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A Visitation with Crystal Despain

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Segullah’s journal has the pleasure to highlight the works of one of our 2019 Visual Art Contest winners, Crystal Despain. Crystal’s vibrant and shimmering painting “Visitation” stunned us with its luminosity, implied action and technical skill. Here’s our conversation with Crystal about being an artist and a Segullah sister. Segullah: Welcome, Crystal! It’s an honor …

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Paint it Red and Yellow and Blue

By Sandra Clark

Vivid shoes (with orange pants, naturally) with the front door paint job they inspired.
Vivid shoes (with orange pants, naturally) with the front door paint job they inspired.

I tear open the tape, and lift the cardboard flaps to pull out my newly delivered shoes: vivid  royal blue. There is no hiding this color. They felt like a bold choice when I clicked “add to cart” two weeks ago. Now in my hands, they are not just a  bold hue, but a brave one. Loud unrepentant bright hues always feel brave to me. “Look at me!” they  invite- they catch the eye and hold attention. That same reason was why my toddler sported vivid orange shoes at the playground; when I let go and let him climb the structures above me, I could track him by his racing orange toes through the metal grates above me. I could always see those shoes, and find my straw haired boy.

I realized Friday was the anniversary of the first time since childhood that I had broken ground into bold colors. I bought a pair of lipstick red pants. The slim cut and flaming color beckoned attention to my lower half. I’m not sure how I managed to talk myself into trying them on, buying them, and summoning the chutzpah to wear them with a flattering black turtle necked top and four inch heels on Valentine’s Day 2002. In trying to be grown up I had been stuck in muted, sensible (i.e. grown-up) colors for a few years at that point. But pleased with the transformative powers of the outfit, I didn’t change out of it. The tamer colored pants and skirts I stocked my closets with never made my butt look this good, nor made me feel so self-assured. It’s hard to color-coordinate with a fire-engine and feel like a wallflower.  

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