The color of warm

Interior design, landscaping, or fiber arts, the color of warm speaks for itself. You can plan warm hues to pop against contrast or gently blend its expression in a gradient like the sun set. Primary colors red and yellow evoke the feeling of warmth. Blue feels cold. Gradients of the warm hues say, “Feel warm! Feel warm!”

Interior design and landscaping

Before it was the trend I painted my west wall terracotta, a warm deep orange-red of America’s Southwest canyon lands. I wanted to feel warm in my coastal cottage like the sun setting at my Idaho home in the Rocky Mountains. I lived and worked on Washington’s North Olympic Peninsula in winter. The Strait of Juan de Fuca mirrors the season’s forever heavy grey sky. Evergreen foliage reflects monotonous daylight all day, the dull feeling of bleak, so I couldn’t feel time passing with the moving sunlight. The daylight just didn’t change through the day in winter.

Yet bunches of tiny crimson berries on my huge ancient holly tree screamed “Feel warm!” through my east window. People walking by in the mist would stop and stare at the red globes contrasting with spiky two toned leaves, entranced by the warm winter message. On cool holidays I clipped branches and left them by the side walk for people to take home. In a few January days, hundreds of buff breasted robins wiped out every bright fruit on the tree and sang a long crisp cheery chorus. The red berries and birds warmed the foggy landscape with their hues. “Feel warm!”

Fiber Arts, Knitting

While I knit a scarf for a child I am thinking of her favorite color, PINK, lots of PINK. Not my favorite color but I realized that I am knitting warmth not just with the warming power of wool but with the color of warmth. While knitting, I am warmed from the wool in my lap and the action in my hands but, on an intuitive level, I feel warmth from the gradients of red and yellow, orange, pink, and fuchsia. I like to play with contrasts so the colors pop, looking even more intense. Sometimes I put the contrast in the design, other times I show it with what I wear with the knitted garment. In some recent designs, I see that I have selected color ways from the warm hues for hats, socks, ear warmers, and i-pod cozies, too.


I photograph almost everything I knit before I give it away and some local shops have asked for my portfolio. Today, I considered the knitted items as subjects for a photo series on warmth, the color of warmth and I paid attention to a color pop already in the knitting design of a baby hat. How can I make my knitting portfolio more engaging? Let me get started with the first step. Most of these photos were taken indoors with natural daylight shining through a window. I used my Olympus E-10 DSLR, on manual at 125, F 2.7. I could have bracketed the shots but I wanted to see what comes from that setting. It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit last night and 18 degrees when I went outdoors to catch the sunlight and the contrasting blue sky for the scarf. The camera slowed down after several minutes in the outdoor cold while I was in the artist mode. Time and temperature were not affecting me until the tool told me to go indoors where it would feel warm.

Art is about observation, looking, listening, and feeling. And some skill and practice.