Michelangelo’s Drawings: The Conceptual Transformation from Touch to Sight

Newberry Art Tutorials Conceptual Flip One of the most rewarding studies of painting and drawing is discovering how a thought, perception, or emotion is transformed into a purely visual medium. Michelangelo’s drawings serve as examples of translating the perception of touch to sight. In other words, his drawings convey to our sight not what we …


Since falling in love with Rembrandt’s magic at the age of 11, I have been on life-long quest for perceptual, emotional, and intellectual discoveries. Implementing these discoveries as I work on my drawings and paintings, I am at the same time, asking myself, while painting, “What exactly am I doing?” in order to understand these …

The Future

The future belongs only to those that create better alternatives. Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 6/24/2020

Those Who Destroy Art: Mary Richardson

The Slashing of Velazquez’s The Rokeby Venus Doing research for my book Evolution Through Art and beginning the chapter Those Who Destroy Art. Three candidates so far are contemporary, Sarah Parcak, the Egyptologist who released instructions on how to topple monuments. The friar Fra Girolamo Savonarola, along with his militants called Piagnoni, hosted public burnings …

Update on Evolution Through Art

The early artist would have been shifting valuable efforts away from life-sustaining work towards the abstract pursuit of art. All animals engage in life-sustaining action, but it would appear as if the artist was rejecting this. Visual art, then as now, has no utilitarian purpose, none whatsoever. Art could not mend things, carve arrows, and build fires. It was not a tool. It did not give warmth, shelter, food, or security. In practical terms it was useless. Diverting resources for such an senseless art adventure would be perceived as a psychosis, the artist having a partial or total break with reality.

Book Idea: Psychological Aesthetics and the Exciting Fight to Evolve by Michael Newberry

Beyond Obstacles, Malevolence, and Ignorance  I have been thinking about writing an art book filled with stories, anecdotes, speculation on prehistorical art, real life experiences, and the knowledge of what is it is like to strive for the sublime. Today I started with the title and listing chapter headings. Psychological Aesthetics and the Exciting Fight …

The Age of Delusion: Jerry Saltz, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism by Michael Newberry

It’s a shame that Duchamp’s cynicism, Kant’s aesthetic nihilism, and the CIA’s misguided and malicious underwriting of Abstract Expressionism and its shills combined to foster hope of greatness to talentless, pretentious hacks. In his frank assessment of his art, Saltz is completely right. Expertise in drawing and painting, a grounding in art history, and vision, all those elements need to be mastered to become a great artist. Yet, instead of doing the massive introspective and technical work necessary, Saltz opts for a scapegoat. Truth is to blame.

Pushing the Composition Envelope, Melissa Hefferlin Still Lifes

It is interesting to contrast Hefferlin with Picasso (he is one of my favorite artists). He created some of the best compositions of all time, but he frequently distorted the subjects – like the woman’s face, body, and other objects – to make very clever compositional arrangements. But in distorting reality so much he threw the baby out with the bathwater. He was visually saying that reality is a chaos of distorted perspectives that are not true to real life. What is exceptional about Melissa is her ability to tweak these pattern motifs while keeping a realistic perspective, a feat of integration that Picasso doesn’t match up to.