Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Garden Party" Hydrangeas and a Rabbit

"Garden Party," oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Plan B

After struggling a bit in the studio, it was time for a change.  New inspiration, different kind of subject hit the spot.

Most of the paintings I've created lately fall into the genre of people and places. With a solo show at ArtSpace Herndon titled "Warm Observations: People and Places" coming up mid-January, that choice of subject seems appropriate. But after realizing that I could easily hang the gallery twice with paintings fitting the theme ... that I'd like to show you ... a break's okay.

So here is "Garden Party."An animal studio visit and a breath of fresh air for the painter (me).

Hints on keeping hydrangeas from drooping:  Cut ends on diagonal with sharp knife. Dip ends in alcohol (I used vermouth).  Immerse immediately in very warm/hot water.  Much better! Repeat as needed. (Hint is from Debbe who watched many of the hydrangeas I'd brought to my Still Life class "bite the dust" before anyone had a chance to paint them.)

By the way, changing subject matter is just one of the ways I keep energized and excited about painting.  For the first few years taking classes and painting full time, I was in a hurry to catch up. Any time away from what I was supposed to be painting/working on ... brought about a guilt complex. Eventually, I turned a corner and became a bit wiser.  This chosen path of mine was a long one. Now I enjoy the journey. I schedule or just allow myself time to soak up life, art, inspiration when needed and that seeps into my painting.  If what's on my easel isn't working, I change my location, subject matter, head to a gallery or garden, pick up an inspirational book, seek to learn something.


Events and Exhibits

  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "Warm Observations: People and Places" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Portrait class full with wait list ... but add your name anyway if interested.  Spots do open up. Thanks!

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Ahead and Treating Yourself

"Popsicle Toes," oil on canvas, 8"h x 6"w, ©Jill Banks ($350 unframed)
The image for today's post is a bit arbitrary. Two works in progress are not ready for prime time. Perhaps, tomorrow?

This piece, "Popsicle Toes" is another uncovered/discovered work found preparing for my Home Studio Open House. (Sort of like an archaelogical dig. Layers and layers of personal art history.) He navigated his way to the shelf between the curtains in my studio. A prime spot, just for me.

I can't remember the day, or the year he was painted. But, I do know that there is no other painting that shows my love of color better than this one.

A sign of my particular age and times that he's called "Popsicle Toes."

"Popsicle Toes" was placed there because this painting brings me joy.  Even though I was preparing Randy and my home for visitors to view the art -- pieces were placed where they would be seen by us. A painting to look at when putting up a blog post ("Chicken Chat"). Or what Randy would see while shaving ("Empress, Reading.") A painting of horses set next to my sink ("Green Pastures'). The many works that I'd wake up to ... including "Crosswalk" that suddenly transports our bedroom to a spot in New York City.

My version of art on the walls is to show a bit of you to those who visit, share your home ... but its greatest role is to influence your day ... every day. Greet you. Meet you. Intrigue and enrich your life.

Can I help you with your last week of holiday shopping? Take a look at my web site: www.JillBanks.com, schedule a personal home studio visit (Northern Virginia) or your own home visit or delivery.

Events and Exhibits
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "Warm Observations: People and Places" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Friday, December 12, 2014

Great Falls Studios Holiday Show And Sale, December 13 & 14, 10am to 5pm

"Empress, Reading," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
The Great Falls Studio Holiday Show and Sale is being held Saturday and Sunday, December 13 &14, 10am to 5pm both days at the Wolf Trap Center for Education, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA.  Come join us if you can.

"Empress, Reading" won't be part of my booth display ... unless someone tells me they'd like to see the painting there.

I've hung the five screens that constitute my booth with care.  There are always so many pieces I'd like to include but given that this is a local show (unlike the Wickford RI, Atlanta, the Hamptons, Westport CT, Pittsburgh, etc. fine art festivals that have filled my calendar this year), if I'm missing something wanted, it's easy enough to handle special requests. (Randy and I will deliver, help hang, put together personal showings at your home or ours). Still, I forget all that while agonizing over putting those screens to best use.

In the car will be quite a few more just in case certain folks show up.
A view of my booth at the Holiday Show and Sale at Wolf Trap. Come for a visit!

I'm tucked away in the room. You'll have to wander to find me. But, that's half the fun, isn't it?

"Empress, Reading" was created earlier in the year during one of those rare Open Life sessions I was able to attend at McLean Project for the Arts in the community center. In gathering pieces to be hung throughout the house for my Home Studio Collectors Open House, I uncovered or rediscovered some treasures. This is one of those.

Open Life is a peculiar experience. One person is missing his/her clothes. The rest of us are thoroughly consumed/involved/focused on our drawings or paintings. The main sign of the imbalance of cover-ups is the slight battle that ensues over the thermostat.  Our model's pose -- reading rather lounging -- suggests she has noticed either.

"Empress, Reading" was just added to my web site, following yesterday's graphite sketch of "Michelangelo's David." That drawing was created in the Accademia in Florence, Italy, while staring at Michelangelo's masterpiece over many hours on my first visit to this favorite city. I've tried replicating that initial success on subsequent visits. A daunting task!

See you soon, I hope!

Coming up December 13 & 14: The Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale at the Wolftrap Education Center.  I hope to see you there. See info below and follow the link.

Events and Exhibits

  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "Warm Observations: People and Places" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

"Michelangelo's David," graphite, drawn at the Accademia in Florence,©Jill Banks 2008



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Making A List, Checking It Twice...

Discussions in the Dining Room
Pat and Doug with their purchase, "Cubanelle and Roses"
Today I'm recovering from a great Annual Home Studio Open House Collectors Party, this time held over two days -- Sunday and Monday and in a new location (Randy's and my new townhome).  Phew!

Thank you to all who came, all who helped, all who circled pieces on the lengthy list of paintings and drawings hung throughout the house, all who wished us well and tried to carve out time for a visit during this ridiculously busy time of year.

Four paintings headed off to new homes while others are being pondered.  I can't wait to see what's decided upon ... what goes to whom, where. (We deliver locally, help select just the right spot, celebrate!)

Master bedroom with "Crosswalk" and "Ebony and Ivory"
Many commented how different pieces looked ... hung in our home versus under a tent, on my web site, or in the studio.  Different, as in so much better.  Since that is the case, and not all of you could make it to the party, I'm posting some photos here. Perhaps there will be more to come. (Since I don't have a chance to change what arrives in your mailbox, check back at jillbanks.blogspot.com later.)

Randy during a rare break, at MY desk in the living room. "Two Kittens," "Heroes," "Chicken Chat" and "Sunflowers in My Studio II" shown there.
My Studio ... certainly a favorite spot!!!
"Garden Girl" reigns in the hallway
I love putting together the party because it's my BIG chance to share the joy of art, the holiday season, what I've been up to ... in the most personal, welcoming way possible.  My special guests have a pretty wonderful time.

Yea!!!!

Take a look at my web site, jillbanks.com -- many new images have been added, old "taken by me" photos of work have been replaced with Greg Staley's great professional photography -- so there's lots to see. Not as good as seeing the pieces in person, but pretty nice anyway.

Coming up December 13 & 14: The Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale at the Wolftrap Education Center.  I hope to see you there. See info below and follow the link.

Events and Exhibits

  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

"Sticking Together" and "Italian Time" in the dining room
Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Counting My Blessings

"From the Hearth," oil, 14"h x 11"w, ©Jill Banks 2013. Chosen as the cover for my parents' Christmas Card 2014
At one point this afternoon, I was thinking that I really hadn't accomplished much today. As a painter, I'm accustomed to physical evidence of the day's work.  Like an alibi in paint.

But today found me away from the easel.

Instead the journey included:

"Out Standing in the Field" was one of two paintings added to the collection in the foyer
Finalizing the sale of two paintings by visiting a regular collector and friend to swap out a frame, approve the hanging arrangement. Walking in her familiar home, my first view is of the family portrait I painted that takes pride of place above the mantel within straight sight of the front door. It's amazing, and perfect, and an honor to have created it. The foyer now holds four of my paintings -- three smaller ones in a cluster and another greeting you on the staircase landing. There are more pieces throughout the home, all carefully chosen, collectively and happily placed.  (Randy, I believe, hung every one.) It's a beautiful, joyful collection. The two latest to be chosen and added were: "Gone Fishin'" and "Out Standing in the Field."

From there, Randy and I headed to lunch at the Old Brogue. Nice life. Leaving there, Randy saw Jack -- one of my 100 Faces (my most reluctant one), there having lunch with his wife, daughter and friends.  I knew of his friend -- Jack talked about him while becoming Face #52.

What I love about this day, my life -- is being a part of other people's lives. They have welcomed me in ... and I've welcomed them.

I'm counting my blessings. Lunch with Randy. Meeting with collector and friend to fill her home with more art. Seeing Jack and family and friends. Lucky.

Events and Exhibits

  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel


Monday, December 1, 2014

Italy, Italy, Italy

Obviously, this beautiful place doesn't stray far from my thoughts.

One, Italy
I finally am getting around to posting "Pool Side" -- my demo the first night of the Paint with Me in Italy 2014 trip.  This is the kind of view it is impossible to tire of ... even for my jetlagged students who got to stumble off the plane, right toward the vineyard to watch me paint.

The only "tweak" I made to this one was to sign my name. 

"Pool Side," oil, 8"h x 10"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Two, Italy
Much more work done on "Reverence" yesterday and today. It depicts the church in La Morra, Italy I'd almost missed out on entering.

"Reverence," oil, 36"h x 36"w, ©Jill Banks 2014



(I'll try to take better photos in the day time ... soon.)

Three, Italy
The dates are chosen to return for the Paint with Me in Italy Workshop #2 -- July 27 to August 2, 2015.  More info will be on my web site soon.  Maybe you will be one of the ten lucky folks to join in the fun and wonder! If you REALLY want to be tempted, take a look at the photos from this year's workshop on my web site here.

Events and Exhibits

  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Potomac Shores" Old Town Alexandria Painting

"Potomac Shores," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Perhaps another short warm spell influenced my putting "Potomac Shores" back up on the easel today.  I'd painted on it at the park in Old Town Alexandria (VA) two days toward the beginning of November, right before we were heading into a cold front.

Gorgeous day.

I was spooked, both days, by this one squirrel who was much too forward, friendly, nosy ... too close for comfort. At home, he made it into the painting. So this is sort of like "Where's Waldo?". Can you find the critter?

See "Potomac Shores" along with other landscapes in the Places Gallery on my website. (If you'd like.)
Events and Exhibits
  • November 3-December 1: Large Works Show, Art League, Alexandria, VA. "Garden Girl" chosen as one of 16 works for this exhibit (out of 80 entries). Small Works Show, same gallery ... "Circle of Truth."
  • December 13&14:  Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale, 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday, Wolftrap Education Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Moo Two" To You

"Moo Two," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Short post ... since I'm running out of time.

I'm in tweaking mode although sometimes those tweaks are a full-day affair.  "Moo Two" is the result of two plein air outings to Kidwell Farm in Herndon, VA this Fall. Plus, some time in the studio.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gobble, gobble.

"Moo Two" just joined some other paintings of Furry and Feathered Friends in the Animal, Birds and Wildlife Gallery on my website: www.JillBanks.com.


Events and Exhibits
  • November 3-December 1: Large Works Show, Art League, Alexandria, VA. "Garden Girl" chosen as one of 16 works for this exhibit (out of 80 entries). Small Works Show, same gallery ... "Circle of Truth."
  • December 13&14:  Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale, 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday, Wolftrap Education Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Reverence" In Progress

"Reverence" work in progress, oil, 36"h x 36"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
I painted outside this church in La Morra, Italy this Summer never really thinking about taking a look inside until two of my workshop students told me I should.

Moral of the story: When in Italy, and probably most places, see a church ... go inside.

I am thankful for all of you!  Thank you for encouraging me on this art journey!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Events and Exhibits
  • November 3-December 1: Large Works Show, Art League, Alexandria, VA. "Garden Girl" chosen as one of 16 works for this exhibit (out of 80 entries). Small Works Show, same gallery ... "Circle of Truth."
  • December 13&14:  Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale, 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday, Wolftrap Education Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
Thanks for reading!

Jill



Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email:
jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Two From Italy

"San Gimignano," oil, 11"h x 7"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
I'm finally heading toward humanhood, after a cold stuck me in lazy mode for a week.

"Piazza di Michelangelo," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
Two Italian paintings returned to my easel -- one from San Gimignano and another from Florence. It's funny when I decide to make changes. First it is one part that bothers me ... the reason why I took it out of the frame for touch-ups in the first place. Then, magically, all sorts of other areas call out for attention, improvements. I will say that fortunately, both paintings turned out much better after "surgery."

That is a relief. You never know.

Sign Up for Winter Classes
I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at www.JillBanks.com. Classes are filling rapidly ... REALLY rapidly.



Events and Exhibits
  • November 3-December 1: Large Works Show, Art League, Alexandria, VA. "Garden Girl" chosen as one of 16 works for this exhibit (out of 80 entries). Small Works Show, same gallery ... "Circle of Truth."
  • December 13&14:  Great Falls Studios Holiday Show and Sale, 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday, Wolftrap Education Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • January 13-February 22, 2015: "With Easel, Will Travel" Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA. Reception: Saturday, January 17. Painting demonstration: Saturday, January 31. RSVP for painting demo.
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
    Thanks for reading!

    Jill


    Phone: 703.403.7435
    Email:
    jill@jillbanks.com
    Web:
    www.JillBanks.com
    Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

    Subscribe to my Email Newsletter: News from the Easel