Dancing with Colours

As I build my stories, constructing my characters and their surroundings—a tree here, a river on the other side of the hill, the homes perhaps a mix of Tudor and Victorian—the cities, or towns my people will live in grow and take shape.  As I look at the amazing palette offered up to me from the colour wheel, I wonder how I will possibly do justice to each shade as I apply my descriptions on to each page.

There are the standards, of course, blood red, crimson rouge, turquoise blue and flaming yellow, to name but a few, all bring pictures immediately to the reader’s mind as they skim down the pages, but just as the artist carefully blends and layers every hue, so too must the writer.

Colours can signify the beauty of the physical world, real or imagined, or the collision of emotions a character experiences as he makes his way through his everyday landscape we have created.  Colour holds symbolism in its grasp from the past and the present, and can identify for us the deepness of sexuality, love, and its counterpart hate.

In order to delve deeper, to sharpen my writer’s tools, I thought about the process of describing the peacock effect of colour—that spreading of glory in front of our eyes—to one who has never been blessed with the ability to see all that we take for granted.  How then to relate the rendering of a sunset that layers textures across the horizon as you speed along on the back of a motorbike?  How is it possible, pen in hand, to paint each word so it justifies what I see, as the sun slips away and closes another day, leaving me with a vision that stirs my thoughts?

This is an exercise I would do well to practice every time I put pen to paper, for I wish to become a painter, a true artist of words.

There is much to process and to learn, and each narrative I play with is very subjective, for all of us view the world from our own visual advantage.

Try some with me!


*the warmth of a fire

* the seduction of your lover’s hand on your skin.


*the smell of lavender in the summer wind.


*the touch of the sun

*a belly laugh that bounces around a room full of family and friends


*slipping into a pond in late August when the water holds its mix of sun and shade deep in the middle.


*the tang of melting fibres of cotton candy on your tongue.


*lighter than midnight.

Some combinations cast an immediate spell on your spirit and there is no reason why…a shadow from a past life perhaps, or a reminder of a lost memory.  For myself, the marrying of blue and white on china has always been an inexplicable draw for me.  When I see a piece I admire, I feel content, anchored, as if I am exactly where I should be—and I like that.

And happiness?…I believe it is a white duvet that feels like the softness of cotton balls, but even more so; it floats down over me like a gentle whisper uttered in the middle of the night.  This white…this blending of all shades…offers me down filled possibilities, it is a tablet upon which I will draw my strength and my inspiration.

And you?  How do you dance with your colours?

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4 Responses to Dancing with Colours

  1. Shane Young says:

    I like how you describe your colours with such detail, it’s very poetic. Describing a scene with the vibrant colours puts the reader in the book instead of just reading the book. I love your artzy photos as well!

  2. Sharon Clare says:

    Lovely exercise, Carole-Ann. I often look up colour swatches to get idea for describing colours. As usual, your writing is poetry.

    • Carole-Ann says:

      What a great idea with the colour swatches Sharon, that way texture can be brought into the description exercise also…I shall have to try that! As always thanks for your feedback, it is appreciated!!

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