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Sight is the last thing to be pitied. Would we be blind? Do we fear lest we should outsee nature and God, and drink truth dry? It has been said that there is presumption in this movement of the modern school, a want of deference to established authorities, a removing of ancient landmarks. This is best answered by the profession that nothing can be more humble than the pretension to the observation of facts alone, and the truthful rendering of them. If we are not to depart from established principles, how are we to advance at all?
Are we to remain still?
Remember, no thing re- mains still; that which does not advance falls backward. That this movement is an advance, and that it is of nature herself, is shown by its going nearer to truth in every object produced, and by its being guided by the very principles the ancient painters followed, as soon as they attained the mere power of representing an object faithfully. That the earlier painters came nearer to fact, that they were less of the art, artificial, cannot be better shown than by the statement of a few examples from their works.
There is a magnificent Niello work by an unknown Florentine artist, on which is a group of the Saviour in the lap of the Virgin. She is old, a most touching point ; lamenting aloud, clutches passionately the heavy-weighted body on her knee; her mouth is open. Altogether it is one of the most powerful appeals possible to be conceived; for there are few but will consider this identification with humanity to be of more effect than any refined or emasculate treatment of the same subject by later artists, in which we have the fact forgotten for the sake of the type of religion, which the Virgin was always taken to represent, whence she is shown as still young; as if, nature being taken typically, it were not better to adhere to the emblem throughout, confident by this means to maintain its appropriateness, and, there- fore, its value and force.
In the Niello work here mentioned there is a delineation of the Fall, in which the serpent has given to it a human head with a most sweet, crafty expression. Now in these two instances the style is somewhat rude; but there are passion and feeling in it. This is not a question of mere execution, but of mind, however developed. Let us not mistake, however, from this that execution should be neglected, but only maintained as a most important aid , and in that quality alone, so that we do not forget the soul for the hand.
The power of representing an object, that its entire intention may be visible, its lesson felt, is all that is absolutely necessary: mere technicalities of performance are but additions; and not the real intent and end of painting, as many have considered them to be.
For as the knowledge is stronger and more pure in Masaccio than in the Caracci, and the faith higher and greater,—so the first repre- sents nature with more true feeling and love, with a deeper insight into her tenderness; he follows her more humbly, and has produced to us more of her simplicity; we feel his appeal to be more earnest: it is the crying out of the man, with none of the strut of the actor.
Let us have the mind and the mind's-workings, not the remains of earnest thought which has been frittered away by a long dreary course of preparatory study, by which all life has been evaporated.
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Never forget that there is in the wide river of nature something which every body who has a rod and line may catch, precious things which every one may dive for. It need not be feared that this course of education would lead to a page: The sciences have become almost exact within the present cen- tury. Geology and chemistry are almost re-instituted.
The first has been nearly created; the second expanded so widely that it now searches and measures the creation. And how has this been done but by bringing greater knowledge to bear upon a wider range of experiment; by being precise in the search after truth? If this adherence to fact, to experiment and not theory,—to begin at the beginning and not fly to the end,—has added so much to the know- ledge of man in science; why may it not greatly assist the moral purposes of the Arts?
It cannot be well to degrade a lesson by falsehood. Truth in every particular ought to be the aim of the artist. Admit no untruth: let the priest's garment be clean. Let us now return to the Early Italian Painters. The Arts have always been most important moral guides. If we have entered upon a new age, a new cycle of man, of which there are many signs, let us have it unstained by this vice of sen- suality of mind.
The English school has lately lost a great deal of this character; why should we not be altogether free from it? Nothing can degrade a man or a nation more than this meanness; why should we not avoid it? Sensuality is a meanness repugnant to youth, and disgusting in age: a degradation at all times. That the real power of the Arts, in conjunction with Poetry, upon the actions of any age is, or might be, predominant above all others will be readily allowed by all that have given any thought to the subject: and that there is no assignable limit to the good that may be wrought by their influence is another point on which there can be small doubt.
Recollect, that your portion in this is most important: that your share is with the poet's share; that, in every careless thought or neglected doubt, you shelve your duty, and for- sake your trust; fulfil and maintain these, whether in the hope of personal fame and fortune, or from a sense of power used to its intentions; and you may hold out both hands to the world.
Trust it, and it will have faith in you; will hearken to the precepts you may have permission to impart. Morning Sleep. Note: The exclamation point at the end of line is type-damaged; the lower half is not visible. Stars and Moon. On the Mechanism of a Historical Picture. Part I. The Design.
We are quite willing to believe that there may be various methods of working out the same idea, each productive of a satisfactory result. Should any one therefore regard it as a subject for controversy, we would only reply that, if different, or to them better, methods be adopted by other painters, no less certain is it that there are numbers who at the onset of their career have not the least knowledge of any one of these methods; and that it is chiefly for such that these notes have been penned.
In short, that to all about to paint their first picture we address ourselves. The first advice that should be given, on painting a historical picture, ought undoubtedly to be on the choosing of a fit subject; but, the object of the present paper being purely practical, it would ill commence with a question which would entail a dissertation bearing upon the most abstract properties of Art. Should it after- wards appear necessary, we may append such a paper to the last number of these articles; but, for the present, we will content ourselves with beginning where the student may first encounter a difficulty in giving body to his idea.
The first care of the painter, after having selected his subject, should be to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the character of the times, and habits of the people, which he is about to represent; and next, to consult the proper authorities for his costume, and such objects as may fill his canvass; as the architecture, furniture, vegetation or landscape, or accessories, necessary to the elucidation of the subject.
By not pursuing this course, the artist is in danger of imagining an effect, or disposition of lines, incompatible with the costume of his figures, or objects surrounding them; and it will be found always a most difficult thing to efface an idea that has once taken possession of the mind. A good magician and his companions chase an evil sorcerer across the Old West.etimpayder.cf
Monsters and gunplay! Owen G. Irons books -- very traditional -- have appeared from the mids. And the ubiquitous Chap O'Keefe came up with a multi-crossover offering. Announcing it, editor Elaine Ash said: " The Unreal Jesse James is set to blow writers and readers away with its genre-busting mix of western, sci-fi, historical-romance and humour. Helen Ogden , who became publicity and marketing assistant last September, told us in February, "I have been given the opportunity to teach in an orphanage in southern India for four months, something I have always wanted to do and I think I would always regret turning down.
Although it has been brief, I have really enjoyed my time at Hale and working with so many kind and helpful authors, so thank you. My replacement, Nikki Edwards , is very nice and I am sure will do a great job. Makes me feel like a pretty worthless human being. We also heard that Julia Hardy , who worked on Hale covers, had also left and Catherine Williams was her replacement.
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Nothing unusual in that, perhaps, but for the fact that his creator had apparently killed Holmes years before. For their part, they never tire and suppose that the writer is as spellbound by the hero he has created as they are. Conan Doyle was persuaded of this and at last he restored his detective to the public in fiction form. The first episode of the story or novella which he published in appeared in August.
Queues formed outside the Strand magazine's offices and at bookstalls. A remarkable aspect of these stories is that, though some are superior to others, none is very inferior and, above all, there is no noticeable decline in their quality as their author grew tired of his creation. Ruth Rendell The Guardian, September 13, Both these bylines were "house" names owned by a publisher and had several authors. Anyway, I wrote two more Jim Tyler stories, but that was it. I wanted to explore other western characters in print -- outlaws, gunfighters, regular cowboys, prospectors, and so on.
For whatever reason, I always preferred series westerns to standalones, and always aspired to be a writer of series fiction as against a string of one-offs. As the series progresses, the reader is able to follow the hero as he meets the woman who goes on to become his wife, as she gives birth to his son, then his daughter, as the children grow to adulthood and then themselves get married.
But the main thing is that the changes are constantly being rung. Series like Longarm , The Gunsmith , Slocum and others allow for very little but more of the same.
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BHE: And what about you, Chap? Chap: I came into the business of western writing already well-versed in series fiction. My earliest working experience, as a junior editorial assistant, was on the venerable Sexton Blake detective series in London, one of the longest running series of all time to which more than two hundred authors contributed over the years.
Later, I wrote a quantity of scripts for comic books. The characters featured were often the properties of the various publishers or other authors. Misfit Lil didn't turn up till , but certainly took off quickly with the readers. I am currently enjoying writing her seventh story, but having to second-guess what will be acceptable to the publisher's cautious editors is inhibiting.
Sounds like the good times may have stopped rolling. To be honest, the marketing strategy of the hardbacks-for-libraries-only publishers is a bit beyond me. It is also unusual to find the main character in a Black Horse Western being female and, for me, this made a pleasant change. BHE: Of course, Chap. Chap: I don't think a series has to show change in the character of its central figure to be properly written. Sexton Blake, whom I've mentioned, developed much over the seventy years his stories regularly appeared.
But the evolution in his saga had more to do with reaction to changing times, the successive writers' updated narrative styles, and the kind of books an audience would be prepared to buy and support in later decades.
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The character's bedrock values and background were surprisingly constant. I think if I were to write about Misfit Lil growing older, marrying perhaps, having children, changing with her maturity, I wouldn't really have a series character but linked episodes in an ongoing, single story. I might also lose the readers who like the idea of a lively young woman testing the boundaries and defying the conventions of the Victorian-age West.