en fy eu mk sl ga

Karen Bies

2018-07-28 15:12 — Dublin, Ireland

Belmullet #6 Coral Ivory

If I was to describe the colours of Ireland, I’d begin with the land. As Johnny Cash sang: 'the moorlands and meadows and their Forty Shades of Green'. In the fields the white bog cotton, red clover and black tiered turf. The sea and the sky are varieties of grey, against which the houses of Belmullet fiercely stand out, having all the colours of the rainbow. A local artist, Jean Beard, has painted the streets of Belmullet. 

My house has also been painted. Yellow and green. I get attached to the house. It is big, solid and it withstands storms. If the waves should hit the quay - it happens, so the neighbours at Shore Road say - the house will stay dry. At night you can hear the wind and the seagulls. 

I felt so at home that I began to move the furniture. When a door came loose in the kitchen, I started to make renovation plans. When I sat outside in the sun, I felt like mowing the grass. As if the house was mine. 

It was just a dream. The house is now being redecorated, while I live and work here. Áras Inis Gluaire, the cultural centre, wants to make an artist’s residence of it, with separate studios. I am the first artist (guinea pig) and I would like to avoid having lodgers. As Greta Garbo famously said: ‘I want to be alone.

Now people come and go. A man for the wifi, for the washing machine, the television, tomorrow one for the floor. The painter is here for almost a week. Outside he’s finished and now he is painting the inside. We understand one another. When he is painting the banister, I don’t go upstairs. I don’t need to use the bathroom when he’s busy there.   

Besides, the painter knows more of colours than I do, just because the name is on the can. The green paint on my front door is called 'Winter Holly', after holly, a plant in Ireland that symbolizes eternity and the power to ward off evil. On the outside walls 'Coral Ivory' has been painted. Only the name sounds like a poem. It is such a lovely colour. Creamy yellow like butter, with a pink touch. Coral Ivory reminds me of a nice ice cream at La Venezia’s in Leeuwarden.