Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Plein Air and Memory

Where Otters Play is a 16x20 oil by Shirley Fachilla.
First half was done plein air; second half was memory and imagination.

This painting was begun by the Harpeth River late on a summer afternoon. The day was winding down, and the canvas was bigger than my usual plein air size. I didn’t finish. I color blocked and had to stop.
I brought the piece home and told myself I would return again in the late afternoon on another day. But life (and procrastination) intervened; summer turned to fall then to winter. I didn’t go back. I hadn’t taken a photo. So I remembered, and I imagined.
The most important memory? Remembering what I wanted the painting to be about when I was there on the bank of the Harpeth.  This I did remember very well, and this I tried to put into paint.
Where the Otters Play is one of the paintings I have in the Nature’s Legacy show to benefit the Warner Parks of Nashville. It’s a Chestnut affair this weekend, Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 10, at the Warner Park Nature Center, 7311 Highway 100, Nashville, Tennessee.
If you’re in this neck of the woods, please drop by. There will be literally hundreds of beautiful paintings by the Chestnut Group, and a chunk of all sales will go to the parks.   


  1. This is a very beautiful painting, Shirley. You have a good imagination to finish this lovely piece.!

  2. Pas facile de reprendre une peinture laissée de côté et aussi de se souvenir...
    Le résultat est là sous mes yeux, concluant. Une très jolie peinture. On peut sentir le courant de l'eau...
    gros bisous à vous.

  3. Lovely scene, Shirley. So tranquil. Neat story about finishing it at a later date with memory playing a big role. Well done!

  4. Lovely plein air/studio painting. You were good to start the painting outside and then finish it in the studio. Nice big canvas! The painting is so peaceful and inviting.


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 ...