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, Michael Lewiss “El Malpais Rocks, 10 AM.”

This piece has many repeating shapes, but the artist has given variety and personality to each one. The eye moves up and around the ‘S’ curves of the rocks and then takes you back to the clouds. The nicely placed tree helps to highlight the precipice edge. That is what is wonderful about painting — we can transplant trees and move mountains. In this painting there is a strong, rich reflected light that gives the rocks a third dimension and glow.


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