the paint lady story

IMG_3978 2.jpg

Some years ago I told a story to a group who were building a shared vision. I called it Indigo and Cream and it went like this;

I love to paint.  I love to paint rooms, and after paging though magazines on how to do this and how to do that to beautiful your home,  and watching the ultimate do-it-yourself shows, I was inspired to repaint my bedroom. Navy blue.

I wanted two walls cream and two walls navy, window trim and french door trim white. And off I went to the paint store.  Picking out paint chips, I selected a blue and a cream.  Went home and put that first coat up.

Painting a very dark colour over light even with a good primer leaves a first coat that is pretty darned scary and as my husband Mark walked in and looked he said, “Sue, what the heck are you doing? This is a disaster!”  I replied , “I have a vision” and muttered some less than friendly marital epithets, something about being a donkey’s hind end, as we sometimes do when questioned by our spouses.

Mark went fishing and I took a hard look at my room so far.  It was all wrong.  So wrong that the blue looked like Tonka truck blue, good for a toy, not the sophisticated deep colour I envisioned.  The cream was more of a Cream of Wheat washed out colour.  I was in trouble.

So off I went to Home Depot where I met the most amazing paint lady.  She was wearing a waltz length flowered dress and work boots with wool socks peeking over the tops.  She had an apron on over her dress that had every colour imaginable in little smears here and there on it. A pallet of the colours she had touched. She said ” what can I help you find?” and I told her about my vision; that I wanted an indigo blue so deep you couldn’t see the bottom of it, and a cream so rich you just wanted to touch it for the texture of a heavy cream.

The paint lady thought for a minute, and then nodded so vigorously, some of her curly grey hair that was tied back sprung forward in surprise. She said “I get it! I feel what you want” and off she went to the paint chips as I followed her swirling skirt.  She fluttered over the paint chip wall like a butterfly over a garden of flowers and landed on two chips.  An indigo and a cream.

And I bought the paint and finished the room and it truly was magnificent. Deep, deep indigo and rich quiet cream that I couldn’t have found without the amazing paint lady.

And as I told the group, that is how you bring your vision to life; by sharing it and getting the help you need to empower you to succeed.  Very corporate, and served the message of the meeting.

Today I’m painting again, and thinking of the amazing paint lady and her love of colour and I smile. Thinking of her as I started a new paint shirt for this project, I  want to be just like her and empower others to succeed with their visions as I work with something I love.

Oh, and by the way, Mark’s response to the finished room was “wow…just wow!” so I kept him after all.



2 thoughts on “the paint lady story

  1. iksperimentalist says:

    Thank you for this pleasant squirrel
    I liked the description of the blue and the cream colors
    I was once a paint mixer …. my paint mixing stories that I remember best had less than desirable outcomes …. The customers were willing to tell me about their problems … the worst ones were when they did not take my advice … I’m glad you listened …. I hope you had the chance to thank the paint lady.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s