Dreaming in Color - Looking with Jean Wells

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Looking Up - Looking Down - Looking All Around

Our environment is full of eye candy this time of year with all of the fall colors and textures. I really feel like an explorer trying to get last minute hikes and drives in before the snowfall. Lately, when I'm outdoors the intense blue of the sky catches my attention. I've realized that it is like a “neutral” in my photographs, because it seems to go with all the other hues. Going forward, I will certainly think of this sky blue more when I am planning a palette.

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The vibrant colors of fall mostly fit into the warm category when you consider the temperature of the hues. In fall you see a variety of yellows - to oranges - to rusts. However, there are always the mavericks like the wine color in the leaf pile I captured. Once winter starts rolling in the hues become cooler here in Central Oregon. When you are out and about in your area, consider temperature when something catches your eye.

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Our store neighbor Deanna, from Flowers by Deanna, really creates magical arrangements. In the one below, the bright violet and green awed me, and the deep orange like pods surrounded by the other greens. When you see something like this that strikes you, take a minute to put on your detective hat and figure out the proportion of each of the color families that you see. You are not only attracted to the various elements of the arrangement, but to the percentage of colors in relationship to the whole.

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Texture plays a big role in this photo too. It makes me think about stitching, and how I could add that element in design.

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One of my favorite classes to teach is Color Work Table Runner. It embraces the rulerless cutting technique, from my Intuitive Color and Design book, that I love to share with students. Fall colors were on my mind when I picked the palette for the runner below. The main print I selected really expanded my idea of fall with it's raspberry, light aqua, forest green, and bits of white.

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Last Saturday our sky was so intense. I stood outside for several minutes taking photo after photo. My husband and I were commenting that when the sun starts moving south in the fall it sets behind the Three Sisters and there is something about the light that creates these marvelous colors.

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Take a look around and discover what inspires you!

If you want to make your own Color Work table runner you can find the pattern here, and see a video of Jean talking about how she choose the color pallet for the five examples below on YouTube. Of course, you can find all the supplies you may need at stitchinpost.com .