Crop happens

....Or at least sometimes it should. I went down by the river at Great Shiplock Park this morning to paint this little view looking out towards Rocketts Landing:

Plein air painting James River Richmond VA

I had a frustrating morning. 

I didn't finish because I began to have problems with the composition. The canvas panel is a 9x12", and while there are things I like about it, I'm not too excited about the near equal width of the sky and water framing the skyline, where the real interest is. 

I think this was an editing problem. I liked too many things about the scene and I was trying to fit them all in. I liked the hazy sky. I liked the purplish skyline. And I liked the reflections in the water too. I guess it just goes to show how very important it is to put a good deal of thought into the orchestration of a piece before rushing in.

Well, we learn from our mistakes, right? So with a little trickery in Photoshop, I am able to see what a better compositional choice may have looked like:

James River painting Rocketts Landing by Jennifer Young

Well, I can't exactly glue a new top to this panel. But look what happens when I cut this down to approximately 6x12":

Jennifer Young plein air paintings James River Richmond VA

Better? My kingdom for a table saw.