Tuesday, April 23, 2013

With a Little Help from my Friends


White Sundress is a 14x18 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.
I love painting with other artists in open studio. There’s a wonderful sense of shared endeavor and community. At the same time, there's no instructor to tell you how to paint.You are absolutely free to go your own way and of course, it follows, sometimes make your own mistakes. 
Having said that, it’s also a great way to learn from your friends. White Sundress once had a shelf holding a framed picture in its negative space. My friend, Jean McGuire said. “I really like this painting though I had a little trouble understanding (and she pointed at the shelf) that area.” Jean is tactful.
I, being somehow attached to the shelf I’d painted, didn’t follow up on her thought. Later another friend, Pam Padgett, said, “Like the painting, but that shelf is hard to understand, and you know it interferes with your negative space.”  
Two good artists and friends agreeing meant I saw the shelf and the picture in a new light. They were painted out. Ah, yes, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  
[Need to know the arty meaning of “open studio” and “negative space”? Please visit the Artful Definitions page.]

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Rainy Day with Matt Smith



Somewhere along the Coast of Maine, a 9x12 oil.
Plein air workshops normally take place outside on (one hopes) bright sunny days. A grey day brings out the grumbles from workshop attendees. We want light effects and plenty of them!
So I was sad when one day of a three-day Matt Smith workshop was very wet and very much an inside day. But actually I learned a lot with that studio time… maybe more than when I was out chasing the sun and looking for shade.
We worked from our own photo references. Matt believes in using photos as references primarily for larger paintings. He says a photo can supply structure and details missing from a plein air study and perhaps more importantly jog a memory.
He doesn’t think a photo needs to be perfect. (What a relief! Mine never come close!) But they do need to be of a paintable subject.
This is where the inside day was truly helpful for me. My favorite photo was not a paintable one. And I must admit cascades of white water with barely any discernible form beneath would be difficult, if not impossible, to build a good painting around. But a soft morning in Maine? This was quite possible and I had a fairly good photo to jog my memory. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So-o-o Very Nashville



Ruffled-up Cowgirl is a 24x12 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.

Boots and really big cowboy hats are very, very Nashville, even for girls. This particular girl is part of the annual juried Women Painter’s of the Southeast show which this year takes place right here Tennessee. The show’s not quite in Nashville but is very, very near in Franklin, Tennessee.
The exhibit's hanging at Imagine Gallery at The Factory on the Mezzanine, 230 Franklin Road. I hope you’ll have a chance to drop by for the reception or sometime during the show.
The reception is from 6 to 8:30 on Saturday, April 20th. The show will be up from April 19 through May 20.
Ruffled-up Cowgirl is one of two pieces that I have in the show. 

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 ...