Exploring Color: White

“White covers a multitude without which no color can be seen; yellow for the earth; green for water; blue for air; red for fire; and black for total darkness.”  ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

My obsession with the color white began when I started a white garden at my old house in a semi-shady area.   Creating a perfect white garden is not easy.   Of course the garden doesn’t have perfect white blooms.  There are some yellow centers as you can see in the flowers above. White is considered a neutral color in garden design, and is used as a  background for other colors.  So any color besides white shows up right away in a white garden.  You are drawn to it.  And I like the purity, the clean look of a white garden.  It  brightens up a space especially where there is shade. 

And the full beauty of a white garden comes at night during a full moon.  I loved watching the dark reaches of the back garden lighten as the moon rose each night towards its brightest light.  My flowers almost glowed in the moonlight.

For the first several weeks of #the100dayproject, I will be exploring one color a week and its many hues. And I decided to start with white. Why start my project, #1coloradayfor100days, with white; considered not really a color? Because it is the presence of all colors, what many consider the color of perfection in perfect balance. You can read more about the specifics of my project this year, here and here.

There are only a few white watercolors, so for the first week I have decided to mix white with one of the 6 other weekly colors I will be featuring (blue, red, orange, yellow, green, purple). I am trying out ways to show both the pure transparent color next to the white-mixed opaque color for contrast. This is where exploring certainly will come in.

Of course I decided to add another layer to this to make it more introspective for me. I am picking a daily card from Mary Lunnen’s Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards. Her simple, wonderful introspective cards called to me so I obliged. Each day a word and color to ponder. I am also adding a crystal that symbolizes the word. I love crystals and have started to learn more about them. It all feels so right. But I have learned that my intentions for my project seem to morph and find a more alchemic path as time goes on.

For the watercolors I will be using my new Artisto 48 colors watercolor paint set. And I will also be using Daniel Smith watercolors where needed.

So let’s explore a bit about the color white…..

Various Meanings and History

White stands for wholeness, completion, openness and truth. It is associated with safety, light, goodness, innocence, purity, beginnings and peace. White is said to help clear clutter and obstacles away, and brings about mental clarity. In English heraldry, white or silver signified brightness, purity, virtue, and innocence. Medieval European queens wore white for mourning. A white flag is recognized as a symbol of truce throughout the world. The ancient Greeks wore white to bed to make sure they had pleasant dreams.

Fun Facts

In advertising, white is associated with coolness and cleanliness.

A white picket fence is said to surround a safe and happy home.

White is the traditional color worn by brides in both the western world and Japan.

White is a color of mourning in China and parts of Africa.

You are said to be fastidious if you drive a white car.  That might explain why I only had a white car once.

In general, white and pale flowers are more strongly scented than their darker counterparts.

Commercially more shades of white are available than any other color.

White is used with pastel tones to make the pastel colors come alive.

When looking for a shade of white you will find some of these words used to describe the color white:  snow, pearl, antique white, ivory, chalk, milk, old lace, cream, linen, ghost, alabaster, whitewash.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. The collages were created with a variety of apps 10 years ago that are no longer available. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.