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, Mary Jabens’ “Escalante Barn.”

Lead Image: “Escalante Barn,” by Mary Jabens, 2015, oil, 9 x 12 in.

There is a lot of rich, saturated color in this scene. This is a good example of the successful use of the secondary triad, where you often see green, orange, and violet in nature. The colors all have something in common, so they meld well together. Although the shadows may be a bit dark, they act as a solid foundation for the painting. The foreground vegetation has just enough texture to give it form and definition, but not too much detail that it takes away from the barn subject.


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