Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh, Just Be Square!

Model Boats a 6x6 oil by Shirley Fachilla

Noted colorist Camille Prezewodek recently sent me an email. We’re not really buddies, but I took a painting workshop from her a couple of years ago and have been on her email list ever since. Camille’s email was all about the square format. She thinks it gives a painting a contemporary look and feel. I quite agree as would the legion of daily painters who frequently paint square canvases, often tiny 6x6’s.
As you’ve probably noticed, your computer gives you the choice of printing “landscape” or “portrait” on an 8x11 page. These tags came about because for centuries, most landscapes were done in a horizontal format (longer than high) and most portraits in a vertical one (higher than long).
Do the unexpected and change things up or in the alternative, go square, and it makes your painting seem fresher, newer, in short, contemporary. Even better it can make folks look twice… or at least look longer! Something every painter likes.

The above is very square and tiny, a 6x6 of the boat pond at NYC’s Central Park.


  1. So beautiful. I love all the color in the painting. I really like that it's square. It does feel very contemporary.

  2. Well put! and well-painted! Love a square format. Your painting is lovely.

  3. Love peaceful and of course lovely colors..I am going to another NYC Karin Jurick workshop...on crutches....

  4. Thank you, Michelle, very nice to hear this from a totally contemporary girl.
    Thanks, Suzanne. I love the square as well. It can be wonderful to work with.
    Christine, please say hi to Karin and be careful on your crutches!
    Pam, thank you, especially good to hear from a master of reflections.

  5. A pleasure going through your beautiful blog
    if you like poetry, I invite you to my blog.
    you have a nice week.

  6. Very nice Shirley, wonderful color and edges.

  7. Wow, talk about edges! What a lovely mix of soft and sharp... You have a very eloquent writing style Shirley, I really enjoyed reading about your workshops!

  8. I love your use of color on these boats! Those baby-sky blue shades go almost too well with the subdued greens! Glad I've found your blog.


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