Monday, 8 November 2010

The Fluffy Navel Lives!! (AKA 'Can you tell what it is yet?')

Upkeeping my blog has been on the backburner for a few weeks now and I apologise to those of you who keep tuning in to find out what I've been up to recently, or to read my take on the writing game. It's not that I haven't anything to say, just that 'real life' has caught up with me and certain tasks that I've put off (for way too long) have demanded attention. For the past fortnight I've been giving the house a long over due make over.
So here's the thing:
Why is it I loathe wielding a paintbrush and roller during household chores when - if I was facing a blank canvas - I'd relish the task of creating a painting? I love painting pictures, and can quite easily lose a few hours slapping colours onto canvas (see the art tab above for some of my creations), though I don't get the opportunity to do so these days. I guess it's the mundaneness of painting a wall that turns me off, the same as I couldn't write a mundane book - althought that's debateable concerning the opinions of some of my detractors ;-)
No, I love the vibrancy and viceral feeling I get from writing high-octane action, the same as I do when daubing paint onto canvas ala Bob Ross style. Painting a wall a uniform colour just doesn't give me the same experience. I suppose that means I'm a colourful writer? I'd agree with that. But is there also uniformity in my writing? I believe there is, and it's important in my opinion that it is there.
Uniformity in my case is that we have ongoing characters and situations - Joe Hunter, Rink, Harvey etc versus some ultra bad guy/guys to overcome. It's kind of expected in a sense, that readers of Joe's adventures know exactly what they are going to get but with a twist. Uniformity in this case is like a pallet of colours: red, yellow, blue, black and white. They are the only colours (or shades if you take the latter two), but they have infinite connotations when mixed. That's what I try to achieve with my writing, that I take the uniform 'colours', mix them all up and see what creations I can form from them. The options are endless, I think, but always in the background there will be the base hues. Therefore, although we feel like we recognise the basic building blocks - the style if you like - there are always new ways of delivering the end product. Usually, in my case, it's the 'happy little accidents' that make all the difference.
I read a review of Vince Flynn's latest book where it was said that the story was treading on old ground. I think this is unavoidable when writing a series following ongoing characters, but, though I haven't read the book yet, I'm pretty sure that Vince has done a great job of delivering something new and fresh as well. We all want to read and learn something new, but we also love the familiarity of a much loved ongoing character. We pick up books in an ongoing series with a certain sense of expectancy after all, and without those base colours that we've come to recognise and absorb they just wouldn't deliver the same.To coin a very overused phrase, we expect that the next book in a series 'does exactly what it says on the tin'.
Pity my 'one coat paint' didn't live up to the same promise.


Sue H said...

Love your pics, Matt! Maybe you could fill your blank walls and do a proper 'Rolf Harris' - really brink Joe Hunter to life....then again, perhaps not; the missus might object!

(Ever tried 'electronic' painting? I had a go on 'Artpad' the other night and scribbled a pic for my blog.'In Memorium')

David Barber said...

Matt, do what I do. Buy your missus a nice new brush and roller and get her to do it. :-)

I'm with you on painting. I hate it and just plain refuse to do it. Any other jobs, I'll do myself.

Love your take on the painting/writing links. Yes there are stories that go over old ground but it's what's within the story and then how it's told that make you want to read it.

I'm not one to blow smoke etc, but your stories are great. There's only so much two characters can do when they are chasing the bad guys but it's how you write them. The little plot twists and the action that follows makes for a rollercoaster of a read. Look at the old cop shows like Kojak, S & H, Streets of San Fran and compare them to modern shows and most of the plotlines are the same but there's different action and dialogue and twists.

Hey, and critics? They're just overpaid readers. What makes them right. Same as food critics. "Oh, the food is under seasoned!" No it's not. It may be over seasoned for my taste buds. I wonder if there is a job title of "Critic of Critics of Critics"? LOL!

Just carry on doing what you're doing, Matt, 'cos you do it very well indeed.

Sorry for having a little rant. I feel much better now, I may even get a paintbrush out and.......NAH!!!

Matt Hilton said...

Hi Sue,
I haven't tried electronic painting (I've done plenty on the 'paint' function on my computer but am never happy with the edn result). I am very impressed with your 'In memorium' painting. Absolutely superb - as is the accompanying poem.

Hi David,
rants are allowed. It's good to get something off your chest now and then, isn't it.
BTW, my wife can't hold a paintbrush and roller, because she needs both hands to weild the whip and cattle prod to keep me at it LOL.

Sue H said...

"...she needs both hands to weild the whip and cattle prod to keep me at it..."

Quite right too! ;-p

Col Bury said...

Hi Matt,

When I read the thought-proking comparisons re' writing n painting I thought I had the wrong blog! (Joke Mister Blackbelt) :)

I don't think you 'lose' any hours when painting or writing because when a creative person is being creative, they are being exactly what they were always meant to be.

Having checked out your paintings several times, I envy your talent as I'm pretty average me-self.

However, oddly, I do find painting a wall somehow therapeutic and relaxing, giving me time to stop and think in this fast-paced world we all live. Problem is, I always think of the hours I 'lose'... which is why I don't do it! :)

Hope the missus dunt read this.

Good post, bud.

Michael Malone said...

I'm with you on the decorating malarkey, Matt. It's because it's a "job" whereas being creative is "fun".