Thursday, 27 October 2016

Writing - It's all a matter of taste

I must congratulate Paul Beatty on him winning the Man Booker Prize which takes me into today's post being a matter of taste. As far as I'm concerned, mechanics apart, art is all a matter of taste, and as writing is an art then what I enjoy may well be anathema to someone else. It doesn't make either of us wrong.

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Paul Nash (1889 - 1946)

Paul Nash was a British surrealist painter and war artist, as well as a photographer, writer and designer of applied art. Nash was among the most important landscape artists of the first half of the twentieth century.

It goes to show that you're never too old to learn. I had previously heard of Nash but was unfamiliar with his work but having seen some prints, some blew me away. Now surrealist art is rarely to my taste, but some of his landscapes are breathtaking.

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The Rye Marshes 1932

The above is just one of his works and I'm sure The Rye Marshes don't really have steps and so many straight lines but I like it because it has atmosphere and gives the impression of an accuracy in reproducing the view.

Then there are others!

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David Hockney's swimming pool

This painting does absolutely nothing for me. It is redolent of those efforts of under 11's rejected because of dubious perspective and yet, some of his work is outstanding.

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Hockney again

I really like this view of Autumn.

The bottom line of course is that it is down to personal taste as are people's reactions to all branches of art. During his lifetime, Charles Dickens was not universally popular. He was writing to make money in an effort to pay off his father's debts. His father was in debtors prison. Critics claimed that his grammar was substandard!

The fact is all people are different, fashions change, and the person who works out a formula for gauging taste and fashion over a period of years with more than 50 percent accuracy; will deserve a specially created Nobel Prize encompassing Art, Mathematics and Science.

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So once again write from where you are at, it is not a job, it is an emotion, a collection of personal responses to the world. You cannot always predict what will be popular so trying to write for success is like predicting the lottery winning ticket.
A corollary to the striving for financial success is the demotivation of the writer creating obstacles like the infamous writers' block. So if you want to write do it for you, their will be a readership out there, the size, longevity and resilience of that group will depend on what you produce. Good luck!

God Bless