Blue Colors Are So Different To Learn and Paint with Grandchildren and A Special Blue is Pantone’s Color of the Year 2020

Every year this Grandma loves learning about the Pantone choice of “Color of the Year.”  This year, Pantone’s newly created blue, called “Classic Blue” is especially interesting.

Our youngest grandson, almost two, is learning many words for things, including colors.  It seems that everything is the color “blue” to him.  He holds up a yellow cup and says “blue.”  I know at some point he will learn more colors than blue, but at this point, I take it that blue is his favorite color.  It is wonderful that he also plays in the bathtub with a blue cup.  Yes, he does get that cup color right.

When we took a family trip to Europe celebrating our eldest daughter’s graduation from college and our youngest daughter’s graduation from high school, we toured Madrid.  In the modern art museum in Madrid at the time there was a special solo artist exhibit where all the art was blue. . . .Klein Blue.  Our eldest proceeded to tell us all about the artist, Yves Klein, his development of Klein Blue and the Klein Blue masterpieces that we viewed.  Yes, we felt we got some of our money’s worth for her college education and an art history class. I will never forget the wonderful experience of having one’s child as your guide to an entire art exhibit in a museum.

Klein Blue and Yve Klein’s artwork is amazing.  Even if you are not into modern art or art history, you will know you are seeing something special in the color Klein blue.  See Wikipedia.  See also, “10 Blue Yves Klein Masterpieces You Must Know,” by Zuzanna Stanska, April 28, 2017 Daily Art Magazine to see why Klein blue, excuse my pun, made such a splash in the art world.  When you see this art you will understand.  If you get to New York and the Museum of Modern Art, you can see one of the most famous, Blue Monochrome 1961, in MoMA, Floor 4, 406 The David Geffen Galleries.  Here is the museum description:

“Klein famously declared the blue sky to be his first artwork and from there continued finding radical new ways to represent the infinite and immaterial in his works. One such strategy was monochrome abstraction—the use of one color over an entire canvas. Klein saw monochrome painting as an “open window to freedom, as the possibility of being immersed in the immeasurable existence of color.” Although he used a range of colors, his most iconic works often featured International Klein Blue, a shade of pure ultramarine that Klein claimed to have invented and trademarked. He used materials like water, fire, and air to construct his works and staged a “leap into the void” for a self-published newspaper.”

So, why bring up Klein blue, other than to share and preserve in this blog an important family experience for the grandchildren?  In 2019 . . . .”[t]o celebrate the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth, French paint manufacturer Ressource has partnered with the Yves Klein Archives to create and release a pigment that celebrates Klein’s most recognizable and widespread creation: International Klein Blue. “Yves Klein’s Signature Blue Paint Is Now for Sale, So It’s Easier Than Ever to Recreate a Priceless Artwork,” we are told by Clayton Schuster, March 16, 2019, The Observer.

We can teach our grandchildren about monochrome abstraction and covering an entire canvas with Klein Blue or their favorite color.  At $100 a liter for Klein Blue, this Grandma will stick to any ultramarine blue and fake it.

Yes, of course, Pantone’s color of the year is also a marketing and sales promotion to sell paint and products for the home, just like the French paint company capitalizing on Yves Klein’s monochromatic masterpieces that can be recreated at home by virtually anyone who has $100 to spend and can pick up a paint brush.

But, Pantone’s color of the year 2020, Classic Blue, does influence products and design and makes for interesting variations in one’s home.  See, “How the 2019 Color of the Year and A Daily Dose of Dark Chocolate Are Connected.” 

The Pantone color of the year 2020, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, was chosen by Pantone after being the subject of much research, described as “[i]nstilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Is this a political statement or rather a copying of the reason Yves Klein chose his blue from the sky as his inspiration, as Pantone says their Classic Blue is also suggestive of the sky at dusk.  Yes, the paint is for sale on the website and numerous articles are written about how this 2020 Classic Blue:

inspires products, even sneakers.

inspires wedding decoration.

inspires gardeners

and, of course, Pantone will assist in developing products and uses for Classic Blue to sell their paint and influence our homes and lifestyles for 2020.  Jonathan Adler just released a plethora of pillows, couches, chairs and accessories in Pantone’s Classic Blue.

As grandparents, let Classic Blue, color of the year 2020, inspire us grandparents to expose our grandchildren to art and vocabulary, and to simple art projects, such as “monochrome abstraction—the use of one color over an entire canvas.”  Blue is a color that has so many variations, and we can expand our grandchildren’s horizons with just blue crayons. Crayola has 40 different colored blue crayons alone!

There is plenty of time to teach them how different blues may clash in their homes with








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