Rules for Composition

  1. Every picture is a collection of units or items.
  2. Every unit has a given value.
  3. The value of a unit depends on its attraction, and its attraction varies according to placement.
  4. A unit near the edge has more attraction than the same unit at the middle.
  5. Every part of the…

Back to Basics: Color, Part One

Have you ever found yourself making paintings in which the color is just not right?
I'm not too used to that -- my teachers were calling me a colorist as soon as I started using color over 25 years ago, and I've had many, many compliments on my use of color...  I usually feel pretty comfortable with color.  Exploring color is part of what I do.  Or what I think I do.

Packaging a Painting for Shipping

How to pack a painting on canvas for safe cross-country shipping.

Display Your Art for Sale on Facebook

Do you have a Facebook Page, an Etsy account, and/or artwork for sale at Fine Art America?  Find out how to easily display your work from your Etsy Shop and your Fine Art America portfolio directly on your Facebook Page.

How to Paint with Encaustics

The process of painting in encaustic entails heating up the paint - which is a combination of refined beeswax, resin and pigment - until the paint mixture melts, then quickly brushing the strokes of paint onto a surface before the wax hardens -- which takes no time at all.* Usually, I can get only 1-3 strokes onto my surface before the wax solidifies.  So, it's dip and stroke, dip and stroke, over and over and over until you've covered a portion of the surface, at least.

Thoughts Three Years After Art School

It's been 3 years since I left art school. I've been painting and drawing nightly for awhile -- it's amazing how I'm starting to really 'get' some of the things I heard in art school, but somehow didn't make it all the way through from my ears and eyes to my brain to my hands and brushes. It was such an immersive and exciting experience to be in art school in Chicago...

How to Build a Stretcher (Strainer)

Some detailed instructions on how to build a strainer: Select wood with good, straight endgrain, straight (not bowed), few knots, no critical knots. Cut all pieces to length (2x4's & 1x6's) on miter saw. Set table saw to 15 degrees - rip 2x4's in half (??"), rip both halves of each piece of wood.

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something.

— Pablo Picasso

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Gallery of Recent Paintings

A Question of Balance - Oil on Canvas - 10 x 10 - © 2015 Marilyn Fenn Composition Number 3, 2013 - Acrylic on panel - 9 x 12 - © 2013 Marilyn Fenn Composition #10 - 2013 -  Acrylic on panel -  9x12 inches -  © 2013 Marilyn Fenn Untitled (2015-005) - Oil painting by Marilyn Fenn