Thoughts on color, energy and choosing well

February 18, 2006 by

Color. I love color. Each color has some element beauty for me. Color theory is extremely intriguing to me as are some philosophical discussions. A brief discussion of basic color principles and definitions can be found here. Color is a passion for me. It can take me up or bring me down. Color can quiet me or rev me up. We used to have a kitchen that was the exact color of my neighbors lawn, which we could see out the window, making the kitchen seem much larger than it actually was. The grass green was a very clean color to me, so even when the kitchen was a disaster it seemed cleaner than it actually was because of the Clean Green Walls.

Before there were small hollering boys in our lives, our house was a riot of color. Green kitchen, grape library, yellow family room. And it worked. It worked because they were all the same value. On another level, it did not work because they were all very vibrant and I found it difficult to relax in some of the more brightly colored rooms. If you ever want to skyrocket your productivity, paint your office or workspace red! My old home office had geranium red walls and the rest of the room was done in tones of red and pink. I got stuff d-o-n-e. Now, with the small hollering boys it would be unbearable to have all that color on the walls. There is quite enough energy here as it is, thank you. When we moved into this house Angus, who is extremely energetic to begin with, requested a firetruck red room.

As an aside, when I tell people that we have super high energy boys, most of the time I am met with: “Oh that’s how all little boys are”. After meeting them, I hear: “I thought you were exaggerating, but those boys are the most energetic I have ever met!”

Back to color…The request for the firetruck red room was denied and a compromise was reached. Robin’s egg blue walls and a red door. Thomas the Tank Engine Colors and yet oddly chic and refreshing when no trains are involved- good thing too as his old room is now my sewing room. And I find the blue invigorating and quieting all at the same time. Yes, the door is still red.

As much as I love color, sometimes it gives me fits. Rather, I give myself fits because I get lazy about color. Lazy about the process. I settle for good enough when with a bit more work it could be really striking. This really does pertain to all areas of my life, whether it be quilting, painting, knitting or what color my bathroom is. (More on this tomorrow).

Here are some fabrics I have gathered for a future quilt for Angus. This kid seriously loves red. In the past few months he has allowed that he might, just might, like blue.

So in the name of the process, I made this Courthouse Steps block to proof my ideas about how these fabrics work together. Very pleased that I did as it showed me several things I had not seen before.

I attempted to have the red based fabrics from the center go from light to dark. This was somewhat successful. The outermost red fabric and the one next to it need to switch. Looking at them alone, I thought the outermost was the darker red. That is what I love about color- how it is one color on its own and quite another depending on who its neighbor is. The white based fabrics were meant to go from the center, dark to light. The second (from the left) white based fabric, the dotted one, needs to be one position closer to the center and the floral needs to be second from the left.

To sum up about all this color talk, I wanted to publicly admire some people who I believe are masters of color and inspire me to learn and do more. Angry Chicken, Yarnstorm, Be*mused, and Six and a Half Stitches. There are many others that inspire and I will tell you about them soon, though you probably all ready know them. Thank you ladies!

3 Responses to Thoughts on color, energy and choosing well

  1. Emily

    I LOVE watching you make quilts. The way all the pieces come together touches my crafty soul on some deep level. I love color, not that you could tell by my house, it’s all cream on the inside (the furniture shows up better – I also love antiques) and bloggers that know how to use their cameras (and have great web design) really thrill me.I just sent you an email with some socky links! Let me know if you don’t get it and I will send it again. I emailed you a several times about the yarn bands (and I think once about socks), but I am not convined that you got them! Your mailer may think I am spam.

  2. Alison

    The reds are great! I’m feverishly looking at people’s quilts for their children at the moment so I can get ideas for the next one. The lovely use of your colour will be great for a child!