Sunday, July 29, 2007

Painting with Paint Words

Recently I heard the word "cerulean" and it made me think about oil paints and the wonderful names some of those colors have. Cerulean is a beautiful blue, although artists often mix it with other blues, or with white or green, making their own un-named colors. I thought about how I usually describe blue (bright, royal, navy) and realized that cerulean was more exciting. Then I did a search for oil paint and visited sites where you can buy it over the internet, reveling in all the names I found. And I thought, maybe people who visit West Coast Writers would like to try this themselves. Or, maybe they'd just like to think of great descriptors for colors, whether or not they come from oil paints.

I created a poem with blanks. This time, I'm not giving you any words to choose from, but asking you to suggest 16 words to fill in the blanks. I will award your choice of two books to a 'winner,' picked purely by my response meter. You can choose either Heather King's Parched or Susan Straight's Highwire Moon. I ended up with two copies of each book, and I think they are both wonderful, but I'd be willing to give the winner the second (unused) copy of either one.

Here is the poem:
Painter’s Garden

The cannas stood tall, matching the cardinal in their 1.___________________ blossoms
But taller still the delphiniums, rivaling the sea with their 2. ____________spikes.
And poking over their heads, the hollyhocks, blushing 3. _____________
Are dwarfed themselves by the giant sunflowers bright in 4. ____________

Here and there a buttercup peeks out with its 5._______________petals,
A late California poppy’s screaming bright in 6.________________,
Next to Mexican sage blooming in magenta from 7._________ leaves,
Each fuzzy flower rich with 8.______________.

The daisies look fresh and clean in 9.______________,
While Lilies of the Nile remember the river with their 10.____________.
The geraniums shine like a clown’s nose in 11. ______________
And the columbines hold up sunny 12.______________ blooms.

I feel for sad Bleeding Hearts, white tears from the 13.______heart,
Laugh at snapping snapdragons, flaming in 14.__________
Play with clovers, making chains of knotted 15. ___________ heads,
Make a crown of stock like 16._______angel wings, and dance.

6 comments:

katwilkens said...

I want to do this, but have to give it some thought first. Once I made a list of color words. Wonder where I put that . . . .

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

I hope you can find it. Next time, I promise not to leave so many blanks! What if you can't find your list? If you do an internet search for oil paints, you'll get a company that sells them, and then lots of good names (indigo, sienna, umber, etc etc).
cheers,
Laura

katwilkens said...

I decided to write the first (or second) word that popped in my head. Not all are colors, so you might have to DQ me.
1 lipstick
2 azure
3 pinkly
4 gold
5 lemony
6 tangerine
7 graygreen
8 bees
9 pillowcase white
10 lavender
11 crimson
12 coral
13 scarlet
14 hot purple
15 hoary
16 broken

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

Kathryn, you win! I like the non-color words a lot, and your colors reflect your photography sensibilities. I am pasting at the end the oil paint version I produced while playing around earlier, just for fun. But email me with which book you'd like, Heather King's Parched or Susan Straight's Highwire Moon.
cheers,
Laura

Laura L. Mays Hoopes said...

Here's the oil paint version:
Painter’s Garden

The cannas stood tall, matching the cardinal in their 1._cadmium scarlet blossoms
But taller still the delphiniums, rivaling the sea with their 2. __indigo__spikes.
And poking over their heads, the hollyhocks, blushing 3. _carnelian____
Are dwarfed themselves by the giant sunflowers bright in 4. _aureolin cobalt yellow_

Here and there a buttercup peeks out with its 5._bismuth yellow_petals,
A late California poppy’s screaming bright in 6._alizarin orange_,
Next to Mexican sage blooming in magenta from 7._dust green_ leaves,
Each fuzzy flower rich with 8._Egyptian purple_.

The daisies look fresh and clean in 9._titanium white__,
While Lilies of the Nile remember the river with their 10._King’s blue_.
The geraniums shine like a clown’s nose in 11. _cadmium crimson_
And the columbines hold up sunny 12._blue lake and lemon_ blooms.

I feel for sad Bleeding Hearts, white tears from the 13._burgundy wine red_heart,
Laugh at snapping snapdragons, flaming in 14._Fanchon red_
Play with clovers, making chains of knotted 15. _flake white_ heads,
Make a crown of stock like 16._davy’s grey-white_angel wings, and dance.

It sounds better with the Kat wordlist, though.
LLMH

katwilkens said...

That was fun. A few are similar. I was stumped for a while on columbine because I've seen them in many colors. I decided to go with the wild ones that grow in our local mountains.