(Please note that during the month of August, Mark will be taking a break, developing new posts and running favorite old posts for your pleasure.)
Last year we looked at the deep blue the French use to paint exterior store fronts in Paris. By comparison, this week I'd like to point out another French usage of blue I saw all over Provence, and again my examples are exterior. The color in these photographs is much cooler and softer than our Parisian blue, though I feel it stops short of being an indeterminate pastel.
I can only imagine it evolved into common usage because it tempers the hot sun-on-stones effect that light here has on these buildings.
I actually had to go to my watercolor catalogs to identify what I was looking for, and the closest I came was Ultramarine Violet, or blue with little drops of purple in it; it's not turquoise, it's not cerulean, and it's not a slate blue either. I especially like the combination of blue/brown in the opening photograph, which I hope will be another column in the near future.
- Mark Chamberlain, interior and decorative painter
(ReEdited from 2006-07-18 - MC)