I know Bluebirds are often described as royal blue. But I think the males’ feathers look much more electric blue with the faintest wash of dark lilac -- like the sky on an extremely bright, clear day just before dusk. The more gently-colored female and juvenile birds verge on a speckled, steel-gray-rusty-brown without any purple cast. But their tail and wing feathers sport shades somewhere between brilliant blue and the Adriatic Sea. Of course, Bluebirds are not actually blue. The structure of their feathers scatters incoming light so that only the shorter wavelengths are reflected, and they appear blue to us.
I’ve always been drawn to blue paints and pigments, especially vivid, vibrant blues with a tinge of red or a hint of green. They are somehow both comforting and invigorating… multi-layered and boldly pure... mysterious and reassuring. A blue’s dichotomy depends a lot on its luminance, basically the intensity or “whiteness” of a color, and its saturation, also known as its chroma or trueness of a color. So, a watered-down, pastel blue soothes and recedes. But the imperfect, crystal blues of Bluebirds almost hum with energy.
|Pantone's Blue Sky-Imagination Palette|
from their Fall 2011-Winter 2012 Colour Planner: Wonder
Virginia artist Robert Stuart is often inspired by sunlight filtered through mundane objects, like glass bottles or wood planks. In a way, his paintings are the ultimate abstraction of a landscape or still-life -- just texture, color and light. He explains “… I aspire to work with the forces (of light and atmosphere) themselves, directly, without the intermediary representation of objects.”
|Bands of Blue|
|Rust and Blue|
|Woman in Waves|
|Light Leak (Soccer)|
|Red Boat Beach, Julie (Blue)|
|Parachute Class II|
|Orange Suit Bather|
|The Old Pond|
|Girl and Her Cat|
Robert Stuart is represented by the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Isca Greenfield-Sanders is represented by Haunch of Venison in New York and the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco. And Paul Lancaster is represented by Grey Carter in McLean, Virginia.
You can learn more about him in the book: Paul Lancaster: Immersed in Nature.