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Feeling blue?

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Feeling blue?

Mesaj  Admin la data de Dum Mar 08, 2009 9:04 pm

March 6, 2009

While reading Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct, I learned that predominantly blue paintings indulge my primordial tendencies and satisfy my inner Neanderthal. I was glad to hear this as I've been using a lot of it lately, mostly Phthalo and Ultramarine. Now I'm being apprised of new blue research at the Sauder School of Business here in Vancouver, B.C.

"Blue is the colour to choose when creativity is a priority," says Dr. Juliet Zhu, an assistant professor of marketing who led the study. About 600 undergraduate students took part. While red
might boost the brain's attention to detail, blue is simply loaded with other benefits. On memory tasks, for example, those presented with a red background on their computer screens were able to accurately recall a list of items. Those using a blue background made many more mistakes. "People are less literal and more exploratory with blue," says Zhu.

Exploration, as most of us know, is a key to creativity. As shown in the recent painting I gave you for criticism, mistakes are valuable.

One test in the Zhu study had pages of 20 potential toy parts illustrated in either red or blue. She asked participants to choose five parts to design a creative toy. A panel of judges found that those using red parts produced designs that were less creative. Those using blue parts came up with the more creative toys. The researchers felt the results were based on learned associations. Red, for example, is associated with ambulances, stop signs, emergencies and blood. With red you are more inclined to be vigilant and careful.

Blue makes folks think of expansive skies and open oceans--perhaps of endless possibilities--which may explain the link to creative, unencumbered thinking. Funnily, the people tested thought blue would help them with both creativity and attention to detail (66 per cent and 74 per cent respectively). Blue is liked. Blue gets a good rap.

In reality, blue helps only when the task is creative. When you need attention to detail you should go with red. Apart from blue's obvious uses in marketing and advertising, blue does something to folks when it's hung on a wall. Want that dreamy, distant look on your collectors' faces? Go blue. You didn't hear that from me.

Best regards,


PS: "Blue is open, free, and peaceful." (Dr. Juliet Zhu)

Esoterica: Blues that lean toward greys are the most sophisticated and ethereal. Warming and cooling, greying and tinting, as well as neutralizing your blues by adding incremental amounts of the complementary orange, are all worthwhile exercises. Minutes normally taken for a crossword or a stock market checkup can be used to make a few dozen swatches. You'll find yourself getting fussier. You may even find yourself getting more creative. Blue is an education.


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