Newberry, Colorscape, pastel

Breaking my rules!

Newberry, Colorscape, 2020, pastel, 18x24 inches
Newberry, Colorscape, 2020, pastel, 18×24 inches

These last weeks I have been exploring the color sheen of the light that bounces upwards from the color of the ground. In this pastel that sheen serves as screen between us and the water and sky. So that the blue sky and water take on a yellowy-warm tints turning them into creams, pale purples, and greens. It is a great exercise in wrapping my brain around that kind of optic.

The No. 1 rule I have form myself and students is find the shadows, this work has none, just the light. The distinction between color as a attribute of things and color itself is diminished — making pure abstract color field painting just a step away. And dangerous because that step leads to pure decoration and kills light, form, depth i.e. fine art; and leads to basket weaving in a mental institution.

There is no substitute for mastery of fundamentals, form, light, space, and color theory enables us to go anywhere — it is the excited feeling of starting an new journey to an exotic place one doesn’t know. The feeling of boundless energy mixed with butterflies in the stomach.

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 10/31/2020

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