We all have an affinity for particular colours – I have one for the colour blue. I always lean towards the blues – and in particular the green end of the blue scale. This glorious colour has always dominated my wardrobe and my surroundings – and no matter what, it creeps into my paintings.

I started to think that I should know more about this colour that is so important to my painting practice. Here are a few things you may want to consider if it is a significant colour in your paintings. Some pretty cool facts were uncovered:

  • Colours can trigger deep-seated memories
  • Mosquitos love blue. They are attracted to dark blue in particular. (I’m not sure that has any relevance to painting unless you’re planning a Plein air session in a mosquito area).
  • Blue is the colour of bad luck in India
  • And associated with pain in China
  • Blue is the least common colour for food
  • The term ‘light blue’ did not exist until 1915
  • Blue encourages productivity which is why the colour is often used in offices
  • Did you know that, apart from owls, birds cannot see blue?
  • Blue is associated with trustworthiness, dependability and loyalty
  • It is considered a calming colour so is used in paintings with a serene atmosphere.

The story of the colour blue

The perception of this colour has changed over time. Initially blue was considered a low-class colour. In ancient Rome, it was worn by lower-class workers and public servants. From being worn by public servants, this colour was adopted for military and police uniforms. As the colour blue came to be associated with the Virgin Mary and became more widely adopted, the status of this beautiful colour rose.

These days the blue is thought to be the most popular in the spectrum, although it is more popular with men than with women

Whatever the reason, I just love blue paint. Even when I’m experimenting with colour and just making random marks and effects, those blues keep appearing.

And my sister, when she reads this, will be saying for the umpteenth time, “That’s so your colour.” And she’s quite right.