A fellow blogger was recently given an award and asked to answer a few personal questions, such as: What’s your favorite color. The blogger’s answer—blue.
I began thinking about this popular yet elusive color. In spite of the fact that our planet appears to have a blue sky and looks blue from space because of the vast oceans, blue is rare in nature. Only a small percentage of plants and animals are blue. Historically, blue as an ingredient in art is rare; today blue is produced in factories from chemicals and used to color fabrics as well as paints, but during the Renaissance artists ground their own colors and blue was made from pulverized lapis lazuli, a pigment so expensive that the amount used was often specified in a commission’s contract.
Blue has fascinated writers over the centuries and the English language has no shortage of adjectives describing this obscure color: periwinkle, azure, cobalt, indigo, ultramarine, sapphire, turquoise, navy, sky-blue, powder-blue, baby-blue and robin-egg blue, to name a few. In the 1930s American illustrator/painter Maxfield Parrish became so famous for his use of a particular shade that the color was named for him—Parrish-blue.
Over the years I’ve experienced serious blues around the globe, but it wasn’t until I entered the legendary Blue Grotto on the Isle of Capri that I experienced an orgasm of blue, a DEFCON #1 explosion of liquid sapphire. Tourist attractions seldom live up to their hype and I had low expectations for this one, so I wasn’t prepared for this visual feast. I was transfixed by the color beneath our boat as we passed through a small opening in a cliff and entered into a cathedral of phosphorescence. We were only in the grotto twenty minutes but the experience burned Capri-blue into my memory.
Recently, Daniel LaFrance at The Pixel Collective, a friend and renowned photographer, posted an exquisite picture of an indigo bunting (a bird) that knocked my socks off. Have you experienced an intensity of blue that took your breath away? Were you ever held captive by the power of a blue moon? A lover’s eyes? Maybe something seen during your travels?
Share it with us.