Monday, August 22, 2011

"What... This Old Thing!"

A Trifling Matter is a 20x10 open studio oil by Shirley Fachilla.
Recently in open studio, our model appeared wearing a trifle of a hat. It was inspired, of course, by the beautiful, and now royal, Kate and her wardrobe of completely non-functional, delightfully whimsical toppers.

In addition to satin and net bows, the model’s trifle had a half-veil with dots.
When painting a la prima (definition here), veils are one of those things you add last. You hope you have everything right underneath and you hope that you do the veil part okay, too, because you have one chance. Get it wrong and you’ll have to scrape that part of the painting down and start over.

Did I say our lovely model has a mean streak?

Renoir did just such a veil perfectly.
Sorolla painted a couple of transparent, windswept veils beautifully.
Monti demonstrated why veils add mystery much beyond one’s expectations.
And some glorious ancient Greek sculptor made poetry in motion with his veiled bronze dancer 2,000 plus years ago.


  1. Well I would say you got it right! Looks beautiful!

  2. I really love how you handled everything on and around her face Shirley, great job!

  3. This is lovely- you got the veil just beautifully the perfect "weight" or transparency. Wow:)

  4. Very nice painting and very interesting comment and links. You got the veil perfectly too!

  5. captured the mystery. Maybe the attitude is a veil for fear. Often a mean disposition is just that, veiled something else!

  6. This is truly stunning, Shirley, from the beautiful shade of red to the skin tones to the wonderful neutral background that makes the red pop! Just a delightful subject!

  7. Wow, this came out fabulous! Love the orange and blue. Great job painting the face. Looks like it was from an old family photo album.

  8. nice blog, happy to have come across it. very informative and excellent paintings! thanks for stopping by at my blog

  9. You captured the veil using so few words. I am delighted to have been introduced to your work.

  10. You nailed the veil, Shirley...and the rest of the painting too!

    PS Sorry about the "anonymous" comment...this is Don Gray. For some reason Blogger won't accept my ID and this is the only way I could comment.


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