– Jeanne Mackenzie reporting –

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, Patrick Saunders “Cacti on the Rocks.” 

Lead Image: “Cacti on the Rocks,” by Patrick Saunders, oil on panel, 14 x 18 in.

This painting has the wonderful quality of a notan study. This use of light and dark translates shape and form into flat shapes on a two-dimensional surface. To bring a third dimension into the piece, the artist incorporates lovely, colorful reflected light back into the cacti. The lost edge work of the distant elements lets the eye rest on the hard crisp edges of the foreground plants.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew, who worked for Streamline Publishing as an editor and more, graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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