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, Paul George’s “Stone Pier, Gloucester, Massachusetts.” 

Lead Image: “Stone Pier, Gloucester, Massachusetts,” by Paul George, 2015, oil, 16 x 20 in.

This painting is a good example of taking large shapes and subdividing them. As the shapes recede, they become simplified and less complex. Value contrast, texture, and detail are saved for the foreground, bringing you into the painting. The distant shapes recede because their values and hues become more similar to one another. The large foreground shape takes you back to that little spot of sunlight reflection.


  1. Its really helpful to read your reviews – the paintings are exceptional and it’s good to know why they work so well. Thank you for your comments Jeanne.


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