Monday, September 23, 2013

The Imaginary Landscape

The One that Got Away is a 18x14 oil done from life and imagination.

This is one from my Monday open studio but with a bit of a difference. The river (or maybe it’s a lake?) behind her is an imagined one.
The imaginary landscape has a long history. Just think of Mona Lisa and the fantastical rocks and water Leonardo gave her.

Even Claude Lorrain, who was perhaps the first landscapist, painted from his imagination. It’s said that he did oil sketches from life on which he based his finished work. But no one could look at Lorrain’s idealized serenity and not know that his painted world was more truly a product of his heart and his imagination. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

So Happy Together!

As I’ve posted before (here), I have a little wall of paintings at the Tennessee Art League in downtown Nashville. I usually try to change out the work on a monthly basis.
Each month, there’s a struggle with how much to include and how little. I’m a rather firm believer that less is more, but the urge to use every inch of possible space is still present.
But less truly is more. Too much and it becomes so hard to see the individual trees (read paintings) for the forest.
So I restrain myself and try for something of a monthly theme. The theme is subtle. At least I hope it is. As the judges chide on Project Runway, “don’t be too literal in any interpretation of a theme.”
This “theme” started with girls in cowboy hats but then morphed into objects lit by a strong directional light. Yes, I know “girls in cowboy hats” sounds more fun; and believe it or not, I had more cowboy hat pieces; but it’s the theme of strong directional light in each of these paintings that keeps them… so happy together (not the cowboy hats)!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If at first you don't succeed...

Little Girl Dreams is a 20x10 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
I don’t know if this is from The Little Engine that Could, a quote from my mama or simply one of those truisms that everyone subscribes to. Wherever it came from, my painting Little Girl Dreams proves its wisdom.
I painted Little Girl Dreams in one of my open studios. I liked her enough to submit her to last year’s American Impressionists annual juried show. She wasn’t accepted.
Normally this wouldn’t bother me too much (as an artist, it’s rather essential to develop a thick skin); but I really did like the painting and more over, if I had to describe my art in terms of one of the “isms,” it would be impressionism. I was quite disappointed.
I decided to try again. I submitted Little Girl Dreams to The Best and Brightest annual exhibit held by the Scottsdale Artists School. Little Girl was not only accepted; she won an Honorable Mention. I was delighted.
But her story doesn’t end there. She was one of my submissions this year to the Best of America exhibit, the NOAPS national juried show. And she was chosen to be a part of that exhibit!

Little Girl now has a couple of happy endings, and I think lessons for everyone. First, believe in what you do; and second, keep on trying.

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 ...