Painting the House

'Trailblazer Red' on black birch, which is beginning to turn yellow-rumped warbler this week.

I prefer 'Pinesap Red in Afternoon Light.'

Tomorrow we'll look for paint for the living room, a small room with a low, angled ceiling, a woodstove in the corner, a doorway on three of the four walls, a purplish-burgundy couch that harbors a keyboard, Scrabble and Chinese checkers below, a white rocking chair, a sea foam green wooden chair, a homemade Shaker candleholder, a banged up nightstand with small pink roses painted on the handles, a selection of trim, many nail holes, and grey office carpet. Did I mention the walls are dark wood paneling that has been painted off-white?

No paint, not Ralph Lauren Lifestyle Colors, not even the jewel-like tones of The Arnolfini Wedding Portrait under museum lights, can look like the colors in nature.

Sassafras and tupelo leaves amongst last autumn's chestnut oak and beech leaves.

Why? Because the things of nature are many colors. A fresh coat of paint hides all the nail holes (if you know how to spackle well), but it is baldly one color. If you hate it, there's nowhere to look that is not that color. I hate every color I have ever painted any room.

The first room I rented during college was a beautiful yellow (I didn't paint it, my roommate, a fine arts painter did). I have been trying to find that color since then, but I wonder if it was simply that I didn't choose the color and the room had beautiful wood trim and floors.

When we talk about painting rooms, Jared suggests "Wren stomach, let's paint this room the color of Carolina wren stomach." Golden-yellow. Possibly the color of my bedroom in college.

Or was the bedroom painted 'Hayscented fern in autumn'? I think I may buy the wrong color tomorrow.