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. First up, Kim VanDerHoek‘s “Incoming Tide in Laguna.”

In this series of articles, Jeanne Mackenzie looks at fresh new paintings and discusses why they work.

The one-by-two formats (8 x 16, 12 x 24) are always fun to see in landscapes. This little piece lends itself perfectly to this format. There is a wonderful sense of distance, with the objects becoming less defined. The scene is believable because the artist has not put stark white houses on the distant hills. Instead she has made them a value version of the distant ridge. Viewers automatically say that those are houses in the distance. The eye likes to work a bit and fill in the missing information. One of the main lights (a large building) is right in the center of the painting. This bold symmetry works because it has great large shapes to offset it. The rocks to the right help to balance the centered light, and the palms to the left. The lovely bravado of brushwork gives it a feel of a windy day at the beach.


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