Sunday, August 2, 2009

Marrying and Losing Blue

Ah, the color blue! In all its glory and varieties, it is peaceful, moody and sensuous. I have loved it for many years now. Periwinkle, turquoise, cerulean, navy, powder, sky, lavender, ultramarine and yes, my favorite, cobalt. And, of course, any shades of blue I might have failed to mention.

What is it about blue that attracts me so? My themes are spiritual in nature, and initially blue seemed fitting for that reason. But the more I painted with it, the more I was attracted to its broad technical properties, as well as the resulting emotive aspects of work containing blue - particularly cobalt and ultramarine.

Technical because I have discovered blue to be the perfect undertone for the most unlikely colors - yellow, for example. My painting, "The Mid-Heaven" was begun with several washes of thinned cobalt blue over the entire surface, with thinned layers of ultramarine used during several last stages of the painting process. These two colors enhance, rather than detract from the vibrancy of the finished painting.

Emotive because finished works containing blue can be either contemplative or upbeat, depending on the tones of the colors used with it. The color blue can definitely set a mood like no other.

A friend once told me that blue is the color of truth, and I believe she might be right. Truth is certainly vital to spirituality.

At any rate, I will continue to love blue, but we just might separate for a while. I want to experiment with other colors as an undertone for paintings and as a potential suitor to add that special flavor to my paintings. I have tried to lose blue in the past, to no avail. I don't think I'll lose it now, as it will always come back and attach itself to me.