Phthalo Landscape – I Love You Blue

A field of bluebonnets in Central Texas.

Leftover from my days as a painter, I seem to have developed a bit of a crush on a certain color blue. Now, when I say, “crush,” I’m not talking as amorous as my current celebrity crush (ahem, Vance Joy in case you are not paying attention.) He really curls my toes as they say, and there’s probably no coloring over that one. Alas, the blue really is a lust of mine, as I do seem to be carrying a torch for that dreaded phthalo.

It started out innocently enough. Back when I was doing an encaustic series, I guess somehow I had grown tired of swiping everything in brown, brown, brown, reddish brown, and more brown. Now, if I’m being honest, I have always been one for a limited palette. You can probably tell this from my photography, although it might not be quite so obvious if you don’t know to look for it. Let’s put it this way, I’m basically a three color gal. I’m also a bit particular about the colors into which I dip my fingers. I have to say, I love certain colors and shun others. Again, you could probably guess this from my photography as well, although not always in your face obvious, it’s there for all to see. So, back to painting, while I was crafting my Santa Fe sunset series, I decided I needed some blue for the sky. The skies out in Santa Fe really are not ultramarine, let me tell you. No, Phthalo really does it justice (if you have never been to Santa Fe, you’ll just have to trust me on this one.) I’m not usually one for deep blues, well I guess I wasn’t until I broke out the Phthalo and then I feel in love. I can’t help myself, I love that color. Somehow, we just bonded. It was the perfect shade and the perfect touch and it just fit oh so well. Now, I know you’re not supposed to fall in love with a color. It’s bad form, as they say. It’s kind of like picking a favorite among your children. You just don’t go there. You shouldn’t, and I know but I did anyway. It’s kind of like eating an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. Wrong, wrong, wrong on oh so many levels but still it felt good going down and, so help me, I really do have no regrets about it afterwards. Phthalo, I love you, I really, really love you. OK, maybe just a little lust early in the morning but there you have it. I confess!

Fast forward to Texas and the present day. I find it hard to get inspired with bluebonnet images. Yes, I know the bluebonnets are pretty and, yes, I know everybody wants to, no makes that has to, shoot them. Yes, I know I must do it too at some point but, you see, I just find it so uninspiring. There’s just something about it. At the end of the day I feel like, even if I do a knockout wiz bang job, I’m going to have just another sucky bluebonnet image. I must confess. I really don’t know what to do with these bluebonnets. I mean, sure, they are great to plunk your dog down in, or maybe your kid (if you even have kids) and take a couple of snaps but, beyond that, it’s hard to get any real artistic meat out of them. They are like the SPAM of flowers here in the otherwise lovely Texas springtime. Great smelling and very pretty SPAM, mind you, but weird breakfast meat nonetheless.

So, what’s a girl to do? I decided I would turn my love and appreciation for all thing Phthalo into a bluebonnet image. Now, as I traipse about in the weeds, trying not to trample what’s left of the prized bluebonnets en route to crafting my wonderful obligatory bluebonnet image, my mind drifts to that Phthalo. That wonderful Santa Fe sunset sky blue. It’s all I can think about these days. I love that blue, really I do. Yes, I know my artist friends are going to tell me, “But…it’s so….INTENSE…” Yeah, I know. I get it. Intense. It is. But, what can I say? I just love that damn color, OK?

This time of year, our landscapes are almost Phthalo. And, I love Phthalo, really I do. I’m having a wonderful spring, enjoying my wonderful Phthalo landscape and, no, I don’t really care if you make fun of me for it. Heck, I still have the Gin Blossoms in the shuffle on my phone. I just don’t care what anybody thinks anymore. I’m so self absorbed I know but I refuse to deny myself the pleasure of Phthalo. “Hey Jealousy!” Don’t be hating on my jam, m’kay? (C’mon, you know you love yourself some pretty intense Santa Fe sunset Phthalo blue landscapes now, don’t you? ‘Fess up already!)

Until next time…

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