Sunday, 22 January 2012

Pink, Pirates and Protestant Guilt

I've just got my latest sales report from my "exclusive" retailer, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design ( It appears that of all the work I sell through them, my cards are the most popular sellers. While I'd like to call myself a book artist, here I'm more of a card artist. Cardartist. Cardtist. Cardist. Whatever. I've decided I'm happy with this. I've always thought of art cards as an egalitarian art form. Affordable and approachable. Pocket-ready, unlike, say, Meat Dress. Less expensive than Starry Night, easier to give than a Wagner opera and less confounding (and expensive) than Voice of Fire. $5 to 10 and you can win.

So here I am, on this wintry day, toiling in my studio on product for the most odious of Hallmark occasions. Valentine's day.

 It's not that I have anything against romance and hearts and flowers (I lie. It makes me uncomfortable). It's not the perfunctory, guilt-laden nature of the giving  (after all, guilt is a useful protestant tool in life, and essential in relationships). It's the colours. And the heart thing. But mostly the colour coding. Red. Pink. Blech. Oh, and the fact that my wonderful dog, Clover, died on Valentine's Day last year.

 That required many remaindered red heart-shaped boxes of
 Russel Stover Assorted Truffles to help overcome.

But back to the theme of my post. If you're still with me...

I've made some really really big red and pink mistakes in my life. A pink and red themed bedroom when I was too old to really have one (14). I went to town on my furniture with cans of glossy pink spray enamel. Pink priscilla curtains. And as if that weren't an object lesson in DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN I went on, a few years back, to DO IT AGAIN in a 2 floor foyer and hallway. The colour had some uber-hip name like Nacre. But after 4 gallons and 3 days of painting it was more like Massacre. A bloody pink-red. The kind of colour that inspires one to violence.

So, how ironic that I now live in a house that's pink on the outside and pink on the inside.

As a friend described it, its like "living in a bottle of Pepto Bismol".
Really, it's not that pink. Especially at night when the lights are off.

So, back I go to making Valentines for lovers. My mind is wandering though, to designing cards for these much more worthy and less saccharine international holidays: 

International Biodiesel Day - August 10
(colour scheme - trendy black, maybe a bit goth in style)

World Thinking Day - Feb 22
(colour scheme - soft greys with beige accents) 

International Special Librarian's Day - April 13
(whites, naturals, other quiet colours)

Towel Day - May 31
(bright rainbow colours, stripes and polka dots)

and finally, my favourite:

September 19th

I haven't a clue what colour that would most epitomise this grand day.
 Who cares anyway?
 It would be an entire day
 of talking like a Pirate.
  What could be better? Garrrrr.....I asks ye!


Watch this. It's too funny at times. And don't feel badly about my dog.
 Unless you want to send me some chocolates on Valentine's day because
 you know I'll be feeling
See. Protestant guilt. I'm a practitioner.
Remember. Me. Sad. Chocolate. Give. Feb. 14th.


  1. Wicked girl. Or do I mean that's wicked, girl? I hope you don't think your pale pink house is a mistake in any way. I dream about it at night. A symbolic zone of freedom. As for Valentines Day, can't stomach it myself. I always stay home and eat a bag of chips, just for the heck of it. Hard to avoid the soppy advertising though ...

  2. Claire and I just had a FB conversation about the ambiguous meaning of "wicked". I'll take it either way! It's funny, I'd begun my rant about Valentines Day and pink and half way thru it I remembered/realized that I have a pink house. I've been in town too much. In truth, I haven't made a single card. I'm standing up for some kind of artistic principle here.

  3. Make cards, stop slacking! Pink is good, I have a totally pink sister & although I am a gold/red/mustard person myself, I respect those pink people, especially Terrie! Plus, your pink house must exert some influence on you... let it flow.... flow right through your hands & into your work! Let's see those Valentine's Day cards!
    Love your blog!! oxxo

  4. Thanks LL. I think THIS BLOG is my problem....really I just want to blog all day about creativity, rather than actually create.

    Pink, eh? Seems like such an insipid colour but it does elicit a really strong reaction. Valentine's Day. That's another thing. Are YOU making cards?