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, Becky Joy‘s “Austin, Texas.”

This beautiful, quiet painting is almost a study of the monochromatic. The road strongly leads the viewer into the painting but is not overpowering. The artist has been careful not to have the road tangents exit out of the corners. The road may have been a hard-edged main thoroughfare, but the artist has softened the edges by bringing the grasses across the road. As a result, it is much more interesting, and it gives it a more rural feel. A road painting could be boring if not for the interesting touch of color the artist has strategically placed for your eyes to feast on. There is an excellent show of aerial perspective using muted, cool color and soft edges in the background while using the warmer greens and hard edges in the foreground. These are wonderful veils of atmosphere that put miles into a short space.

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