Voice? Style?

I remember, when I belonged to SAQA, a lot of people asked how they could “find their voice” and there were workshops and other opportunities to help find one’s voice. (OK, I also remember thinking, did I lose my voice that I have to find it?)

Tonight I was reading this. Emphasis of last line is from the original.

It is only when a painter consciously chooses a manner not his own, which he does not comprehend and is incapable of firing with his own personality, that his picture is ridiculous and conventional in the dead sense.

But every age differs in its temperament, and the artistic conventions of one age seldom fit another. The artist has to discover a convention for himself, one that fits his particular individuality. But this is done simply and naturally—not by starting out with the intention of flouting all traditional conventions on principle; nor, on the other hand, by accepting them all on principle, but by simply following his own bent and selecting what appeals to him in anything and everything that comes within the range of his vision. The result is likely to be something very different from the violent exploits in peculiarity that have been masquerading as originality lately. Originality is more concerned with sincerity than with peculiarity.

The Practice & Science of Drawing — Harold Speed (via Project Gutenberg)

I myself would have emphasized the middle sentence:

But this is done simply and naturally—not by starting out with the intention of flouting all traditional conventions on principle; nor, on the other hand, by accepting them all on principle, but by simply following his own bent and selecting what appeals to him in anything and everything that comes within the range of his vision.

and I’m willing to read it all over a few times, nodding my head in agreement. I might nail it to my workroom’s wall.

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