Why This Works: Large Bold Shapes Suggest Abstraction

“September Flower Farm,” by Don Bishop, oil, 16 x 20 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 Don Bishop’s “September Flower Farm.”

I especially enjoy the vastness in this painting. The floral shapes in the foreground act as a hopping-off spot for viewing the rest of the painting. There is a feel of the paintings by Julian Onderdonk, the well-known Texas artist of the early 1900s. But this great composition and riparian scene could be the East or West Coast as well. As representational a subject as this is, the large bold shapes bring in a touch of the abstract.


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