Meditation on white

PowderI went to the graveyard this morning in search of white* and found, instead — blue, lavender, rose, dun, and periwinkle.

If one OPENS the aperture wide enough, a whitening occurs (an interesting metaphor for the heart), but even with a bleached-out composition, I find: blush, spring green, evergreen, gun metal grey, rose, silver, charcoal, brown, taupe, pale magenta, and blue.


So, I came home and placed an ewer on the snow (‘an ewer’?!!)
Beads-of-waterEven having cropped out the purple shadow that extended off its lower right edge, look at how many shades of white and grey there are to appreciate!

White on white can mean that an object blends with its surround seamlessly.  A joining of thing to ground.


White in all of its worn and buttery variations, above, can serve as a mat for a quilt-in-progress, where an ivory moon stakes a particular claim to purity.

And lastly, just in case you think I am taking myself too seriously, the Injuns that I periodically feature on this blog (and yes, when these plaster fellas were made, I’m sure they were ‘Injuns’) are a study in white, all in themselves, as they weather on the deck.  Here they are, not in the most recent storm, but in the one before last.


I can’t help but think they are mocking me.  In the nicest possible way, of course.

* This post responds to a query asked by Jude Hill in a class that I am taking online.

10 thoughts on “Meditation on white

  1. deanna7trees

    i love that second image and i love working in white. it took some getting used to when i started Karen Ruane’s classes but it slowly and unknowingly crept into my consciousness and i’m hooked…especially since i love lace.

  2. deedeemallon

    I believe that it could take hold… right now, though, I have a feeling that if I ‘shoot for’ white, I’ll end up with a very subdued, but not white, palette — we’ll see! I’d love to do some of what you do with lace.

    1. deanna7trees

      which of Karen’s classes had you signed up for? i learned so much from Karen. at the beginning, i worked with light colors and gradually leaned more and more toward the white.

  3. Julierose

    When is white really white? Good question…the clouds look white until you take a picture–then they seem to be changed….I love Jude Hills classes…even my (supposedly) white walls change with the angle of the sun hour by hour…have fun, Julierose

  4. deedeemallon

    deanna – I emailed you – it wasn’t so much the class as being in three others at the time and not being sufficiently pulled in by white-on-white as to be disciplined… I did learn great stuff, though.

    Julierose – sun on walls is a thing to behold, isn’t it… and then the shadows!

    Thanks, Jude. White on white feels like a good challenge right now… a chance to go back to the muslin ‘red house’ (which I preferred before I cut windows to the red below) and experiment… Seams. Letting the seams be something, too.

  5. saskia

    hmm I thought I had already commented, apparently not; I like the entire post, the bottom pic caught my eye: the two drunken looking Indians pretending not to be so close to the two empty wine bottles, made my mouth curve into a big smilel

  6. deedeemallon

    Ha! Saskia – I never saw the pairing of bottles to plaster-guys… they will never be the same.

  7. Lisa Eaton

    I hadn’t realized how many whites there were, and how dramatically important the WRONG one can be, until we painted our trim the wrong white. The wrong white! I didn’t realize it was possible. After misguided can #1, we went to Sherwin Williams and saw ALL the whites they had to offer. The choice was overwhelming, and it meant returning home with paint chips to tape to the all the different colored walls and look at it throughout the day and evening. Wow. Turns out, our white is CREAMY by Sherwin Williams. I love it. But I had no idea how complicated the process would be.


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