Monday, September 19, 2011

In North Light

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. 


  1. Un magnifique travail que cette peinture... La lumière vient caresser délicatement votre sujet. Une superbe harmonie de couleurs.
    Gros bisous

  2. You really brought it here Shirley, this is fabulous!

  3. So nice. And I love your commentary. Do you do this (20x20 painting) in one open studio session?

  4. I admire the warmth of this painting.

  5. Thank you all. Tonya, yes, I did. I use big brushes and find deadlines make me quick!

  6. Wonderfully said! I think you were successful here. Love that glorious light on the figure.


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 ...