Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seven Days in Maine

High Tide is an 8x10 plein air by Shirley Fachilla.
Before I left for Maine with my artist friends, I thought a lot about what I wanted to paint. I’m a big believer in good painting having little to do with subject matter and much to do with what the painter brings of him (or her) self in terms of skill, intellect and emotion. A view of one’s backyard can have the makings of a wonderful painting, just as much as waterfalls, canyons and mountains. The still life painter Morandi proves this with a vengeance.
With that said, there’s something in Maine that can’t be found in Tennessee, something that I very much wanted to paint. I was dreaming of the Atlantic, its waves and color.
In Maine, happily painting at the shore, at high tide, I realized that even if painted everyday, the ocean would present a completely different face each day to the artist. In effect, it would function like Morandi’s bottles and dinnerware, same subject but with endless permutations.
There's a seascape painter whose work I studied before I left for Maine. The Californian William Ritschel painted his ocean, the Pacific sublimely. I find his work to be beautiful, powerful, and like the ocean, endlessly fascinating.


  1. Beautiful colors and it really looks wet!

  2. nice post, i have always taken too much time to decide what to paint, whereas I see so many beautiful paintings being made with simple subjects. the seascape is captivating..

  3. I can see some Ritschel inspiration in your painting. Very nice.

  4. Beautiful piece Shirley, and a beautiful post too.

  5. Love this. The east coast is so beautiful. You did a lovely job. I wish I was there now.

  6. lovely painting, i love the feeling of endless water and waves!

  7. Very nice painting Shirley and I love what you said about subject matter! Too often I "don't have anything to paint" and I know I just need to look around me!


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 ...