Blue has remained a favorite color of adults in the U.S. and Western Europe since opinion polls started in the 1890’s.
Interestingly, before the 12th century blue had no place in social life, religion or art. Within decades of its “discovery” it took a prominent place in painting, heraldry and clothing. Where the Virgin Mary had previously been portrayed in dark colors her clothing became blues that grew in brightness and clarity to represent her divine illumination. Two types of pigments were used to achieve blue; ultramarine, which veers toward violet and comes from lapis lazuli, and azurite, which is on the greener side and is a byproduct of copper mines. Ultramarine was the more stable and expensive of the two pigments.
Looking at blue from a global perspective, it is fascinating to see how each culture can view a color so differently. In the US blue can represent sadness or faithfulness and loyalty. In German, to be blue (blausein) is to be drunk. To give someone a blue eye (blaues auge) is to look at them with anger or hostility. In China the color blue is commonly associated with torment, ghosts and death. In traditional Chinese opera, a character with a face powdered in blue is a villain. In Turkey and Central Asia blue is the color of mourning. To the Hopi people in the American southwest, blue symbolized the west, which was seen as the house of death. A dream about a person carrying a blue feather was a bad omen.
There is no doubt that every color in the spectrum is complex and each color affects us physically and personally. Blue is said to call to mind feelings of calmness and serenity. Blue can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature. Certain blues can be more electric and strong thus breaking those rules. Our own memories and associations can affect the way that we perceive a color but there is certainly a blue in some shade, tint or tone that will appeal to your senses and leave you feeling anything but blue.