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The Liquid Lexicon of Paint.

Me and my paints have been hanging out for decades. We loved the pastel eighties! During all this time we have developed a communication skill that the military could probably use.

There are only a few of us, we are mostly primaries and gentle shades thereof. I am allowed to be one of them now, sort of like a mouse-family adopting Sasquatch. We make each other look good, there is a lot of love between us and we work really well together.

I remember when my paints began to speak to me, like when you see something move out of the corner of your eye, and there is nothing there, but you keep checking. I kept listening. This Thalo with a Noo-Yawk accent kept saying to me, "I was born with yellow in me, I can never be used to make a 'poifect' purple, you gotta go sailin' with Ultramarine and Rosy."

I see Tints, Shades, Hues and Tones as the little-uns of color. They constantly fight for my attention and like quadruplets, they think I don't know which is which. The Tints and Hues always seem to be more engaging than the shady Shades and the self-conflicted- agony of Tones-going-dull-fast. But hey, each to their own, they know I need them all.

When the primaries get together it's a hot-dish party, they are loud and busy, and usually leave early. Some colors are still full of the angst of the Impressionists and I can hear 14th-Century violins in the hue of Burnt Sienna.

"There is too much white in me" my pale yellow squeals from the end of a paintbrush. "You'll look good with us" replies the made-from-crushed insects-red, (the red that gives African skin life and sweat). The earth-tones complain a lot but they get their day in the sun. And as the paints settle-in on the canvas they alert me, "If you wait until tomorrow it will be too late, we won't be able merge.

You have taken such good care of us, we just wanted you to know."

Thus spaketh my paints in their liquid lexicon.

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