Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Snow White's Apples"



Snow White’s Apples is an oil painted from life by Shirley Fachilla

I paint pieces that I like; I paint work that can only be classed as a “study;” and I paint things that I dislike. When I’m feeling confident, I wipe off the disliked and also sometimes the “studies.”
There’s no need to keep the failures if I’ve figured out why they failed. There’s usually no need to keep the studies for I’ve learned by simply painting them. (The studies kept are those I might use to create another more fully realized painting.)
But then there are those paintings that fall in none of those categories. They are the paintings that I really like, but that I painted on a poor to bad surface. Snow White’s Apples is a case in point.
I like many things about Snow White. I used a different palette that I plan to use again. I incorporated a still life that turned out well and is fully a part of the painting. I like the brushstrokes; they enhance rather than distract. And the composition is just different enough to satisfy me.
But I painted her on a scrap of linen that had been wiped and scraped… only not enough to create a smooth surface. There’s a horizontal line that runs across the canvas bisecting her poor head and skimming the top handle of the basket. This is old paint from the prior wiped painting. Nothing will fix it; alas, it is a part of Snow White forever.
Carolyn Anderson in her workshop said to use good materials. It’s a lesson I thought I learned… but sometimes I guess I need a reminder like my little Snow White

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Resilience of Age



The Resilience of Age is a 24x12 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.
In 1951, Andrew Wyeth painted Trodden Weed. Consisting of a pair of elegant boots in mid-stride crushing a slender weed underfoot, he called it a self-portrait.
Shortly before painting Trodden Weed, Andrew had undergone a life-threatening operation; afterward, he had taken to walking about the countryside in a pair of old, but elegant, boots to rebuild his strength. He said that in his unsteadiness, he realized how often we all unknowing, blindly crush and trod living things underneath our stride.
My question for you is: in this “self-portrait” was Andrew the pair of boots or the resilient weed being crushed underfoot?
As you might guess from the title of my painting shown above, I think Andrew was the weed which far from being obliterated, sprang back to live another day. Andrew Wyeth lived to be 91 years old.