“Shoshone Turquoise,” by Thomas Caleb Goggans, 2015, oil on linen, 12 x 16 in. Collection the artist

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, Thomas Caleb Goggans’ “Shoshone Turquoise.”

A scene to paint offers up 360 degrees of options. Zoom in, zoom out, high horizon line, low horizon line … the choices go on. It is up to the artist to decide what the painting is about and what story they want to tell. In this painting of a quiet river scene, the artist has chosen a high horizon line for a compelling composition. The vast water shape and tree reflections lead your eye up to the distant back, where you get to explore the luscious paint application.

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