Further thoughts on creative constraint.  In this case, it seems a question of simplifying what you work with, to yield a more concentrated mastery of fewer moving parts.  And the notion of ‘strength in reserve’ reminds me of some advice I received from my finest teacher: “Always keep some latency about you, Beatrice”, a buffer of possibility.

‘You must always work not just within but below your means.  If you can handle three elements, handle only two.  If you can handle ten, then handle only five.  In that way the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.’

Source: Picasso, quoted in Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1966) (McGraw-Hill, 1964), p. 50

Photo credit: Lia Leslie, unsplash.com


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