Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So Busy Composing My Thoughts!

A Bermuda Shorts Day is an 18x24 oil painted from life by Shirley Fachilla. 
On September 14th, I'll be teaching a one day workshop focusing on composition. When I began gathering my thoughts on this enterprise, I thought it would be very straightforward. I wanted to emphasize how easy it can be to achieve a painting you like (and might want to frame) when painting either in plein air or painting the figure from life in an open studio... easy if you pay attention to composition issues before you paint.
Of course, it won't always result in a painting you'll be proud of (too many other factors can intervene), but sometimes it does. And when it does, it feels very good. For instance, the guy shown above was painted in a morning in an open studio. He won a Meritorious Entry in the latest Richeson75 Figurative Annual Exhibit which made me quite happy.
Anyway, after I started planning and thinking, my lesson started expanding exponentially. I still plan to lay out my thoughts on quick composing whether in the field or open studio. And we'll practice what I'm preaching! But I do plan to include more, for the more I thought, read and looked, the more I realized just how truly vital good design is. Now I'm convinced that an artist's approach to composition is a big factor in that artist's style, and the effectiveness of that artist's message.
I hope and think our little group will have a very good and informative time discussing and planning good design. And I'm going to try to give everyone take-home thoughts to explore long after our day is done.
Here's a full listing of the day-long workshops sponsored this September by the Chestnut Group, here in Nashville. You just might find one or more that appeal.


  1. Bonjour chère amie,
    Je suis très heureuse de vous retrouver après ma longue pause estivale !...
    Je me régale en admirant cette dernière oeuvre où les couleurs s'harmonisent les unes avec les autres agréablement.

    Gros bisous ♡

  2. A pose so natural, Shirley...absolutely beautiful!!!

  3. It would be such a pleasure to take a workshop from you, Shirley. Wish I lived in closer proximity! Your paintings always look well composed and thought out. I agree, planning is hugely important. Saves many problems down the road.

  4. Another gem Shirley! So much beauty in each and every work you produce! I so love the almost comfortable feeling I get while I gaze at your art! Your paintings not only show great skill but always leave me feeling good after seeing them! As always a huge BRAVO!


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 ...