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, R. Gregory Summers’s “Final Cut.”

Lead Image: “Final Cut,” by R. Gregory Summers, oil, 12 x 24 in.

The composition of this image invites you to move leisurely through the painting before landing on the focal point — a working combine. All lines point to the equipment, but it is a subtle, delightful discovery. One first looks at the cut furrows and surrounding rows of trees before realizing that there is a reason that these fields are cut. There is a nice sense of light streaming in the distance that helps to lead your eye back into the painting. The light source is also evident by the value and color transition in the sky. The sky is lighter and less chromatic near the sun and deeper in value and chroma as the canopy moves away from the light.


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