Monday, February 26, 2007


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.


meno said...

You did this post and didn't take a picture for us?

I like the shape of the round box.

I would order cookies but i am innudated with theme here.

meno said...


stupid typing.

Tracy said...


Don't worry about the cookies. I understand that there are about a million little girls who are not as lazy as we are and are busy going door to door:)

Marina Broere said...

Have you tried henna to color your hair red? That may be not so effected by your water contentsand it keeps for a long time (and is natural and makes it shine)
Just an idea!

The Epiphany Artist said...

I know what you mean Haha! I had red hair with a nice streak of blond down the front--- now getting towards spring I am back blond again, fall I go more brown and red... Cloths, make up everything is coordinated to the current color of my hair Love your paintings! You are an inspiration. I cant eat the cookies I will get FAT

Tracy said...

Marina, I had played around a bit with henna in college, but it wasn't really the look I had in mind then (I wanted brighter hair!), plus it was a mess and I had a hard time coloring my own hair properly. It might be an option, now except well, I still don't really want to do my own hair and none of the hair places around here use it, as far as I know. I have used Redken's Shades EQ all of these years. It is semi-permanent, makes my hair shiny and also does not have ammonia and other harsh chemicals like the permanent colors. So it's a good option, IF we can get the right color:)

Hi Terri, haven't "seen" you around much! How's it going? How is your husband doing?

I admire people who change their hair color fairly often. I am not sure I can, clearly it is too stressful for me, ha, but I love the concept. I used to have a hairdresser who had a completely different hairstyle and cut every single time I saw her. It was cool, but a bit disorienting sometimes:) I was always trying to remember the previous look whenever I saw her.

Mom said...

I know you have been patiently waiting for my comment all day. Sorry but didn't have time this morning!
You mean I would send you money to pay your rent and phone bills (remember??)just so you could keep your hair colored????? Hmmm,guess I'll have to keep a closer eye on this blog....the things I find out!!!
And your natural hair color is a very pretty 'dishwater blonde'. Want me to send photos so you can post them and get everyone else's opinion?

Tracy said...

Don't worry mom, I didn't start doing the color until the year after you paid my rent;)

If my hair ever looked dishwater blond, then either the photo is inaccurate or I happened to have gotten some sun. I never once considered my hair to be dishwater blond.