Thursday, July 12, 2012

Girls in White Dresses...

Her Mother’s Wedding Dress is a 24x24 oil done in open studio by Shirley Fachilla.

White is much beloved by artists. We paint white horses, houses, shirts, clouds, laundry and yes, white dresses. Why do we love it so? Perhaps because white isn’t ever really white.
I don’t mean this in a moral sense (as in nothing is ever black or white) nor as a gauge of innocence (as in white as the driven snow).  I mean it very literally. In representational painting (with the exception of the medium of watercolor where the white paper can itself becomes the lightest value), nothing is ever actually white. It’s white with a touch of color, sometimes the barest touch, but color nonetheless.
And the shadows of a white object are wonderful because they become blue, pink, violet, green and even occasionally, actually grey.
Artists can paint a kaleidoscope of tints and hues all while painting something supposedly white. What could be more fun than that!
Her Mother’s Wedding Dress is only one among many girls in white dresses that I’ve painted. I hope to paint many more.  


  1. Lovely Shirley. The white tones and the skin tones are perfect!

  2. Shirley, this is so stunning! It's almost ethereal and I love the lost edges between the ruffle on the dress and the background. I agree with you totally about the opportunities in painting something in white. What fun!

  3. this is so sweet...the harmony of colors is so beautiful

  4. Beautiful painting! It has such a soft peaceful reverie feeling . . . I admire the light touch you use with figures. Also enjoyed reading your post about the Anderson workshop. I wake up each morning thinking of her work so seeing the thumbnail of her portrait reminds me to look at her site again. I really enjoy your blog . . .


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 ...