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, Cheryl St. John‘s To the Ranch.”

There is a wonderful feeling of aerial perspective in this piece, with the distant mountains fading in color, intensity, and edge work. All of the overlapping planes also give that feeling of distance. To bring the road toward you, she has saved the darks for the foreground. The shadow coming in from the left quietly helps to keep your eye from sailing off into the corner.

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