“Trestle,” by Joe Anna Arnett, oil, 9 x 12 in.

By Jeanne Mackenzie

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, she discusses Joe Anna Arnett’s “Trestle.”

The focal point is obviously the train trestle with its strong, silhouetted, upright posts. This subject could easily become overbearing with a myriad of too strong and too many support beams. The artist has given you a hint of the structure but softened the impact with the foliage (chamisa) mass. This actually makes the trestle more dominant as the viewer’s eye is led into and around the painting.


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