others. People have said that about me at times. No actually that is a lie, I play very well with others. I am not yellow, not at all.

But back to yellow. It reminded me of the metaphor for life in the movie “Sideways” surrounding pinot grapes.
“Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet.”

Pinot noir is indeed one of my favorite wines. Yellow, well it’s growing on me.
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a diamond in the rough

a diamond in the rough
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