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, Bill Gallen’s “Gorge of the Rio Grande.”
This is a beautiful painting of the Rio Grande before you drop down into Taos. The high vantage point gives you the layered, meandering curves of the canyon. The weighted left wall of the ravine nicely offsets the dead-centered vanishing point of the wall faces. Distances are realized with the lost canyon edges as they recede. The diagonals of the cloud shapes complement the diagonals of the canyon’s rhythm.