This underpainting has been sitting in my studio for at least a month. I haven't felt inclined to work on it, but perhaps I will soon. I am putting it up today, because it's well, red.
Well, as if my last post about girl scout cookies (thanks to those who are buying some and I am still taking orders, by the way) wasn't far enough off the topic of art, today I am going a bit further. I will warn you right now that this topic will be about my hair, so if that is too trivial for any of you, just go on ahead and close the page. I will not be offended, I promise.
Like most girls, I have always wanted the kind of hair that I did not have. It's been awhile since I have actually seen it, but I think my natural hair is medium brown, the mousy kind of brown (now there is a bit of grey mixed in) and it is straight as stick. I spent most of the 80's getting perms in order to have the curly hair that I thought was my birthright. Around 1987 or so, when I was in college, I started to get my hair colored red, which seemed to be exactly right for me. I couldn't pay my rent half the time or cover the phone bill, but by god, I always managed to scrape up enough money to get my hair done! Sometimes it seemed as that's all I had going for me-nice hair.
Over the years, we have moved a lot and I have had many different people do the color. I stopped getting perms long ago, but the hair color has always been a constant. I had a specific formula that I gave to each new hairdresser and while there have been a few modifications, it was always red, red, red.
Here's an art connection: More than a few people have noticed that the overall red/orange color in my work, which is actually the underpainting, is strikingly similar to my hair color. This is a coincidence, or at the very least a very unconscious decision on my part. I feel a bit embarrassed when it is mentioned, worrying that people might think I am so in love with my own hair color that I would use it as a basis for my work. Um, except, well I kind of am, in love with my hair color, that is.
Since we moved up here though, I have had trouble with it. The hair color would look great for a week or two, but then would start to fade to an orangey color, which while not horrible, wasn't exactly what I had in mind either. I suspect our icky well water is the culprit, high in iron and sulfur, and since getting a filtration system installed is pretty low on our home improvement list, I began to think that I should try to switch to a different color, one that wouldn't be so affected by our water and one that would last longer. The reds are notoriously short-lived anyway. So all is very quiet here and because I don't have much going on for a few months, (good grief, I am so vain!) I thought I'd try a different color.
On Saturday I went in and discussed colors with my hairdresser/collector (she has purchased several of my paintings)and we agreed on a nice brown with red highlights. The color is beautiful, but it is so dark! There is no chance of anyone ever saying I am a redhead now and I can't believe that that bothers me. It has been a huge part of my identity for so long and even I am surprised at how attached I am to being a redhead. I have gone through so many changes over the years and silly as it may be, my hair has been a constant element for me. That never occurred to me until now.
But change can be good and I am going to spend some time trying to adjust to being a brunette. Not much can be done for the time being anyway, because of how dark the color is and I don't want to totally wreck my hair trying to lighten it. I do think I will keep trying to find the right shade of reddish brown though, though it will take some time I guess.
I may have to buy new clothes though. My whole wardrobe is geared towards red hair further proving that everything is all about the hair here in Tracyland. Heh. And I'd put a picture up, but I am totally not ready for that yet. I seldom even put a picture of me up with my comfy old red hair. Baby steps, ok? First I need to leave the house and let my real life friends see me.