from Joan Justis
White and All of It’s Colors
When an artist needs to use white in the painting, there is a dilemma. How can light and shadow be represented if the image is white? There is flat gray, but often that destroys the interest of the viewer. However, you will notice that white seldom is pure. Look at the snow in the photo—shadows are blue and violet and the bright light reflecting off the snow is a warm yellow or orange.
John F. Carlson changes the atmosphere of his winter paintings by choosing what color the white will be. It can be a cool painting or a warm painting. There is no pure white in these paintings, but our mind interprets the colors as white snow. Note the blue snow in “Forest Silence” (1917) and the yellow snow in “Winter Morning Mists”. They each evoke different emotions.
Now look at all of the colors of white in John Singer Sargent’s painting “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”.
We have free rein to give the impression of white in an array of colors!
The current interior decorating trend is to paint and upholster with white. Then any accent color can be used. A commercial paint card will give you samples of many subtle cool whites and warm whites. Do you want the room to have a warm glow or a cool crispness? If you look through a current magazine they are also using grays the same way. There are warm grays and cool grays.
Do you like cool, sparkly colors in your life or warm, comfortable colors? It may depend on the weather!