Dreaming in Color - Shades of Winter with Jean Wells

My Post (33)

It is January, and as I write this blog it is trying to snow outside. To so many people, the winter colors in the landscape are dull and uninviting. When I take time to sit and really look outside, I see some very interesting combinations of colors. Seeing our Central Oregon sagebrush with snow opened my eyes to the subtle elegance of neutrals.


That imagery stayed with me and I started noticing other combinations, some even with high contrast.

On a drive to the bay area a few years ago in early March, we came upon Grass Lake. I asked John to stop the car, so I could photograph the beautiful blue color reflecting from the sky on the ice with the warm cream colored grass. This image has stayed with me for a long time, and below you can see how I used those colors in Entwined.





During a recent hike along the Metolius river, I noticed the ice blue water again and then saw the contrast of the warm and cool neutral colors along the river's edge. On down the river, the red berries on the bare branches jumped out at me. This gave me the idea of using red for an accent in a neutral piece.

It seems mother nature reminds us of the wonderful contrast of green in the moss and lichen you see in the woods. I feel like green is a neutral in nature. And if you look closely all the different shades and tones of green, all work together in nature. When I used to teach sampler classes and a student might be stuck, many times some form of green would save the day.

This quilt was started in January a few years ago. I pulled mostly neutral fabrics with subtle hints of color that I start to see appearing in March as we approached spring in the high desert. The lichen type of green just seemed to work with this piece.


In 2020, I hope you will take the time to sit down and reflect on what you see, and take time to analyze it. Inspiration is all around us, but until we open ourselves up, it is invisible. Take notes of your observations, try finding descriptive words to describe what you see, and write them down. Happy New Year to all of you.


Jean put together a set of winter inspired fabrics for the January Palette of the Month Fat Quarter Bundle. Use them to spark your own inspiration.