Friday, May 20, 2011

An Old-Fashioned View

Red Clover, Pink Pond is an 8x8 plein air by Shirley Fachilla

My little painting is of an ordinary Tennessee field and pond. It’s different from a hundred other such views only because of the red clover spread out like a blanket on the hillside.

The landscapist, John Constable, also painted ordinary scenes from his own little corner of the world. In fact, his insistence on painting what he saw is one reason he’s now considered one of the greats of landscape painting. In his day, imaginary and romantic views of far-away places (often places the painter had never been or that didn’t really exist anywhere) were standard fare.
Ironically, many of Constable’s paintings now seem quite romantic to us. Whether it’s a double rainbow over Stonehenge or a rickety hay wagon, his paintings can appear rather sentimental to modern sensibilities. But take a look at some of his oil sketches and you’ll see a Constable as fresh and compelling as anyone painting landscapes today.
By the way, there were telephone poles along that road in my painting. I took them out. I can’t decide if I did it because it messed up my composition or because it messed up the old-fashioned look of my view!


  1. Ma chère Shirley, votre paysage me semble si paisible que j'irais bien m'asseoir et rêver près de ce bel arbre sur la gauche. Vos couleurs sont de véritables bonbons tant elles sont acidulées... Une très belle peinture que je prends plaisir à regarder.
    Gros bisous et bon week-end à vous.

  2. This is beautiful Shirley! I also love Constable's work and even did my senior research paper on him when in high school many, many years ago. Your ordinary scene is very eye catching and I love the composition of it.

  3. Thank you so much, Martine and Denise. Constable did a wonderful job of showing the beauty of the world around him, something to emulate whenever possible I think.

  4. I'm off to give Constable a look again. Love your painting, the mood and soft peacefulness.

  5. Delighted to hear it, Susan. I think you'll like what you see.

  6. Absolutely lovely! Great sense of depth... I want to be there!


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