Cut your losses, and see things from a new perspective
Late last night, around 2 am, I tore this piece in two. Earlier in the day I pulled from my drawer a pastel that didn’t work and was a throw away. I played with it, and liked it well enough. But it missed a grand atmosphere, so I thought about cropping the drawing down to one work. But I liked the two have equally, and each of them I liked better than the whole. Specifically, I like their individual compositions, my favorite composition is the left one, while the right one has the sun.
I once worked on a oil painting for 6 years that started with bad composition, I loved the idea and couldn’t make it work. It had thousands of layers of paint it was becoming a relief sculpture. One day I realized that it should have been a horizontal and not vertical composition — I ended up shredding it with a box cutter. [I wrote a article about the series that painting came from plus a pic of shredding it. Published in Poets and Artists magazine.] So with this pastel it wasn’t hard to make a quick decision and just do it.
Sometimes an artwork has too much going on, trying to say too much, like with the original here, the clusters of plants didn’t add anything to the sunset, and vice versa. Splitting them in two, now makes me happy.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 10/30/2020