It occurred to me that I have been composing landscapes as though they were still lifes. I’ve been seeking shapes, piles of stuff, depth, different textures, selective lighting and so on.
Am I limiting my work by doing this? I’ve been told to follow more traditional compositions (e.g. Carlson), but I find those dull and predictable. Formulaic compositions lead to formulaic paintings, in my opinion. Any thoughts on whether I’m actually doing landscapes?
Hi Paul—I no would argue that these works are indeed, undoubtedly, landscapes (and very attractive, interesting ones I might add.)
I would offer the benefit of the doubt to those advising you to adhere to more traditional pictorial compositions as trying to be helpful (revealing more about their own personal preferences than some necessary convention fir the genre.)
Keep in mind that while compositions that appeal to processing fluency (traditional aspects that are easily recognizable within the genre) can be generally attractive in one regard—also flirt with an increased in chances for faster audience habituation. In other words, in this context, I would argue that adhering to expectation may increase the chances of boredom.
I for one am grateful for those artists that keep genres growing and evolving.