Pink was not part of my childhood. Through accident or design, I played with handmade dolls that wore clothes that matched mine. I wasn’t dressed in pink and I didn’t play with pink toys. For me, pink is not a childish color, it is a color of power.
I found a book in the trashcan on Maxwell Avenue in Boulder when I was walking from a friend’s house to my Aunt’s house one summer day. It smelled strongly of book mold and was even a bit damp, but it was huge and rose colored and I couldn’t resist the calm gaze of the girl on the cover, Princess Elizabeth I. I couldn’t resist a free book, no matter how stinky.
This portrait of Elizabeth as a princess shows her dressed in a particular shade of red, a soft carnation rose color that is created through a similar effect as chambray is created, by weaving crimson threads with white warp yarns to make the effect of pink. Pink as a specific dye color is again, fairly modern. In older times, pink is merely a faded shade of red and the light and dark rose colors we see in this portrait demonstrate the almost iridescent effect created by weaving together red and white. I found fabric in this shade of rose and hoarded it for years, terrified to cut into it’s rose perfection. I found a similar fabric, a cotton broadcloth, in a shade called Deep Rose, on fabric.com. Should I buy it?
The book was called A Crown for Elizabeth, published in 1970 by Mary M Luke and it focused on the lives of the three royal children as they jostled for the throne. I was 15 when I found the book and I carried it with me when we moved to Los Angeles. It was the subject of the temper tantrum I threw in the counselor’s office at Hamilton High School. I was in “Honors English” and I had been forbidden to write a book report (!) on the book because it was too long (573 pages). Having come from Boulder, where our Honors English class was called Histlish because it was 2 hours long and covered both literature and history in one fell swoop, I was shocked to be in a class where the emphasis was on learning to speed read (been there, done that) and not on discussing great works of literature.
The result of this tantrum, a possibly royal tantrum, was that I was moved to the Hamilton Humanities Magnet, despite the long waiting list, where I able to take an English class focused on the Illiad, Oddessy and Aeneid. What a relief to get my way about what really mattered, reading!
The pattern for today features roses, which is a common textile design theme. I painted the roses and leaves, etc using a pink made of titanium white and magenta acrylic paints and then scanned the paintings into Photoshop.