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Artist Residency at Whiterock Conservancy

What's White?

I thought a lot about white and how it becomes a canvas reflecting its surroundings.

12 months ago

What's White?

12 months ago

I spent a portion of yesterday painting another version of the Garst home. It is a white house. But when I really looked at it, I thought a lot about white and how it becomes a canvas reflecting its surroundings. I haven’t experimented much with this, but what am I here for? Yesterday was the day.

I wished that Harry Adler was standing next to the house with a lot of white paint samples like Lumen, Whistler or Milk Moustache. But, once again during this residency, the answer is: just keep painting. I feel a little emabarassed to admit how timid I have been about experimenting with color until now. I thought, white house, white paper would suffice. But fortunately, I am dissatisfied with myself and that always precedes growth.

Garst farmhouse with G on the chimney

I had fun with this, using lots of color to describe light and shade.This painting is not quite done, but it is very important to step away from your work, stare at it, leave the room, maybe go for a ride, then look at it again later.

When I went for a ride, I headed on the Gator to the place where I had seen the bison herd before and was granted another look. Rest assured, my camera lens is powerful and there were two electric fences between us. The end of a wonderful day.

bison in a field behind and electric fence



  • A luminous house, indeed! You amaze me, cousin!

    Anna on

  • Love the way you suggest the foliage in minimal strokes, so that the emphasis is on the delicate color of the house.

    Sue Simoneau on

  • This sentence deserves its own sampler, “. . . I am dissatisfied with myself and that always precedes growth.” And wonderful exploration of white!

    Jan on

  • the painting is beautiful. I’m so glad you have the time and patience to do this work — and the portrait of the house is lovely. and what a profound question! I got curious about that and started looking around. We tend to think think white is the opposite of color (or has no color) — in fact, white light is actually the presence of all color or a reflection of all colors? (thanks wikipedia – ! really white is presence rather than an absence. And you’re right – white always has shades – the base could be yellow – or red – or any other color. in looking around, I also found this – — aha – Harry Adler! What fun to think about this… after all, there’s no such thing really as pure “Green” or “blue” or any other color — mostly shades that reflect moods and light — and when mixed too much become muddy …. thought provoking.

    Mev on

  • I LOVE this blog, and I absolutely LOVE the painting, Thea! So happy you wrote about this topic. When you really look, color is everywhere 😀

    Elaine Benevides on

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