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Everyday Color Inspiration

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Recently over in the Facebook Group, we shared in a kind of impromptu challenge of sorts, looking for something beautiful every day. We'd capture the moment with a photo or a few words, sometimes both, but it would also be a great way to work on a daily creative practice such as painting, drawing, or journaling.

It's a really wonderful practice because you start to notice joyful little things all around you, every day, and it just, well, it makes you smile!

It can be as simple as an unexpected pop of color from a wildflower blooming somewhere you never would have noticed if you hadn't had to stop and tend to your puppy while out for a walk.

Maybe it's the crystalline sparkling of frost on the grass or your windows or even on your front door!

It's spotting a big ol' hawk perched on a mailbox as you're driving by, or a duck preening on a log in the water nearby on your lunchbreak.

Maybe it's that stubborn rosebush in your front yard that keeps blooming even though all its leaves have turned brown!

I love exploring color and texture through images I've snapped of little passing moments in my day to day activities. Sometimes it is no more than that momentary spark of happiness from noticing something pretty or interesting. Sometimes it gently pushes me towards the canvas. Other times it sparks an idea for a crochet design or even an entire collection of things!

The Herring Gull Wrap was one of those sparks, created by watching an injured gull at the zoo with my family. My son wants to be a bird seller when he grows up, he says, and so we always end up spending a little extra time looking at the birds. His favorite, of course, is when we get to feed the budgies!

And then there was the time I used the James River as inspiration for not only a crochet pattern, but also for painting and stitch markers and shawl pins and handspun! Gosh I enjoyed that.

I chose yarn for the James River Wrap from a selection of different indie dyers while visiting some of the local yarn shops participating in the James River Yarn Crawl. I picked colors that felt like the flow of the river with the sunlight reflecting off of it. The rocky, sandy shore, crusted in shells and scattered with driftwood. Mossy greens and scrub brush greens and tall, majestic pine tree greens.

And then I let the colors flow in an asymmetric fluidity of simple stitches to create a physical manifestation of the memories I have of walking along those shorelines.

It's ... kind of like magic.

Have you ever used a moment from your life, whether you took a picture or just the feeling, and turned it into inspiration for a new project? Did you know exactly what yarn you wanted to use? Or a stitch that seemed perfect? Did you pull colors straight from the image, creating a color palette to work from?

Next time I'll be back to talk a little bit more about how I do just that! You can eyeball it, of course, but sometimes it's nice to have tools that we can use to help carry us through from the glimmering of an idea to a fully realized finished piece.

If you're needing a little inspiration right now, then I encourage you to begin your own personal challenge of seeking out something beautiful every day. Get outside, look up and down and around, get up close, zoom out, slow down and look around you a little more. You might just find that you have more color and texture inspiration in your everyday life than you realized!

So start imagining what it might be like to turn a simple joyful moment into a tangible memory in the form of your next favorite hat or scarf or whatever you might want to create that will remind of that time when you paused, soaked in that joy, and smiled.

Next we'll dive into creating color palettes using images from your everyday color inspiration photos!


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