Blue as the cloudless sky. Promising, reassuring, outstretched. I am outstretched as the cloudless sky. It reassures me. It promises me both.
It is almost funny to me how it feels like over the years the color blue has held all my emotions. From anxiety, sadness, confusion to ease, happiness and love. In 2014 I captured a photo series called ‘Please, Don’t Feel Blue’. In 2016 my external hard drive crashed so I do not have good quality pictures of that series anymore but I do have some low quality ones to kind of give you a sense of the emotions I tried to capture in that photo series.
A time period where I wasn’t feeling great. I wasn’t very happy with where I was living and working. Wasn’t excited about what most of my days existed out of. I longed for a change. A shift in my days. ‘Please, don’t feel blue’ captures a time period where I felt stuck, confused, sad, hurt and empty. It was a time period where the color blue seemed to capture those emotions with great ease.
Over the past ten years, the color blue, has also held the strongest feeling of love, ease, happiness and beauty. Blue has always been Tom’s favorite color. I cannot quite recall when the first time was when the bright blue sky started to remind me of him but it did. And to this day, it still does. When the sky is bright blue, I always tell Tom “See. You are everywhere.” It is something I feel very, very strongly. It makes me look up at the sky and smile. It is like no matter where he is, when the sky’s bright blue, he surrounds me. He’s everywhere. When I am standing next to a body of water this feeling is magnified. The way the color blue is reflected by the water, in the way it dances with the moving water; they magnify each other.
These past couple of years (since moving back to my hometown in 2018) the color blue has started to embody something different, or maybe, something on top of that for me. It no longer is merely a color which seems to reflect certain emotions or which is only a color that strongly reminds me of another person. It has awoken me to the knowledge that like the bright blue sky, I am part of nature. And, I feel a strong reassurance within that.
As long as I can remember I have always felt like I cannot stay indoors when there’s a bright blue sky because it feels like such a waste when I do. Especially during summer when the magnificent blue dances against summer’s greenery. I have no clue how many times I have spoken out loud how in awe I am of what it must have felt like as a painter back in the day, wanting to capture those exact colors. It boggles my mind. The great lengths they have taken to find and create those pigments to capture their likeness.
At the beginning of this month on instagram I shared an IJsselmug I made where I played with these pleasant memories and feelings. Down below you can see the post. Here’s the translation of what I had written down:
“A big part of June we were being flooded by, what felt like, endless amounts of blue. Blue sky after blue sky. So many different shades of blue! The soft morning blue, the warm afternoon blue which makes you melt because of the warm sun and the deep dark blue when the sun has set. The desire to experiment from this inspiration with glazes and painting grew and grew. When I finally had more room again after we moved into our home again, I let the desire flow.
When I look at this mug, it reminds me of a bubbling feeling that has come up for years. When summer arrives, I always get fascinated by the amounts of bright green against the bright blue sky. For many years now, those colors together, give me the desire to want to capture what I see around me and especially what I feel because of what I see around me! Nothing feels as right as to keep following that desire.”
There have been times where I was annoyed with myself for how great of an influence the weather has on me. But that has subsided over the years. Ever since I moved back to my hometown, I have been coming home to myself. Things like the weather, colors and smells stir me. I am sensitive to those things. They can have a great impact on me. Since I stopped disliking myself for it and stopped being annoyed at myself for it, it has contributed to me, bringing myself home. It’s part of me. And now I feel like, of course the weather has a great influence on me, it’s part of nature and I am a part of nature.
Misty weather relaxes my nervous system but a bright blue sky opens up the world, the bright blue sky opens me up. I still find it difficult to put it into words ‘correctly’. The sun and the never-ending, outstretched blue remind me I have a complete body. Like there’s not only just my mind. They make me very aware I have a body. That I have skin the sun can warm up. That I have toes blades of grass can tickle. It is a freeing feeling. It opens up room to breathe. It reminds me I am as big and outstretched as the bright blue sky.
I have been playing with the impressions and feelings the color blue holds for me and I feel like I am not done playing for a little while longer. I have not painted with so much different shades of blue for a really, really long time. It is like a new process. A different kind of process to uncover, to explore. Thinking back to ‘blue paintings’ I have created, they all were linked to Tom. So it feels like a new landscape to explore. How I personally relate to this color. How I move below blue skies, how they move me, how they are part of me.
Within the different shades I find a certain mysteriousness, an intangible sense of infinity. There’s a promise of darkness and of light. A promise of the presence of the sun. A promise of being aware of being present within my body. The blue sky reassures me things are fleeting, always changing. Clouds will gather and hide the blue sky from time to time.
It assures me it can hold my sadness, my confusion, my fears, my hurt and my love, my happiness, my being at ease, being in awe.
It has shown me, I am just as outstretched as the bright blue, never ending sky. And like it, I hold it all. Because, I am part of nature.
Thank you so much for reading! I really enjoyed writing about my fascination for the color blue. It was a really interesting dive to take for about six or so hours while writing this. To just dive, dig and explore.
Which colors remind you, you are a part of nature?
Gerdina ~ Lisa