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.]


  1. Cette jeune femme à la robe blanche me fait vibrer d'émotion... Ne me demandez pas pourquoi, je ne saurais vous expliquer.
    Plus je la regarde, plus je me sens paisible...
    Gros bisous

  2. very nice painting, Shirley! I love it!

  3. Beautiful, really beatiful. Have a nice day.
    Best regards from Spain.

  4. Group critique or just sharing our paintings with other artists can be helpful. It is often difficult to be objective about our own work.

    I love it that you were able to listen to your friends and make the painting better. Something on that wall would certainly distract from what you're saying about that lovely white dress.

  5. I love the balance on this painting....it is lovely...as all your work is

  6. Gorgeous painting, Shirley...love the light going to her dress from the window....My first comment didn't go through...but I needed to tell you that I really liked this painting....

  7. I have to say I really like that open space as a counterbalance to the more complex left side. It's a very lovely work, Shirley.

  8. Shirley!
    Very, very beautiful! The lights are breathtaking!


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 ...