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, Al Maciag’s “Cohoons Elevator.”

Lead Image: “Cohoons Elevator,” by Al Maciag, 2015, oil, 9 x 12 in.

There is a feast for your eyes in this small painting. The myriad of brushstrokes gives lots of energy to the scene, yet there are enough hard edges and blocky shapes to give your eye a place to rest. The neutral tones of the shadows and silo help to make the greens seem more vibrant. Although the silo is a bit in the center, it is offset by the two interesting sky shapes on each side. Letting the warm-toned canvas show through (plus the touches of red) adds a complementary splash to the painting.


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