Monday, July 11, 2011

"Look Homeward"

Look Homeward is a 20x20 oil by Shirley Fachilla.

I wanted my painting to clearly be one of a cemetery, but I also wanted it to seem a beautiful place and to exude a mood of… well, cheer.

The canvas depicts the cemetery at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. Carnton’s owners, the McGavocks, donated the property to serve as a burial place for the hundreds of Confederate soldiers who died in the extremely bloody Battle of Franklin during the American Civil War. [To read a bit more about that battle, see my prior post, here.]
Carnton Plantation has a fascinating history. It was a major player in the fight and in its aftermath. A best-selling novel Widow of the South was written about it. A novel that I found even more interesting and moving, Howard Bahr’s Black Flower also describes the battle and the part Carnton played in it.
The cemetery itself is long, rather narrow strip of land housing row after row of small stone markers, each denoting a grave. The men and boys in those graves were buried far, far from home.

Carnton is hosting an art show and sale to benefit the Battle of Franklin Trust. The Chestnuts, Plein Air Painters for the Land, will have paintings there. My painting Look Homeward will be among them. If you’re in the area, I hope you can come by. The dates and times are: Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, 10 to 7 and Sunday, July 17, 12 to 5.
The place is Carnton Plantation, 1345 Carnton Lane, Franklin, Tennessee 37064.


  1. De très belles nuances de couleurs qui jouent avec la lumière et illuminent cette belle peinture.
    Un endroit qui pourrait laisser à penser qu'il ne serait pas aisé à peindre et pourtant ma chère, vous avez réussi avec votre talent à exprimer la sérénité...
    Gros bisous

  2. this painting has such a solemn but beautiful feel to it...lovely

  3. Thank you both for commenting. This was a hard painting, one that needed several attempts before I found some small measure of success. I guess these are the paintings that teach!

  4. You succeeded in making it a lovely place . . . it almost looks like the light is coming from the land. Beautiful color! I was also taken by Desi and the roses--love the color and composition.

  5. Oh Shirley what a beautiful painting and beautiful post. Thank-you for sharing the post and the book references. You have made me want to learn more about Canton.

  6. I love your use of complementary colors here.


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 ...