Monday, June 11, 2012

One Paint Chip, Two Solitudes

What art-text writer and editor doesn't get a kick out of perusing paint chips? The names that these colours get are often way above and beyond even the most imaginative critic's terminology for hue.

Of course, a cutesy name can sway specialists and nonspecialists alike. (I once suggested a friend use an boring off-white on her walls because it was called, irresistibly and absurdly, "Cuddle.")

Interestingly, when I was looking at swatches again recently, I noticed one Benjamin Moore paint colour whose name had quite different meanings in Canada's two official languages. In English it was called "Toronto Blue"—which is kind of amusing in itself, as I don't really associate this bright blue hue to my everyday life in Hogtown. But in French it was called "Outremer Francais." One colour, two solitudes—perfect (or fractious, perhaps) for your favourite bilingual couple. Mon dieu!

(Image from Artquiltmaker)


marie camille said...

after too many whites parading before my eyes, i finally settled on one called "fuzzy mitten", precisely because of the name!

and: my favourite two solitudes expression is "to take french leave", which in french is "filer à l'anglaise"...

(ps: been missing your posts, Leah!)

Leah Sandals said...

What? I didn't know the french exit was "english exit" in French. That's crazy. Ah, Canada!

Great to hear from you MC! Thanks for the encouragement. : )