Fields, Farmlands, and Barns: Landscape Paintings by Michael Defrancesco

Published Sep. 24th 2007

This week’s second featured artist is Michael Defrancesco, a former freelance illustrator turned art teacher and oil painter.

In his email Michael said that he “loves to paint old things. . . especially BARNS,” and it certainly shows. Most of Michael’s paintings are of fields or farmland, with buildings tucked away into the landscape like they’ve grown up there over the years.

I love the wide crops he uses in some of his paintings, like this one entitled A Vineyard in France where he also makes a somewhat daring compositional decision.

A Vinyard in France by Michael Defrancesco

By choosing a painting location where the vineyard rows lead strongly to the right side, Michael created a powerful visual cue potentially forcing his viewers’ eyes right off the edge of the painting.

A single bushy tree halts that visual progress, however, allowing the eye to wander back towards the clustered buildings on the left, via the top half of the painting.

Distant Farm was another favorite, mostly for its beautiful combination of colors.

Distant Farm by Michael Defrancesco

Purples, oranges, golds and greens under a brisk Autumn sky make for quite the visual treat. And you’ll probably notice that there’s a strong directional element in this piece, too.

In a very natural way, Michael created interest and drama by putting the focus of the painting (the red-orange barn) in the upper right corner, with both the fence line and horizon line running toward it.

And finally, in this last piece entitled, Farm on the Pond, Michael once more displays his love for all things old and weather-beaten.

Farm on the Pond by Michael Defrancesco

Unused, boarded up, and sitting out on the back forty, this old structure makes its last hurrah in one of Michael Defrancesco’s paintings.

Not a bad way to be remembered, all things considered.

To see more of Michael Defrancesco’s work, or if you’d like to purchase one of his paintings yourself, visit his website at

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