Monday, June 29, 2020

Limited Palettes and Constrained Writing

With no yellow and no green, this limited palette knocked me out of my color mixing habits and forced me to improvise in an alternate universe that felt alien, but still harmonious. Colors: ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, pyrrole red, and titanium white.

Writers have played with self-limiting challenges, such as E.V. Wright, who wrote the 1939 novel called "Gadsby" as a lipogram, without using the letter "e." Here's an excerpt: "Now, any author, from history's dawn, always had that most important aid to writing:—an ability to call upon any word in his dictionary in building up his story. That is, our strict laws as to word construction did not block his path. But in my story that mighty obstruction will constantly stand in my path; for many an important, common word I cannot adopt, owing to its orthography."

There are other examples of constrained writing, such as sonnets, limericks, and haiku, all of which thrive within strict limitations of form and meter, or palindromes, where the sentence reads the same forward, such as "Never odd or even."
Limited palettes are discussed in my book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.


CerverGirl said...

My dad taught me the existence of, “Able was I ere I saw Elba.” : )

Jim Douglas said...

CerverGirl, one of my favorite palindromes is "Was it a car or a cat I saw?"

nuum said...

Glenelg, (three cities has this name), is my favorite palindrome.

nuum said...

Glenelg, (three cities has this name), is my favorite palindrome.

Mark Martel said...

This makes a trio of limited palettes along with the Zorn (red, yellow, B & w) and Picasso (yellow, blue, b & w) blue period palettes.