24 May 2011

What's my favorite color: a Blog Off post

Every two weeks, the blogosphere comes alive with something called a Blog Off. A Blog Off is an event where bloggers of every stripe weigh in on the same topic on the same day. The topic for this round of the Blog Off is "What's your favorite color?"


I may have put away my designer shingle these days, but some things never really go away. One of those things in my case is how deeply affected by color I am. The topic today asks me to pick a favorite color and I can't just pick one. I can't imagine ever having to pick just one favorite color.

When I look over my long list of favorite colors, every one of them is based on an experience I've had or a place I've been. As I go through my day to day life I'm struck by the memories certain colors trigger. I cannot imagine myself ever saying something like, "my favorite color is blue." Rather, I'm a lot more apt to say something along the lines of "That color blue reminds me of the color of the water on the northern end of Cat Island on an August afternoon." It's sounds kind of strange, but that's just how I operate. I have a hard time taking colors out of context.

Said beach on Cat Island

So here's a collection of some of my favorite colors and the places where I saw them.

Some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire US is in the hills of Northern California. Every September, those hills turn the most amazing color of gold I've ever seen.

I love combinations of purple, red and green. This is a bromeliad on my patio with a visitor on Christmas Eve two years ago.

Despite the bad mouthing they get, I love the color yellow dandelions are, especially in the spring when the rest of the earth is still half-asleep. They don't grow in Florida, so I took this photo in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago.

The ochre colors of the Spanish countryside look like something from another planet. I'm not at all accustomed to seeing cliffs and hillsides that appear to be painted, but even if I were, Spain would still stand out.

I love the emerald-turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I am not a native to these parts, but the Gulf of Mexico exerts a pull on me I have a hard time articulating. When seen from above I fall in love with it all over again.

These are the winter blossoms of a tree called a Tabebuia, and they're scattered like lilac confetti on a street in my neighborhood. I'm not usually a purple person but spent Tabebuia flowers on a brick street in January are almost enough to convert me.

When the sun sets every evening, the Sorrentine peninsula looks like it's on fire. If only those colors could be put in a can.

I love the colors of patina-d metals. My great-great-great-grandfather's monument is made from cast zinc and it's the most striking gray-blue I can think of.

As I mentioned before, I am not a native to the part of the world where I live now. Though I may hang my hat in a tropical climate, in my heart of hearts I remain a Yankee's Yankee. The only time I really miss the Northeast is toward the end of October when the maple trees start to turn. This was my back to school back drop every year as a kid and no matter how far away I go, I'm always drawn back when I know the leaves up there are turning.

So what are my favorite colors? Well, this morning they are Bahamas Afternoon Blue, September Rolling Hills Gold, Christmas Eve Bromeliad, Brooklyn Dandelion, Spanish Hillside Ochre, Gulf of Mexico March Turquoise, Tabebuia on a Brick Street Lilac, Cliffs on Fire Orange-Red, Ancestral Grave Marker Blue-Gray and Pennsylvania Autumn Riot.


As the day goes on, the rest of the participants in today's Blog Off will appear miraculously at the end of this post. Keep checking back and check out everybody's postss. You can follow along in Twitter as well, just look for the hashtag #LetsBlogOff. If you'd like more information about about the Blog Off or if you'd like to see the results of previous Blog Offs, you can find the main website here.


  1. I have lived here in the midwest my entire life. I've never been further east than Nashville.

    I want so badly to make it into the northeast during our anniversary in October!

  2. Well, you took this subject a lot more seriously then I did! Good work, my friend!

  3. Paul, I can't imagine a world without color and love being surprised by unexpected combinations. Your photos remind me of some of those magical moments: the first time I saw Bermuda's intensely turquoise/teal waters + pink sand beaches, payne's grey tree shadows on fresh snow... The variety of texture/color combinations in tree bark.

    You have me dreaming again. Thanks for that!


  4. It seems fitting that a expert in color chooses all him colors and images of those colors from natural colors sources. I have expected many of these posts to be full of project photos.

    Well done my friend

  5. Thanks for the feedback gang, this was a fun one.

  6. I have always had a hard time with favorites. There is so much beauty, how do you choose? I must say, though, your list and choices are some of my favorites. Thanks!

  7. You just have to love those golden California hills.

  8. That is not strange at all! I suffer from the same affliction. That and smells, but smells is probably more common than color. Thank you again for affirming my normalcy.

  9. Love your take on the topic today! There are so many occasions when I find myself trying to describe a color to someone and I search the surrounding environment for something similar only to come up empty handed - I guess I should just keep a little album on my phone of the best samples!

  10. Rufus: It's always my pleasure to confirm your normalcy. It's a pity that we're going to miss each other by hours in New York next month.

    Cham: Thanks. I can no sooner de-contextualize color than I can get the white off of rice. Everything's connected.

  11. An absolutely stunning post, Sir!

  12. It's funny that this is the topic for the latest blog off because I've been so captured by colour lately. There are white tulips at the store near my house, and I want some so badly everytime I'm there. I love that creamy white colour that they come in..

    I had a new tattoo done last week, and I found myself staring at a bottle of tattoo ink on the shelf that was the same colour as the turquoise stone jewelry that my Nana wears. I could NOT stop thinking about what work I could have done just so that I could have that colour in my skin.

    As well.. the lilacs are blooming here currently. And along the route that I walk to work there must be 50 lilac bushes in white, lavender, and that gorgeous dark purple. Between the colours and the scent of them, I'm giddy for the whole walk everyday.

    Thank you for sharing all those gorgeous pictures :)

  13. The Tabebuia intrigued me, but apparently it won't take the light frosts we get here, and grows too big for any position I could give it. Thank you for introducing me to a new plant! I love that zinc colour too, and verdigris, and your Sorrento photo makes me long to travel...

  14. LOVE, LOVE your colour style spelled with a 'u'. :) -Brenda mrsben-

  15. Thanks for all the comments gang. Chookie, you get frosts? For some reason I always think you're in a similar climate to mine. Crepe Myrtles aren't as dramatic as Tabebuias, but they can add some lilac to your life and they can handle a frost.


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