it happens that color makes me grateful. grateful for the mottled color of lobsters clicking across the kitchen floor in wyoming, dark marvels shipped live from maine to my parents when i was small. grateful for the color of fields in kansas, unripened wheat that was so tall it could swallow me up in its sea of deep, emerald green. grateful for the explosive color of bougainvillea, paper-thin leaves of fuchsia that will soon be cascades of color by the side of our front door. the way the world paints itself is, i think, a constant work of wonder.
and the ingenious people who decided to replicate those colors win another huge measure of my gratitude. paint--or any color we can apply to some surface--is, beyond doubt, one of my favorite, favorite things. and those who know how to use it well complete my gratitude triad. paint makes prague the most beautiful city that i've ever seen. it makes our walls feel warm and calm and welcoming. with it, artists can transform a canvas into a another world. and it goes from can to brush to wall to make all kinds of sundry signs here.
shop names, merchandise, slogans and logos are often painted onto the buildings' facades, in bold signature colors and with impeccable shapes and lines. a new locale down the street today was getting its own color makeover, sponsored by corona, carried out by a team of dexterous, teenage, rotulistas.
after outlining their work in the lightest of light yellow chalk, they began filling in each letter with quick, confident strokes. the accuracy of their brushwork seemed infallible, as if their inherited fine motor skills were compounded by a kindergarten teacher who demanded that they color within the lines. i was mesmerized, and i offer you a similar experience here.
rotulistas--sign writers and hand letterers--are contracted to paint much more than storefronts, too. remember all that colorful campaign propaganda? it was the handy-work of rotulistas. those same walls and road banks have since been transformed into concert promotions, painted by the same group of painters who work for a company named after its owner, a man known simply by his first name, chuk. using chalk lines to keep their work straight, the rest is filled in with what seems to me considerable skill. it brings to mind the idea of pop art with its countless, identical, city-wide repetitions.
it's a manipulation of paint, of color, that even now seems new to me. sometimes it feels like too much. it can easily feel too busy. but it's creative and vibrant, and it's extremely different. for that, i'm definitely grateful.