Why This Works: Connect Your Darks

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Eileen Guernsey Brown's "A Winter's Day."

Why This Works: Not Every Branch, Twig, and Leaf

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Kathryn A. McMahon’s “Beaverdams Pond.”

Why This Works: Muted Chroma, Powerful Values

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Dana Zier’s “Pryor Overlook.”

Why This Works: High Horizon Line for Compelling Composition

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Thomas Caleb Goggans’ “Shoshone Turquoise.”

Why This Works: Aerial Perspective and a Good Lead-In

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Paul Keysar’s “Bath County Fog.”

Choosing From Column A

Artists often return to a particular subject matter when they don’t think it has been sufficiently explored. For Richard Maud, one of those motifs is the columns of the Alameda, in Seville, Spain.

Why This Works: Mountains as Sky Family

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Lena Rivo’s “Arrabida Natural Park."

Carl Bretzke’s Top 10 Reasons for Attending the Plein Air Convention

Don’t take it from us — hear it from one of plein air painting’s stars. The Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) is the place to be in April.

Why This Works: Low Key Allows Orange to Pop

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Walter Bartman’s “The Golden Hour.”

Why This Works: Format, Key, and Aerial Perspective

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Susan Paterson’s “PEI Skies.”

My Favorite Place to Paint: Julie Jilek and the Mysteries of High Cliff

From ancient burial mounds to one of the most striking geological features of the United States, Julie Jilek’s favorite place to paint has much to intrigue the painter. But Jilek also loves it because of her personal history.

Why This Works: The Sailboat’s Story

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, “Long Island Inlet,” by Rosanne Kaloustian.

Why This Works: Figures as Supporting Players

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, “Horizon,” by Paul George.

Why This Works: Using Both Symmetry and Asymmetry

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, “Big River Calling,” by Tom McGregor.

Accepting the Challenge of Painting Sky

Tomas Honz has an impressive body of work focusing on various sky conditions. It was not done without a fair amount of adversity.

How the Desert Helped Carlton Paint Snow

Minnesota artist Philip Alexander Carlton was not impressed with painting winter in the Midwest until he realized he could apply lessons learned on his lengthy road trip.

Why This Works: A Tale of Two Paintings

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, two pieces from one day by Richard Maud.

Unsticking the Stuck Student

Artist and art industry veteran Terry Stanley has some advice for art instructors who encounter students with a block stopping their progress.

Why This Works: Supporting the Star Player

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Kurt Jacobson’s “DeLong Lake, Alaska.”

Putting Design Over Subject

North Carolina painter Jean Cauthen says she seeks out “the places between or in back of places,” by which she means finding a strong design rather than painting a portrait.

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