How one sees the world is a question of focal point. What's the object? For the artist it becomes a question of perspective; framing the focal point so that it draws the eye. The broader the artist's perspective, the more the focal point is brought into harmony with its surroundings, up to the point at which the beholder can't tell what the object of the work is anymore, at which point it loses its purpose. The artist's 'eye' is finding that perfect balance between the object and its universe.
Then there are landscapes, where all that crap goes bye-bye.
A landscape carries such a broad perspective the work becomes a collage of focal points that may or may not sit in harmony with each other. A landscape catches a broad panorama of objects that work together. No formula exists for creating any of it - it works or it doesn't.
Once this piece was finished it occurred to me that there are at least three other ways to crop it, and I tried all of them. I could probably come up with more if I thought about it harder. Just what is the object? Is it the glade itself, it's thin blades of grass translucent in the sunshine? Is it the lovely detail of the tree trunk on the left? The swirl of the leaves above? The hard lines of the fence? The texture of the foreground?
In the end I came back to the original. It's the harmony of everything together that makes the piece work. Bring it up on a 72-inch HD screen; sit down; take the time to see everything.
Note: No one is an island. I was compelled to run this piece and three cropped versions of it past another artist I trust. She came to the same conclusion I had as to the correctness of the original version. Most of my life I have lacked artistic mentors and colleagues with whom I could bounce off ideas. I'm very grateful that a number of these angels have entered my life.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.