When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If theres a clash between the two, its bad art.
When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years. But above this level, far above, separated by an abyss, is the level where the highest things are achieved. These things are essentially anonymous.
Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.
Yea, though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me... Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me throughout the rest of my life and i will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
You're confusing product with process. Most people, when they criticize, whether they like it or hate it, they're talking about product. That's not art, that's the result of art. Art, to whatever degree we can get a handle on (I'm not sure that we really can) is a process. It begins in the heart and the mind with the eyes and hands.