Blue / Fire-pit
The little adobe courtyard glowed blue except for the amber, yellow-orange fire emanating from a black iron fire pit. It was freezing cold outside - ice blue cold. Standing close to the fire, for heat, one could warm up. Blue clear Christmas lights made the courtyard weird in a good way. Memorable. The contrast of hot/cold, amber/blue translates to visualize heat.
A small gallery at the top of Canyon Road had an opening one mid-winter night. Common here are fire pit or chimaera at entrances and courtyards on cold nights. The photo captured it all. And so does the painting. Layering the blue took the longest to get the rich deep color.
After this night of visiting the blue courtyard, I put blue lights on my front porch. One strand of vintage blue lights on the nearest small tree was perfect. That was a couple years ago and the blue lights are still out there. The vintage set burnt out.
by Robert Francis
Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how far.
You know the bluejay's double-blur device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.
When I taught 2-D Color and Design, a foundation class, at Texas Christian University (TCU), I included in color theory the Munsell System. There was a lovely hands on kit available called “The Munsell Student Color Set” my students were required to complete and was the core of sketchbook assignments. I’m including the blue page here and Munsell’s definition of complementary colors from my book/set.
Color is, can be complicated. There are many theories and applications. We all see color differently, it is said. Yet, we need common ground. For me, it is best to learn as much as possible, learn the rules, and then forget them. Do what is natural, intuitive to ones own eye.
Images: watercolor painting of Blue Courtyard
Munsell Set Blue Page
Definition of complimentary colors