My last entry was was a hallelujah to tomato red. Well, things have cooled down considerably and I've been all about blue. In surveys spanning continents and cultures, blue, in fact, is the world's favorite color. It's been awhile since I've written about blue and it's worth a reprise.
Did you know that blue is an anomaly in nature? While banding a bluebird many years ago, I learned that most critters we think of as "blue" only appear blue. It's optical hocus pocus- birds' blue feathers, insects' blue wings, even blue eyes only seem blue. They contain no blue pigment. Their blue is purely a function of specialized frameworks and the scattering of light. If you pulverize a blue feather, it will no longer appear blue because its tiny reflective structures have been damaged. It will look gray or brownish. Contrast that with beets- they remain red when crushed because their color comes from pigment.
Nature produces only a wee handful of blue pigments. A few minerals, such as lapis lazuli, azurite, and cobalt, can be ground to create blue pigment. Blue dyes can be conjured from a minute number of plants like woad (Isatis tinctoria) and true indigo (Indigofera tinctoria). Historically, painters know blue as the rarest and most expensive of colors. Most of the blue dyes and pigments we use today are synthesized.
Blues range from deep teal to rich indigo, and have been significant in human culture for at least 5,000 years. The mantle of the Virgin Mary, Egyptian mummy linens, and the Hindu God Krishna's clothing, have often been depicted as blue. In some religions, blue is the color of the 5th chakra, and indigo is the color of the 6th chakra.
Blue is said to be the color of wisdom, intuitive knowledge, and transformation. Blue conveys integrity. It makes us feel calm, yet vibrantly strong. If you're affected by a prevalence of negativism and fear-mongering, it may be time to roll out the blue.
Choosing to be surrounded by color, grace, and resourcefulness in discordant times is empowering. It invigorates our senses and emboldens our creativity. It makes the muses frisky. And that's where real magic happens.
PS- I'm going to be clever now, and confess that my favorite color is whichever one I'm squeezing out of the tube. What's yours?!
PSS- If you haven't voted yet, now's the time. Is my sudden blue obsession a less-than-subtle nudge? You'll have to decide. Be well, my friends of all chromatic persuasions.
See the details of any painting by clicking on the image.
To see more of my "Blue" paintings, click here.
Why is the sky blue? https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/blue-sky/en/
Is the sea really blue? http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/201505226-is-the-sea-really-blue
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her abstract landscape paintings cultivate connection to the lands she explores.
©2021 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.