Today was unexpectedly wonderful.
It was so wonderful that I could not resist sharing and I have one of those national hardware box-stores* to thank for it!
(*I did not go to the second hand store for this outing because they didn’t have what I needed; and I didn’t use a local hardware store because I was being lazy and it wasn’t within my loop… judge quietly please as I still want to carry on with my story…)
Last week I had to journey to this very same box store as my wonderful local Habitat for Humanity Restore did not have the items I needed for my project. While at set national chain I meandered over to the paint section to see what cast offs could use some love. A friendly gentleman came around the counter to say hello and to see if I needed any help. We both ogled the large paint samples marked down to $.50!
Last seasons colors apparently. Fleshy tones and neutrals apparently.
They were perfect for my Consensual Chairs and a grabbed up an arm full of them. Parting ways from the cheerful paint person, I thanked him for sharing enthusiasm and went to check out.
While performing the check-out and small-talk dance with another store employee, Mr. Paint came up and with a huge smile presented me with a small can of paint.
He had said it was a “mistake” and wanted to know if I would like it.
It was light blue.
Skin tones do not come in light blue…
The project that had been holding me in it’s gravitational pull said “no, that just will not do” but Mr. Paint’s smile had an even stronger magnetism and despite any knowledge of what I would actually use it for I gladly accepted it.
Besides, I really loved that color.
It stuck with me, his general cheerfulness. I kind of feel like it infused itself into the paint. It made the little can important. Afterwards I sat for a good 20 minutes meditating on what I should do with such a color. I was willing to create a whole new art project around it.
Then I got to thinking about making a Consensual Chair colorful and after sitting with these thoughts for a week (and a couple of friendly outside opinions) I gathered that is just what was supposed to happen; I was to expand the chairs to being colorful. I know this may seem like a silly easy little change, but they were flesh tones for a reason; so contemplating changing/expanding wasn’t previously within view. But colors convey tone and mood and that is what I now want to explore.
It is now today.
I am back at the box store (reference lazy reasons above) and I am getting some hardware. Again I feel compelled to see what colors are swimming around.
And there he is. Mr. Paint.
I pick out some new colors to try.
Then I decide to cut the too shy bullshit and circle back around to let him know how much I appreciated his kindness and that the can of paint inspired an artistic expansion.
His name is John.
And he let me see him as a person. Really see him, no pretense, just honesty and authenticity.
I won’t give away the personal details of the conversation, but I can say this stranger was more sincere in the couple minute conversation we had than many of my own family members are with me over the yearly holiday events.
I have plans on returning with some more info. for him on my projects in the coming weeks on another paint run.
Conclusion to this little story: basically, art cannot exist in a vacuum.
John didn’t tell me to make my chairs colorful, he didn’t tell me any artistic conclusions, he just was himself and that alone is inspiring and full of creative energy that concentrically moves out into the world.
And personally, I think that is fucking amazing.