Behind the Red Door
It’s a mystery what lies behind the red door in any painting that includes one. Every artist eventually gets around to painting at least one red door during her career. I just can’t stop myself from painting at least a couple each year; cadmium red being among my favorite hues. A red door may symbolize many different things. Sometimes, it simply says ‘welcome’ to those who come knocking. In Feng Shui, a Chinese philosophy in which the arrangement of colors and objects around the home relates to the natural flow of energy, a red door is used to create a friendly, welcoming aura. In other cultures, a red door has been a status symbol; in Scottish history,it’s been proudly used as a symbol that the home is mortgage-free. Christian churches have often painted front doors red to represent the blood of Christ; a red door at a holy place is there by seen as added protection against evil. Many Lutheran churches painted their doors red to identify them as belonging to the Reformation. In Old Testament tradition, Hebrew slaves were instructed to smear the blood of a lamb on their front doors to protect their first born from the angel of death. And during the American Civil War, a red door was thought to signify that a house was a safe space along the Underground Railroad. For others, it can be merely practical: A friend of Albert Einstein told the story that the famous but absen tminded physicist painted his door red so he could more easily find his house. What lies behind the red door in this painting is the fun you’ll have choosing what it means to you. Behind the Red Door was, after all, painted for you.