Tuesday, March 15, 2011

People Who Need People

The Amish Way 14x18 oil by Shirley Fachilla

In 2009, Nashville had an exhibit called Paint Made Flesh. I thought it was wonderful with my favorite work being one by Eric Fischl. His paintings often show people in dysfunctional relationships in the suburbs, sort of a John Cheever of visual art. During the exhibit, Eric gave a talk about the future of figurative art, seems that some think figurative painting has had its day.
Eric thinks not, or rather he enjoys painting people so much, he hopes not. He opined that the future of figurative painting lies in compositions of multiple figures. This brings me to The Amish Way above with its five figures. And my rather fragmented thoughts about the subject. Back in the Renaissance and later, multiple figures in paintings were the norm. It seems to me that the solitary figure (other than in portraiture) is more a modern phenomenon. We have gone from Luncheon of the Boating Party to The Scream in short order. Did we stop painting people interacting with others for a reason? I, never being short of opinions myself, have several theories, none with much to back it up and all too long for a blog post.
Suffice it to say, paintings that include more than one figure are more difficult to do. They are harder in terms of composition and simply because they tend to be more complex, people interacting with others… a complexity in art as in life.


  1. Nul ne pourra empêcher de peindre des émotions, figuratives ou non... après c'est une longue autre histoire... qui pourrait être un sujet de philosophie...
    J'aime beaucoup cette toile qui sera toujours au goût du jour... histoire de parler de mode!
    Elle est remplie d'amour... accompagnée d'une très belle harmonie de couleurs.

  2. Thank you, Martine and Nancy. I hope that Eric is right and that multiple figurative works will gain in popularity for like Eric, I love to paint people.

  3. What a great painting. You know how to tell a story.

  4. This is a lovely painting. Thank you for commenting on my blog... I came over to see your work, and I was really drawn to this painting and your post about it. Painting the human figure is more difficult than other subjects, I think. You did this really well.

  5. Thanks for your nice comment on my blog Shirley. I then had a look at your blog and you have lovely light too in your paintings. I specially love this one- the main girl is graceful and beautiful and I love the delicate way she moves the pie...


Is it too early to send an invitation?

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