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, Mary Pettis’s “Neighbors.”

Lead Image: “Neighbors,” by Mary Pettis, oil, 16 x 20 in.

There is an inviting entrance into this painting as the cows welcome your arrival. Perhaps having a few less cows all in a row would have sufficed; they still act as nice visual stepping stones. There is a continuity of color as the distant clouds pick up the green tones of the foreground while still conveying the setting/rising sun. The sunlight is reinforced with the lovely amber glow reflected up on to the cow’s belly. The shadow side of the foreground cow is spot-on in value. This is a good example where white in shadow is darker than green in sunlight.


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