Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Significance of Purple: Paulette Melanson

We're just re-hung the gallery in beautiful many colours and positive vibes coming from the walls all around us today. Today we launch the new show of abstract paintings by Paulette Melanson, where every stoke of colour and mark making has meaning and intention. Each painting has a story to tell, and we hope to share a few of these with you throughout the duration of this show.

This painting is called "The Significance of Purple" and below it we have included the writings of Paulette as she shared them with us today. Enjoy! How has certain colours affected your life over the years?....something neat to think about as you read this. 

Purple has always been my favorite colour.  I had not realized how colours in my early years still have influence on me today.  I grew up in the village of Scoudouc, New Brunswick in an apartment my father built in my paternal grandparents' large house surrounded by farmland and forest.  By that point 9 of their 13 children were moved out.  My grandparents and my aunts and uncle who were still living with them gave my siblings and me lots of attention.  They had grape Kool-Aid, we always had red Kool-Aid at home.   They had grapes and plums; we had good old apples and oranges.  

I have fond memories of my uncle, 12 years older than me, sharing his purple Kool-Aid when I was just a toddler on many occasions. He would play games and tease me to no end but in a good way.  I have memories picking the first mayflowers, the first blueberries, the first lilacs, the first purple violets and bringing them to my grandmother first, then my mother (poor her she must have felt second best).  My grandmother would give us candies.  My mother might give us cookies.  My grandfather loved to garden. In his flower garden there were beautiful dahlias, gladiolas and purple pansies which I liked best because they looked velvety and seemed to have faces.  Then there were the wild purple iris flowers everywhere in the ditches.  How we tried and tried to get to them without getting wet.  

I have memories of a beautiful tall purple metallic-paper cone hat that I made with my aunts for some school event.  I felt like a princess.  And the time I sewed myself a dark purple corduroy jumper and purple paisley blouse and feeling especially good on those days when I was wearing that outfit to school.  And I still can't believe this one; when I was a teenager I suggested to my parents that they paint the kitchen cabinets light purple and to my surprise they did!  They kept the kitchen that colour for the longest time and then I began to not like light purple.

My mother was a very devoted catholic and I was too in my younger years. We lived close to the large imposing church which was located halfway between home and the two room school (grade 1-6). During lent my friend Phyllis and I would drop by and enter the church on our way home from school to play for a while on the premise of doing "le chemin de la croix" - the way of the cross.  I'm surprised no one kicked us out.  There were so many things to see and admire.  The fabulous stained glass windows had a lot of purple which made the other colours glow.  Purple seemed to be a dominant colour everywhere in the church on these occasions.

For me, purple has happy, peaceful and beautiful adjectives associated with it.  To this day it makes me feel good.  On the other hand, pretty sure I will never ever be tempted to paint any walls light purple or lilac.

Make sure to check out Paulette's entire new show, called "In Search of Meaning" HERE.