White Hot Yellow


St. Martin Caribbean

Resting in the heat of the shade

The sunlight is so brilliant in the Carribean you’d be tempted to wear sunglasses indoors. This local convenience store on the French side of the island of St. Martin is a great example of how high intensity color is used with abandon in this tropical paradise. Even though the yellow is in the shade of the building, it still vibrates with energy and heat.

Locals expect the intensity of the color palette that speaks Caribbean. Sunlight bounces off all light-colored surfaces including sand, water, buildings, pavement–shade is a tough thing to find. It is not unusual to see people–visitors and locals– walking down the street with tattered umbrellas, unfolded newpapers, or standing beneath a sliver of shade of a street light. Any shade is cooler than none.

As a northerner spending a vacation near the equator, serious squinting is required to see anything in this light. Sunglasses are never out of sight and sunscreen 50 is not quite high enough.

On an icy cold day this winter, I look forward to playing with complementary cool lavender blues in the shadows of the hot yellow store. Ah, feel the warmth.


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