smiling at me
nothing but blue skies
do I see.
~Ella Fitzgerald, Singer
I never get tired of blue skies.
~Vincent Van Gogh, Painter
The traveler who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the corruption of the Papacy, may return remembering nothing but the blue sky and the men and women who live under it.
~E.M. Forester, Author
Artists, song writers and singers, poets and novelists create art and music that helps us recall the magic and universal love we have for blue skies. It’s a calming color, according to psychologists, who also suggest that humans see it as a stabilizing, reliable color. Looking at it can even help lower the heart rate and body temperature.
I love to paint skies and clouds in every season. This small 5 x 7 inch oil painting was done with a palette knife. These special painting knives were designed and first used in the 17th century to mix paints on artists’ palettes, but artists will paint with anything that’s available—fingers, sticks, grass, bones, and palette knives. By the mid 1800s, they were in wide use among artists, who used them to apply thick paint fast. And that makes them a perfect tool to use in Minnesota, where I live, because winter temperatures almost always makes paint thick and difficult to manage with a brush.