Monday, September 6, 2010

Under the Art Umbrella

Painters love umbrellas. Our beach scenes have them; city scenes ditto. Our women carry them to keep off the rain and when it isn't raining, to keep off the sun.

I can't fully explain the passion for parasols. Shape is part of it, that regular gentle curve that leads the viewer's eye to just where the artist would like it to go. The potential for unexpected color is another. A pop of orange can be excellent when at sea or in a painting of a grey, rainy day.

Umbrella advantages can be subtle as well. Faces shaded by umbrellas are often lit by soft reflected light with shadows that take on the color of the umbrella itself. The most famous painted lady with a parasol, Monet's wife, is such a mix of shadow and reflected light that she almost dissolves into the sky and clouds behind her.

My lady is warding off the last drizzle of a Manhattan shower; there's really more sun than rain in her forecast.

NYC Shower 8x8 oil on panel.


  1. your colors here work so well together, and the softness reflects the weather perfectly - & such a simple yet complete profile of the umbrella lady! thank you!

  2. Hi Shirley! I'm honored to be referenced in your blog! Thank you.

    Your wonderfully composed paintings have a dreamlike quality and your commentary is poetic. Happy painting to you!

  3. Great title. And, as always, love your colors, composition, and touch. Very nice.

  4. love your treatment of the umbrella and the way her face is framed by the dark form in the background and always your color palette

  5. Thank you Dusty, Robin, Tonya and Christine. As always your comments make my day... maybe my week!
    Before I go off-line, I'm going to take another look at Robin's umbrellas. Their glow is wonderful.


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Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...