This blue bottle called my name at Michaels one day... as pretty objects often do. "Paint me! paint me!" it shouted. But alas, it didn't get it's debut until over a year later. That is another reason why painting these little studies every day is a good thing. More objects and curiosities that I've picked up to inspire me over the years will stop collecting dust on my shelves, and will finally get to be painted.
One of my favorite color names is "Ultramarine blue". It is a rich, sumptuous warm blue made from a semi-precious stone, Lapis Lazuli. This expensive stone can be found in a few small mines in desolate places around the world but most commonly, at least in the Italian Renaissance, it came from Afghanistan. For the medieval Italians, who used the pigment in the robes of the virgin Mary, Afghanistan was far beyond the sea. They referred to many imported items as "from beyond the sea" in those days but for this expensive and symbolic pigment, the name stuck until this day. Now most commonly used, is a synthetic version which is far less expensive. In 1824 during the industrial revolution, there was a prize offered to any chemist to produce and publish an artificial production of Ultramarine blue, since there was a formulation of a blue compound almost identical to the color, found in the lime kilns of St. Gobain France.
I proudly wear a little nib of Lapis Lazuli around my neck, a gift from my partner in crime and fellow painter, Ulan more. ( WWW.Ulan.us )
There is your History lesson for the day,
Until next time...
xo - H.