All Blue, in Art and Music

Prussian Blue

Prussian Blue is one of the most used pigments in the etching studio here: a wonderful rich, reliable colour, and I’ve never, till now, stopped to wonder where it originated from. I found these fascinating revelations on facebook this morning, which wouldn’t let me share it, so I’m posting the link and hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Prussian Blue

And here’s a link to a film I made, called Blue Remembered, which is about the 10 sorts of blue we have in the studio. And about a little dog called Blue, too.

And …it’s just occurred to me, I have another video about Blue, about the Indigo Dyers and Weavers of South West Japan. Here.

You can’t get enough Blue is what I think, in art or in music. Kind of Blue is my favourite jazz album of all time, introduced to me by a boyfriend in 1959. The album lasted, the boyfriend didn’t. The right way round.


  1. Prussian Blue is basically the answer to everything. Even before I painted a lot of swimmers it was what I did all my underpainting and shadows with. It has two marvellous properties as a watercolour pigment – it stains the paper and won’t wash off, and it is especially transparent. It’s also so dark if used heavily that it seems actually darker than black, because it’s an alive darkness and not a dead one. I actually thought it took its name from being the first commercial dye and the dye used for the uniforms of the Prussian Army, but one can’t trust everything one reads on wikkipedia…

    • I like your ‘alive darkness and not a dead one’. Spot on.

  2. Jane Paterson said:

    Thank you, Bron, love those films! They give me a great yearning for Blue and another indigo vat. Roll on indigo vat weather! Jane xx

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Hello there, your post reminded me of a BBC programme with Dr James Fox about ‘Blue’

    best wishes, sue

  4. jersheharvey said:

    Wonderfully energising and interesting, Bronwen. Thanks. I learnt about prussian blue when preparing a talk on Hokusai – see his 30+ images of Mt Fuji. Must find King of Blue. I have one CD of his.


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