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, Jimmy Longacre‘s “River Canyon.”

This is a wonderful composition that draws you in and lets your eye travel around the painting. Even the clouds are angled in a way that counterbalances the currents of the river. The large masses of rocks and cliffs keep your eye from wandering off the page while directing you to the next inviting edge. This is another fine example of the use of the successful secondary triad so common in nature — violet, green, orange. The colors are strong but all have something in common.


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