Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Rose By Any Other Name

Let me tell you a little story. Last month I signed up for a project involving crayons. Each person chose a colour from a list made up of colours in the box. I saw "scarlet" on the list and chose that one. It just gave me instant visuals and I knew I could work with it.

The swap hostess said she would mail crayons to anyone who felt they wanted/needed them. I didn't have one in that colour, so I asked for mine. I waited, but since it was coming from the US and I am in a bit of a time crunch to get the work completed, copied and mailed back (all before Artfest!) I finally had to bit the bullet and wing it. I figured I had a pretty good idea what scarlet looked like, so I went ahead and made my art. I drove out to my friend Penn's place on Sunday to deliver it in a rain storm so I could have it copied in time to mail it out and meet the deadline.
The crayon finally arrived yesterday. I opened the envelope. Check this out:

THE CRAYON IS ORANGE!! I don't know in what alternate universe "scarlet" is orange!! I kid you not! I nearly had a heart attack. My artwork is not even remotely close to the colour of this crayon, so you know what that means....*sigh* back to the drawing board.....
Oh and just for comparison's sake, here are "scarlet" and "red" side by each so you can see the glaring difference. Now granted, red, is not scarlet, but my idea of scarlet has always been a deep, rich red with pink undertones.

And did you know there are colours in the US that we don't have in Canada? Macaroni and cheese. Yes, that is a crayon. It's that sickly chemical orange powder cheese colour. And "Purple Mountain Magesty" which is well...purply-blue like mountains are. In thinking about this, I got a bit silly and started thinking up colours for a Canadianized box of Crayolas. Like how about crayons in these colours:
-Maple Leaf (deep red)
-Maple Syrup (golden brown)
-Beaver pelt (rich brown)
-Winterpeg (snowblind white)
-Salmon (a shade of orangy pink for all the folks here in BC!)
and my personal favourite:
Poutine! (not even sure how to describe this shade, but let's just say it would rival "macaroni and cheese" any day!)
Anyway, if nothing else, I learned something from this: Everyone sees colour differently. My scarlet is not Crayola's scarlet and never the twain shall meet!


Shari Beaubien said...

I'm laughing, Lelainia... you're right... "in what alternate universe"..???!?!? Hang in there, girlfriend! Hugs, Shari

Deb said...


Seriously, I know you did your "U.M." to match the color! Hey, maybe if the crayon is named, "Ocean Blue," you'll get the crayon and it will be yellow! That makes about as much sense!

It's a gorgeous piece, anyway.

If you don't know what to do with it, send it to MOI.


liz said...

i am laughing OUT LOUD!!! dan just came and asked me what is so funny--so i showed him--he is color blind and even HE knows that is SO orange!!!
glad my messages FINALLY arrived. the birds will be on their way to you ASAP!! you're gonna LOVE 'em!
talk to you soon--and keep those positive ArtFest thoughts coming my way!! i SO wanna be there!
liz xx

Tara Finlay said...

Ok that is so incredibly not scarlet. How funny is that? Jeepers creepers. I'd just take the wrapper off that puppy and put it on the RIGHT crayon!

MB Shaw said...

That's just not right. The "scarlet" crayon I mean. Geez, who would have ever guessed it would be orange.

audrey h. said...

I'm giggling at what you wrote. I gotta say that i have never seen an orange 'scarlet' :o)

MarilynH said...

I noticed that about the scarlet crayon, too. ...and it bothered me that the world would see that and think that scarlet was orange! Funny you don't have those colors you mentioned in Canada, Hmmmm. stuff like that is interesting. Like why is it called Kraft Dinner in Canada and just Kraft macaroni and cheese here???

Shari Schwarz said...

Hilarious! What a crazy fiasco! love the 'Winterpeg' (where my husband lived for many years). I love both pieces though!