Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back to Tom Sawyer

Aunt Polly was an idiot.  And that little brat Tom Sawyer missed out, too - he was far too concerned with manipulating the other kids to paint the fence.  I think the year painting becomes a scary thing is when art is no longer a required class, but rather an elective you have to elect to take.  Which is okay if you are an elitist theater geek, but the rest of us who kinda loved it but weren't very good at it, or didn't want to admit a secret proclivity for pastels, or were arduously pursuing Ph.d's in conformity just witnessed its sudden death.  We grew up to become the buyers of art, the attenders of galleries, the - well I suppose I could have just said patrons.  Brevity is a challenge for me, what can I say.  So when I saw this terrific coffee table for $120 bucks (yes, you know where) I found myself oddly captivated, but helpless.  "Help me," the table whispered knowingly, but also a little creepily, like Field of Dreams style.

I had a vision, but it was too bold.  "If you build it they will come," the table responded.  Who, hot baseball players?  I wish. At any other time in my life I would have kept on walking. Hell, I wouldn't have been caught dead in a flea market.  There was no time.  Coffee tables were procured at William Sonoma Home or Pottery Barn, not on the street. And then of course, there I was. . .

Thrust it into a cab and smushed it into the elevator, all the while knowing that the brown would simply not work. Which is why it was particularly rude when Harold announced, "This absolutely does not work." He rather liked the white couch, and yes now you know which Madeline Weinrib rug I went with.

I had a vision, and if it worked I knew that Back to A would transition from its medieval years and enter a new renaissance. Hello Anishangelo, to Janovic Plaza on 67th and Lexington you go! I got sandpaper, a couple brushes, and the correct white paint to get is Hollandlac Brilliant because it goes on like shiny white lacquer.  Oh, and a little pink pot of paint for a surprise touch.  Oh, and some tunes because when people who are Back to A who are true Jersey girls at heart paint, sometimes they listen to Pearl Jam radio and Bruce Springsteen radio on Pandora and wonder if this wasn't just the secret to serenity all along?  Pandora is a new discovery for me, although I have a sneaking suspicion there may be one or two of you that still have no clue - click away - it really is like opening a box of secrets.  It's a free radio station for your computer that plays only the songs you like - it just knows - try my favorite:  America Radio.  Tom Petty radio is great as well.  Back to the paint.

I was saying earlier that this is the best kind - Hollandlac in Brilliant White - it goes on easy, you really only need one coat, and I might be back to an elemental stage in my life but I'm still the rip-the-wrapping-paper-to-get-to-the-present type of girl; those I'm-saving-the-paper-and-going-to-spend-five-hours-opening-each-gift kids just sucked.  Ruined perfectly good birthday parties. I still harbor rage. I was so excited to begin that newspapers were not procured, and I probably sanded the table down for all of ten seconds.  If I was going to paint, it was going to happen now.  Pearl Jam's Black came on, the windows were open (yeah, fumes, but really not too bad) and outside it was about to rain.  What were you doing at 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon?

If Aunt Polly had painted while Pearl Jam played via Pandora, maybe she wouldn't have yelled as much.

The cane? Paint right over it.  Edges, sides, curved legs? Just paint away.  Only rule we have at Back to A about this project is listen to great music and fall in love with the way the brush glides over dark, brown wood and transforms it into brilliant white. This is my world and I am its creator, and a few missed spots and rough edges along the way are its charm.  The only kind of processed I like these days is at McDonalds. As for the little brass knobs. . .

. . . just paint straight on the brass.  Fine, buy primer if you are extremely anal, but truly it does not matter. Just match it to your rug, or to whatever color is making you especially happy at the moment.

For an uncomfortably long time Harold just sat silently, judging.  Then he turned and looked at me.

"It's amazing," he confessed, eyes wide and absolutely stunned.  The table was right all along.  If you build it, the most magical thing that exists in life will come.  Eddie Vedder knew all about it. . .

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life, I know you'll be a star.


Painted one white stroke at a time.


Anonymous said...

Honey, drinking and listening to Pearl Jam is the secret to serenity. As long as it is wine you are drinking and not Mad Dog 20/20 you should be fine. I always wonder who it is that comes out of that outfield grass.

"I seem to recognize your face
Haunting, familiar yet, I can't seem to place it
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name
Lifetimes are catching up with me......"

Elderly Woman - Pearl Jam

Mel said...

loving your blog - your spirit and style shine through.

Millie@PassionDecor said...

great job,so simple and beautiful

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