Some artists just have the touch. They bring a timelessness to everyday scenery. They can make a stand of autumn trees glow, and can elevate humble farm scenes to the status of modern classics. These qualities are all hallmarks of artist Alan Maciag.
Maciag is featured in the March issue of the national Plein Air Magazine, with an impressive 5-page spread. His Artist Profile sheds light on the essential elements he strives to bring to each of his works. What are they, and how does he give his paintings that intriguing sense of depth?
Striving to bring a sense of depth and light are two elements Maciag wants in every one of his paintings. A true plein air painter, most of his work is done in the morning, and Macaig says, “I’m captivated by what light does to objects, how it strikes objects.” Rural landscapes are his preferred subject matter and he works fast.
“I like to be fresh and brisk, and put on thick paint,” he says. “I don’t go back for a second pass on a painting that often. I put the paint on, and that’s how it is going to stay. I do not mix colors on the canvas.”
Looking at a Maciag oil painting is to be drawn in to the view. This is intentional, as Maciag will choose to paint scenes that are a half mile or a mile away.
“I want the viewer to see that there are things beyond the focal point, and that they are part of the painting. I avoid scenes that are just foreground or middle ground, even if I have to create an opening in the trees to allow some background to show through.”
Using planes of color creates depth also.
“I work on slabs of color,“ he says. “I start out really dark, working in the dark shadows, then I move to midtones, then lights, then all the details.”
Maciag learned about using layers and planes from artists Calvin Liang, Bob Rohm and New York abstract painter Brian Rutenberg.
We love having Maciag’s works at Twisted Fish Gallery and our online store, Fine Art Mart. We’re excited for the recognition Maciag is receiving through his feature in Plein Air Magazine, and look forward to showing more of his resonant, plein air works during his solo exhibit here in August!
Early Thaw is a great example of Maciag’s mastery of depth and light on his subject matter.