From Disgruntled to Ecstatic
Work in progress on my third book during the quarantine. I published my first books, Newberry Color Theory and Evolution Through Art about two months ago with a few weeks between them. The first is about innovative color theory, the second is on art and aesthetic advancements from the prehistoric cave painters to progress of figurative artists alive today. The third, Exploring Depth, Light, and Love, is about my work for the last 8 years. A kind of life lesson how I went from being disgruntled to celebrating the most creative period of my life.
Lots of people have commented on how I work in different styles, and their viewpoint has always puzzled me because the big picture has always been clear to me. I approach aesthetics and art technique like an athlete: countless elements have to be mastered, and mastered again, and when they all come together that is when you reach sublime moments.
In 2013 I was feeling disgruntled with the art world, with friends, and with myself. And my normal state of being is one of enthusiasm for my friends and myself. The art world sucks, and one of my jobs as an art activist is pull the rug from underneath them. Hopefully turning the art world into a flourishing place where innovative and great art is recognized and not the shit they are promoting for the last 70 years. [Harvard, Yale, and the Guggenheim are dens of mediocrity.] I don’t know if those postmodern losers were wearing me down, like the Chinese saying of death by a thousand cuts, or that I simply was having trouble seeing as well as I used to.
I decided to shake everything up and moved to the beautiful mountain village of Idyllwild, California. There I began to relearn everything I knew or thought I knew about art. I literally treated myself like a beginning artist (hard to do after 4 decades of being a full-time successful artist and having taught composition, painting, and figure drawing at one of the greatest art universities in the world, Otis College of Art and Design.
This book is about that process. About picking apart everything and slowly reconnecting the techniques and aesthetics into an complete whole. In the process I extended depth further into space than I had ever done before; I developed a revolutionary new color theory system; and I gained deeper psychological knowledge about presenting love.
In a way the three books are a three-pronged PsyOp attack on postmodernism and a guide to flourishing for real artists and for those who love art. One deals with advancing visual perception; the second deals with how art is key to the evolution of the human species and to us as individuals; the third is concretely offering better alternatives (proof in the pudding).
The current book will have about 200 artworks, one page per image, and about 50 pages of text. I estimate it could be ready in 2 months. Wish me luck.
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 5/18/2021