Carolyn's Column

By Carolyn Beachy
Posted 1/20/00

I’m not sure when I first discovered the joys of paint. I don’t remembers splashing finger paints all over paper when I was a kid. I don’t remember being motivated by any art teacher from …

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Carolyn's Column


I’m not sure when I first discovered the joys of paint. I don’t remembers splashing finger paints all over paper when I was a kid. I don’t remember being motivated by any art teacher from school, who aptly demonstrated the power of paint.

Maybe it was when I saw my mother wield her paint brush on old furniture, transforming it to something new, fresh and lovely. Or maybe it was when I hung her hand-painted Christmas mottoes each year at Christmas time, that I saw the possibilities of paint. Maybe it was when we painted the wash house for my sister’s out-of-state boyfriend, a first time visitor to our home.

I used to meander outside, taking in the vivid colors of sky, trees and grass. Maybe it was then, when I dreamed of creating fabric that would duplicate nature’s design. Then there was the time I got permission to paint the no longer used sewing room and have it for my very own. Avocado green paint was perfect for the times I was in. I liked that room and the effect I had created.

I have dreams that relate to paint. Some of them have come true. Bulletin boards have come alive with paint, and back drops for Christmas and Easter programs. My favorite back drop to date was the mountain scene, painted on strips of paper and then “wall papered” with double sided tape to the approximately 15’ x 21’ center front wall of Fairview Church’s sanctuary.

Our old cement walled basement shower became bright with a paint job resembling the swirling of ocean waves. A discolored kitchen ceiling became an indoor sky. Bathroom walls went from the hue of dark paneling to the hue of white, superimposed with bouquets of flowers. The design was inspired by a quilt hanging at Pleasantview.

More recently, Ramona and her friends outdid themselves on our basement steps and walls. It’s a breath of fresh air to open the door and see the painted “carpet runner” and the designs of whim filling the formerly dull and dirty area. And our one upstairs bedroom could now sport a sign on its door. “Welcome to Cloud Nine.” There, you sleep in the clouds and the furniture blends right in- it’s a sky blue with clouds, too.

Some dreams haven’t come true - yet. There’s always painting to be done. I think it would be fun to have an extra house with every room filled with a particular theme. It would be so much more interesting than bland, off white (or any other solid color for that matter) walls. Each room would invite you to stay and look, and look, and then look some more. You would bask in it. And you would need nothing more than paint, used to its fullest potential.

I’ve seen the results of other people’s painting abilities. IMS has a cheerful mural on the wall opposite their library. Every time I see the mural under the town of Washington’s bridge, I enjoy it again. I’ve seen pictures of silos, painted with rich, detailed panoramas of western life. I’ve seen pictures of the inside of a house, where it’s owner transformed average walls into walls of stone and brick, a refrigerator into wood, a door into laden shelves. I’ve heard of a child’s bedroom with a tree overshadowing her bed, branches and leaves reaching across the ceiling. I’ve heard of kitchen cupboards surrounded with picket fences and flowers. And then, I’ve been to art museums in Amsterdam and Paris and marveled at framed paintings, masterpieces dripping with the reality of three dimensional life on a one-dimensional piece of canvas. Paint creates the miracle.

Of course, paint won’t go anywhere without the painter. Which brings me to another dream that isn’t quite realized - that of having no painting limitations. But, oh well. The joy of discovery will continue, brought about by paint and imagination.


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