It's not really the snow itself that's getting to me. I try to consider shoveling to be good outdoor exercise. The stuff isn't too bad for fun either if you ski or sled or enjoy making snowmen or having a friendly snowball fight. It's this year's overdose of white! Everywhere and refreshed too often.
Don't get me wrong. White is a nice and quite useful color. White makes an area look clean, spacious, maybe even a bit ethereal. We quilters all know how beautifully our whites set off pales, brights and darks. We know how white can pull together that bin of scraps into a thoughtful even calculated looking work of art. White really is pretty and useful.
White is a wonderful neutral but neutral colors are just that - neutral. In a one-color harmony you can add white (or another neutral like beige or grey) and not change the status of the harmony. It is still a one-color harmony. Early in the 20th century such quilts were considered a statement of social standing. The inclusion of white in an opposite-color harmony can balance the strength of the complementary colors. White is a resting spot for the eye when looking at a quilt. And let's face it, we all occasionally need a rest. But white is NOT the color of March!
March is green. Not just the bright green of St. Patrick's Day accessories or the brighter-than-natural green of the Chicago River on parade day. (That river is pretty greenish every day.) In March we should be seeing the leaf green of snowdrop flower buds, the gentle green of tulip and daffodil sprouts and the hazy pale green of weeping willow branches preparing to bud.
Green is natural and hopeful. It symbolizes vegetation, cultivation, fruitfulness. Green stirs the emotions with thoughts of reliance, trust and understanding. It is sympathetic in sad times and empathetic is upsetting times. A light green is cool and crisp looking and when it darkens it can be powerful and dramatic.
Not bad for one very common color to represent both celebration and growth.
Is green more useful or expressive than white? The Inuits of the far North who live with lots of white have some 27 words for snow. Many of those words must bear some reference to the whiteness of the snow. Don't smirk. We have quite a few words for green ourselves. There's kelly, forest, lime, seafoam, sage, olive, hunter, avocado, fern, jungle, moss, teal, mint, shamrock, celadon, emerald, jade, malachite. How many more can you add?
Green is thought by many to be adaptable. When it come to color selection there are those who say green is good because green goes with everything. After all, grass is green and grass goes with everything.
Ah, grass! I remember grass.
Happy St. Patrick's Day and c'mon Spring!
We are a friendly guild that meets at: Blanchard Road Alliance Church located at 1766 S. Blanchard St. in Wheaton, Illinois, 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
All are welcome.
There are currently about 45 members, which makes us just the right size to have a lot going on, but still small enough to know everyone and make lasting friendships.
(c) 2010, Village Quilters Quilt Guild, Wheaton, IL