Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Painting in my Comfort Zone

Waiting for the Cue is a 24x20 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.

I missed more than a month of painting. That’s the longest time I’ve gone without a brush since I began painting seriously about nine years ago. I so missed it. I found myself imagining paintings, redesigning paintings, then finally looking over my paintings and those of others online.
Waiting for the Cue is the first painting done after my hiatus. It felt so good, and it went so smoothly. Of course, I was painting in my “comfort zone.” All painters have such. It’s the subject, the composition, the lighting, the medium that you understand the best.  
My comfort zone? Employing an almost full value range, from very light to very dark; painting from life; using a single figure as my subject; having a strong directional light source to illuminate that subject; and using high chroma sparingly to make things pop.
Knowing what you can do comfortably is a good thing. But tackling the techniques you find harder is the way to grow. I’m doing some of that now… if I can incorporate some of these new skills in my comfort zone, I’ll share them with you.   


  1. A beautiful comeback! I never thought about my painting comfort zone before. I don't know whether I have one? I will have to think about this. A thoughtful post.

  2. You should be so proud of this one Shirley. Beautiful painting...love the pose.

  3. Yes, you gave me something to think about too. I know I have a comfort zone when I am there, but I never considered what made it before....really good idea to contemplate this! Also you paint so well in yours. This is really nice. I love the wonky edges (that is a compliment) the composition and the contrast.

  4. So good to see you back, Shirley, and what a successful note on which to begin! I love the idea of identifying one's comfort zone factors. I think it highlights what has been successful in the past and what can be an area of growth for the future.

  5. I really enjoyed looking through your blog, Shirley. I adore Little Girl Dreams and hope the show went well for you. Its a beautiful painting!


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 ...