When you walk into a museum or a gallery and see a painting, sometimes you can just 'tell' who painted it.
Blurred strokes, waterlilies, dreamy colors...
(We have this painting here in Honolulu)
Stars, watered-down images, directional brush strokes... Van Gogh? You got it!
But, that's not 'just' it. Artists go through their periods, they have their subjects and their 'signature' pieces, but one kind of image is not always all have to say or communicate to their audiences.
Sometimes it takes years for them to discover their styles and what subjects that become their well known work. Some never live to know what the public react to, but I can imagine that they were always searching for new ways to bring their creative vision out in their work.
How to convey the emotions they were feeling.
How to breathe life into a medium that by nature is flat and two dimensional.
To create a personal style and voice that you can see when the 'usual subject matter' is replaced.
Bottom: Van Gogh (it's one that we have here in the Honolulu Art Museum)
More beautiful works to appreciate!
Now, I'm not trying to say that I'm a master of writing like these two painters are at their craft, but I believe that an author's voice is created in a similar way. Years of writing, writing, and yes, more writing. And while you're writing you start to realize things that 'feel like you' and then readers comment on things that they can count on in your writing/stories/etc.
And through all of that practice and feedback, you build a confidence in certain aspects of what you do/use to communicate your messages to your audience. And hopefully that style of communication appeals to a wide audience of readers.
I hope that my voice does develop throughout the years and while the elements that go into different sub-genres are different, I hope that there will always be one element that doesn't change... that's me.
- Part of the reason I wrote this post is that I picked up a year pass to the Honolulu Art Museum and the Waterlilies Painting above and the Haystacks Painting sit side by side in the Impressionists gallery of the museum. There's a lovely couch facing them and I like to go in that room and write on my phone. I have spent many an hour absorbing their beauty.