– Jeanne Mackenzie reporting –

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, Brad Clark’s “Down the Road.”

Lead Image: “Down the Road,” by Brad Clark, oil, 8 x 10 in.

A black-and-white view of the painting, illustrating Mackenzie’s points
A black-and-white view of the painting, illustrating Mackenzie’s points

This painting has a masterful decisiveness of space. Looking at each puzzle piece in the painting, they each have a reason for being in that location. Each area has its own unique shape, and no two are the same. The trees give the sky shape interest while the tree shadows divide the road up into varied shapes. Even the values are strong in their statement. Looking at the painting in grayscale shows a painting just as strong. Try taking a monochromatic snapshot of your painting in progress and see if it holds up with solid shapes and values.

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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