I don't know when, I don't know how, but the hue of Blue some time became irrevocably linked to sadness and sorrow. Two songs come to mind as I think on this. One by Bobby Vinton, "Blue On Blue...heartache on heartache;" and one as sung by Andy Williams, "Love Is Blue...Blue is my world now I'm without you...." However, for me, I've never associated Blue with melancholy. In the photo above I see joyous jellies cavorting in a magical blue water world. I can't even imagine what color would be a better fit for them. [as an artist I can't help but notice that the jellies are orange-ish in color making them the color compliment to the blue water...which is why, dear students, the photo works so well visually. Orange is made of red and yellow, the other two primary colors of which blue is the third.]
Blue is everywhere in our lives...for proof just look up. The sky is blue. Some say the ocean is 'sea green' but when I lived for a time in Hawaii, I saw waters so blue as to hurt the eyes and squeeze the soul.
I found an interesting article written a year ago by New York Times writer Natalie Angier titled, "Blue Through the Centuries - Sacred and Sought After." She wrote:
"...However inspired they may have been by the immaculate beauty of the sky and water they saw every day, prehistoric artists had no way to render the color blue with paint. As Heinz Berke of the University of Zurich has pointed out, the famous cave paintings at Lascaux and surrounding sites, which date back some 20,000 years, are notably lacking in blue...."
I was inspired to write about Blue when I was sweeping our patio recently. We have two little lawn chairs for the grandchildren - a blue one for Matt and a pink one for Hannah. Matt's chair is one of those plastic tubing types. On this day the sun was shining brightly and it shone through the chair and cast this shadow [at left] on the tiles. Understand this photo is not colorized. This is indeed the color that was brilliantly sun stained onto the patio. Wow. So intense. So beautiful.
Interestingly I don't use a preponderance of blue hue in my paintings. The two works above feature a jazz player motif and in both cases I did choose to paint them blue because it just seemed to fit the mood. I was thinking "cool jazz" not "somber or sad jazz."
When I'm out and about with my camera, my breath is always stolen when blues sneak in and take it away. The senior software engineering guy and I were sightseeing and photo-ing in the San Francisco region of California a year ago or so and in the evening of one day found ourselves on Mt. Tamalpais. We were high enough on the mountain to get this view [to right] of fog and clouds pouring over a seaside community. The sun had nearly completed its set and the colors were unreal. This photo has not been retouched or colorized. That gorgeous, soft blue is indeed what we saw.
Unlike prehistoric artists, 21st century artists have blues in abundance from which to choose. Right now my acrylic paint drawer has these: