Detail of In North Light a 20x20 open studio oil by Shirley Fachilla.
If you’ve read this blog for very long, you might know I paint in an open studio each week. The studio is intended for portrait, but I often use it for figure. I also often complain about and protest the sameness of the pose from one week to the next. I can find it quite repetitious.
But as Hamlet said about his mom, “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.” In other words, I need to stop protesting and look to myself to alleviate the boredom.
Wonderful contemporary painters that I greatly admire (two immediately come to mind, Carolyn Anderson and Dan McCaw) paint the same pose over and over again. Examples here and here for Carolyn and here and here for Dan.
They recognize that they are exploring form and light, shape and line, depth and flatness just as intently as the abstractionist. They know that it is not the subject but what they bring to the subject that matters. I need to attempt to bring some of that same intensity to my subject, whatever or whoever it may be. The good painting is found inside the painter, not out.