Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Lies Beneath...

Troubadour is a 24x18 oil done from life by Shirley Fachilla.

There’s a very well-known painter who advocates repainting canvases. By this, I mean he suggests painting over failed works with another. And he isn’t adverse to letting a bit of the past peek through.
A branch of a tree there, an arm or a leg here… hmm, hope you get the idea.
In fact, I believe he suggests that the painting lurking beneath the surface can add depth, character, interest to the new painting on top.
I’ve followed his recommendation several times and found replacing the failed with the new very satisfying.
Troubadour is one of those paint-overs; underneath there’s the partial wipe-out of a very sad fellow in a golfing tam. The quality of the above image just captures the remainder of the golfer’s face; it’s now just a bit of glowy pink in the light coming through the window, the golfing green is just a slightly darker hazy neutral in that same light.
I once followed another painter whose process incorporated the paint-over in her every work. She would paint a figure, wipe it off, repaint over the ghost image, wipe it off, and paint it again until she was satisfied with the result. Her work had a real richness and depth derived from that very process.
Her art proved that what lies beneath can sometimes inform the visible in a quite meaningful way.  



  1. You have certainly painted a fine painting over an older one with which you were dissatisfied. I, too, find old shadows, lines and partial images do help me get started on a new work. Something about there being a "hint" already on the canvas....

  2. there is definitely a richness and depth in this one!


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 ...