I seem to have a theme on orange and blue right now. As if all those apricots weren’t enough last summer, I realize I’ve continued it now with satsumas and pumpkins! It wasn’t a deliberate decision, but I am fond of these two colours together.
These two complementary colours, on opposite sides of the colour wheel have the greatest contrast. Apparently this helps our brain to easily recognize objects. Photographers and film makers know this colour scheme as amber and teal and use it all the time, as it immediately grabs our interest. I read somewhere that in films, if an actress has red hair, as often as not the guy with her will be wearing a blue suit. (I haven’t checked this out!)
In my painting of the Satsuma with Blue Enamelled Plate I’ve used highly saturated colours but in the Blue Pumpkin painting the blue is a pale, almost turquoise blue against the brighter orange. I’m thinking I might play with these more subtle hues in the future.
Shades of orange and blue are all around us in nature. Think sunrise, sunset, autumn leaves against a blue sky and golden sands by the sea. It’s that contrast of warm and cold that captures the viewer. David Hockney’s recent tree series of paintings have bright blue and orange everywhere in varying proportions. I love them, they have such atmosphere.
Monet, in his haunting Waterloo Bridge, the Sun in the Mist uses subtle blues drifting into lavender to intensify the orange sun and its reflection on the water.
On Instagram I follow Greg Vance, a brilliant photographer living in Venice His photos of that magical city often make me gasp. To me it's those varying shades of blue and orange that get my attention. Check him out, you won't be disappointed especially if, like most people who've visited the watery city, you fell in love with Venice.