Friday, April 20, 2012

Artistic License ... Or This is the Way I See It


The lovely weather we have enjoyed this spring reminded me of the fun I used to have on sketching expeditions with my mother. I sketched this picture of a rickety old dock in Belford the last time we went out sketching together. Dad had come along to read his newspaper while we drew. My daughters were there, too. Everyone insisted I had invented the bird at the top of the pole, but I was equally insistent that he had been there for a little while, but flew off.

My drawing is not a masterpiece, just a sketch. The fun was not so much in the finished product but the company--along with the fresh air and sunshine.

My daughters looked at the same scene, but each of their sketches came out quite different. My mother's was not the same as mine either.

That's the way it is with anything artistic. What's important to the artist is what ultimately winds up on the paper. Every artist can view the same scene, but one may concentrate on a boat in the foreground, another may concentrate on some coil of rope hanging on a nail, and someone else--like me--won't miss that bird on the top of the pole even if he's only there for a minute. That was the way I saw it.

In many ways, drawing is like writing. The creative process is similar. Every writer comes at a story from a different angle.

I write romances and there are plenty of other romance authors. Nevertheless, while we write in the same genre, we all have a different voice, a different way of handling the story. We see particular details, emphasizing those that are significant to us and our characters.

There is no formula for a romance other than a relationship and a happy ending. (Hint: Nicholas Sparks does not write romance.) No two romance books are the same and that's because each writer is recording what is important to him or her in their story.

Artistic license is not only for painters. Every artist sees the world through a unique pair of eyes. El Greco did not paint like van Gogh. Eloisa James does not write like Hannah Howell.

The world is full of variety and that's part of the fun.

2 comments:

Irene said...

It would be interesting to give a set of parameters for a story to five or ten different writers and see how varied and completely different their stories would turn out. Now THAT would be a contest, but oh, so difficult to judge.

Somebody ought to try that some day.

Penelope Marzec said...

I agree. It would be very interesting to see how each writer handles the story with the required parameters.

I once attended an early childhood workshop where each group was given a bag of objects. We were to pull the objects out of the bag and write a story using the objects. As it turned out, each group had the same objects. However, the stories were all different. One of the reasons for the differences was due to the sequence in which the items were taken out of the bag. The other reason is what each group decided an object would be. For instance, a block could be a chair, or a stair, or book--it depended on the imagination of the story writers.

It was fascinating. One of the best workshops ever. :^)