Saturday, February 6, 2016

"Scene At the Bar" Latest Painting

"Scene At the Bar," oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
There were two main impetuses behind starting and finishing "Scene At a Bar."

I'd read the news of artist Ken Auster's passing. He was known for capturing many different subjects, but I identified with his works set in caf├ęs and bars.  When delivering paintings to a collector who purchased "Seat by the Window: Montmartre" (among others), I found out that "Seat By the Window" was headed to another home to keep company with his collection of Ken Auster's works. It's final destination, apparently was the "Bar" House.

The second nudge/shove to start this canvas was the painting that just wouldn't "behave." The only hope to save that attempt is to set it aside for awhile. Perhaps the next string of paintings will suddenly guide me in how to proceed.  I at least know where my trouble began. Look for that lesson when/if I finally call that one finished.


"Scene At the Bar" is worth seeing.  I'm difficult to please lately ... but this passes the test. Not without persistence, though.

"Late Night Saloon," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2015 Jill Banks. Private collection
See more interiors/urban landscapes including bar and cafe paintings on my web site's Places Gallery.

Threaded With Green Biannual Quilt Show at ArtSpace Herndon
Do go see the fiber/quilt exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon at 105 Center Street, Herndon, Virginia before it concludes on February 14.  Randy and I took a long look this past week and it is wonderful. Get more info on ArtSpace Herndon's web site here: http://artspaceherndon.org/

Thanks for reading!


Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Monday, January 25, 2016

"Little Soul Red" and a Look Back at Dolls

"Little Soul Red," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
I've never been a doll collector -- instead convinced by brother Phil to invest my vast sums in parts for fly-tying, or coin collecting, or tropical fish and giant tomes to identify those species or racetrack cars ... etc.

However, my Mom did collect these floppy folk with Dad commemorating special occasions with charming characters that found their homes on benches, tiny chairs, shelves and spots all around their home.

Through a few moves, the collection has become more concentrated with only her favorites maintaining their residence there.

Right before beginning my Winter classes, I raided Mom and Dad's condo for the "stuff" to turn into multiple still lifes placed around the room to -- hopefully -- inspire students.

"Little Soul Red" began as my painting demonstration on day one of the class. In working to pose her, I tried to re-cross her legs. No such luck. She's been sitting the same way for so long that all attempts to teach her a "new trick" led to her swiftly sliding to the floor.
"All Dolled Up and No Place to Go," oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©2011 Jill Banks. The doll painting that started it all. Private collection.


"Clown Girl and Kisses," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©2011 Jill Banks. Private collection.

"Ride 'Em Cowgirl," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2012 Jill Banks. Private collection.

"Garden Girl," oil, 42"h x 36"w, ©2013 Jill Banks. My Dad set this up for me in the studio and I literally could not stop painting because it was such a beautiful sight (and fun to recreate)! I brought it to the Armonk Art Show and there met someone who used to work at Little Souls -- the company that created the dolls. Interesting and totally unexpected connection.  This painting is available for purchase -- although generally "Garden Girl" is hanging out with me in my home.

 "Mademoiselle," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2013 Jill Banks. Private collection.
"Little Soul Red" is one of many Little Souls dolls in my Mom's collection -- and quite a few of them have wound their way to my canvas.

A sampling of those paintings include  dolls (with some of those Little Souls) as subjects are "All Dolled Up and No Place to Go," "Clown Girl and Kisses," "Ride 'Em Cowgirl," "Mademoiselle" and "Garden Girl." There are more.

They have made super subjects over the past five years and do seem to fill the room with their own particular spirit.

In preparing this post, I did a little research of my own on the creators of these dolls.  For all of those doll enthusiasts out there -- check out the web site of GretchenWilsonDesigns.com -- where you can find out more about the next evolution of Little Souls. All those creations are truly amazing!

Thanks for reading!

Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates

Saturday, January 23, 2016

"The Hunt" Finished ... Phew!

"The Hunt," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
This wasn't easy.  I also will work to replace the photo with a better one ... come daylight.

Another still life waits in the wings to be finished while happily, warmly we're stuck inside ... thanks to Snowstorm Jonas.  Not the slightest twinge of cabin fever yet.

Oh, and that still life might wait a little longer if the white scene outside beckons. Got to stay flexible.

I did see a couple of kids this evening try out their sleds only to keep sinking, sled and all into the mounds of waist deep -- for them -- snow.

Hope you are staying safe and warm ... and happy inside, too!

Thanks for reading!


Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Portrait Class Day One, Student Exhibition Reception

"Jim McConnell, Portrait Study: Day One" work in progress, oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
Somehow I left what should be a longer post to the last minute. Visit jillbanks.blogspot.com tomorrow for more on today and the opening of the student exhibit. Thanks!

Today was the first day of my Portrait class for the Winter term. Our subject, Jim McConnell, was terrific and inspired some wonderful portrait starts throughout the room. I started with a one-and-a-half-hour demo (this is it) and then had students set up to paint.

It's amazing the difference in how well they get started when they watch the demo and can immediately apply what they learned/witnessed. Great, great starts!

The Awards and Opening reception for the Arts of Great Falls Annual Student Exhibition was last night. More photos, news from this great night to follow tomorrow.

Grace DeLuca accepting her award at the Student Exhibition 2016
An Inspiring Exhibit
Looking at the artwork on the walls and the smiling faces of all those who attended the Saturday reception for the Arts of Great Falls Annual Student Exhibition -- provides stunning confirmation that this school of art, for youth and adults, is one heck of a place.

Each of the exhibitors took the leap of faith to join a class, try their hand, learn, create ... and then present their work to families, friends, strangers.

Artists Lori Goll and Jay Pigeon judged the entries ... a formidable feat ... and here are the results:

YOUTH RECOGNITION
Beginner Class

Teacher Michaela Mansuino with Lilyrose Golden next to here drawing "Looking Pretty"
First Place: "Looking Pretty," Lilyrose Golden, age 8
Second Place: "Colors of the Night," Elliott Dell'Atti, age 9
Honorable Mention: "Question Mark," William Wu, age 12

Intermediate Class

First Place: "Look Into My Eyes," Olivia Fox, age 13
Second Place: "Color Study," Grace DeLuca, age 16
Honorable Mention: "Skulls and Roses," Miriam Burch, age 12

ADULT RECOGNITION

First Place: "Fall Meadow," Cindi Berry
Second Place: "Reflections of a Peach," Erin Moore Thiebert
Third Place: "Kitty," Linda Garden
Honorable Mention: "Deep Down," Gwendolyn Cohen
Honorable Mention: "Pop," Robin Rosner

More photos of individual work and the festivities to come tomorrow.


Student Exhibition
The Annual Student Exhibition for the Arts of Great Falls School is on view.  Annual Student Art Show January 16-30th in the Gallery at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA click here for details , exhibit hours, etc.

Thanks for reading!


Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Sunday, January 10, 2016

"The Hunt" Continues

Okay. Winter is just starting and for some reason I'm thinking about Spring.
"The Hunt" work in progress Day 3, oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©2016 Jill Banks

Two bunnies. Tulips and daisies. Eggs. Easter-egg-colored macarons.

Hmmm.

This set up, concocted solely by me -- has been a bear to paint.

And there's certainly more to do. I've loved watching the yellow tulips minute-by-minute contortions. Probably next time I see them they'll have wandered their way into the next room.

I will definitely be toning down all my additive propensities while concocting set ups for the first day of my Still Life Plus and Evening Paint classes on Tuesday, January 12.

Student Exhibition
The Annual Student Exhibition for the Arts of Great Falls School is coming up. If you've taken classes from me or others at the Arts of Great Falls School in 2015 -- I hope you'll submit work for the gallery. Annual Student Art Show January 16-30th in the Gallery at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA-- Opening and Awards Reception, January 16th 6:30-8:30pm click here for details for submissions, exhibit hours, etc.

Classes Start This Week
My Tuesday Evening Paint class that starts on January 12 is the only one of the three offered with room for additional students (although each student will get extra guidance with a slightly smaller class size). Still, send me an email if you'd like to join last minute. I'll do what I can to help. Classes are taught at the Great Falls School of Art in Great Falls, VA. See below for links to classes.

Thanks for reading!



Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Class Full with wait list) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Through Homer's Eyes

"After Winslow Homer's 'Long Branch, NJ,'" oil, 18"h x 24"w, by Jill Banks
Today I finished up an unusual commission -- for me -- a copy of Winslow Homer's "Long Branch, New Jersey" painting for a top collector of mine. She knew that had I seen that beach ... lived when Homer did ... I'd have been compelled to paint the scene much like he captured it.

Still, it isn't easy copying another painting. This one had far more detail than I'd even consider today ... yet it works. What a spot.

Student Exhibition
The Annual Student Exhibition for the Arts of Great Falls School is coming up. If you've taken classes from me or others at the Arts of Great Falls School in 2015 -- I hope you'll submit work for the gallery. Annual Student Art Show January 16-30th in the Gallery at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA-- Opening and Awards Reception, January 16th 6:30-8:30pm click here for details for submissions, exhibit hours, etc.

Classes Start Soon
I  am still hoping that more students enroll in my Tuesday Evening Paint class that starts on January 12. (It sure would be great if you could join us!)  Classes are taught at the Great Falls School of Art in Great Falls, VA. See below for links to classes.

Thanks for reading!


Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

"Back Story" Cityscape - First of 2016

"Back Story," oil, 40"h x 30"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
Happy New Year!

As I mull over my plans -- artistically, art business, life in general -- for 2016, this is what was on my easel. (Thinking and painting do go together -- particularly when you're thinking about painting.)

The title for my first painting of 2016 is inspired by conversations with two writers at a wonderful New Year's Eve party I was happy to attend.

What struck me is the interesting way artists of different ilks observe and participate in life. Their view of movies and life focuses on the story line. My view ... is the cinematography, the play of light and shadows and movement in and out of the theatre.
 
Classes Start Soon
I  am still hoping that more students enroll in my Tuesday Evening Paint class that starts on January 12. (We need you!)  Classes are taught at the Great Falls School of Art in Great Falls, VA. See below for links to classes.

Thanks for reading!

Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Giraffe ... In Progress

"Long Legs: Giraffe" work in progress, oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
Can you tell I was having some fun in my studio today?

"Long Legs" is already spoken for ... so bound for her new home once finished.  I love painting in general -- and capturing animals in oils is true joy, minus any intermittent angst. For "Long Legs," the biggest decision was the composition and pose that is dynamic and characterizes the creature. Think this does it.

More to do ... just not today.

It's hard to believe that the New Year is right around the corner.

I wish you and yours (and mine) a Healthy, Joyful, Prosperous New Year!

Oh, and two more things ... I  am hoping that more students enroll in my Tuesday Evening Paint class that starts on January 12. (We need you!)  Second, I am looking for models (clothed) for my Sunday portrait class and the last two sessions of my Evening Paint class this term. Classes are taught at the Great Falls School of Art in Great Falls, VA. Let me know if you or someone you know may be interested. Drop me a line for more info. See below for links to classes.

Thanks for reading!



Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Elf Time - Ho, Ho Helping

First, I hope you enjoyed a very Merry Christmas.

"Every Which Way," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2013 Jill Banks --  gift chosen today!
The List
Now I want to tell you about an interesting twist on taking care of your Christmas list in a wonderful, personal way. Maybe it will come in handy for you next year ... and I'd sure love to act as YOUR Christmas elf.

My Mystery Couple wanted to give the gift of my paintings to quite a few on their list -- and asked me to figure out a way to help the recipients choose. We came up with the plan that the giftees could choose one of four options:
  1. One framed 12"x16" painting OR
  2. Two framed 8"x10" paintings OR
  3. Four framed 6"x6" paintings OR
  4. One framed 8"x10" painting and two 6"x6" paintings
"Queue at the Palace," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©2015 Jill Banks - gift chosen today!
For each of those options, I selected a group from all the 12" x 16"s available (and the 8" x 10"s and 6"x 6"s) to put together a manageable list of great choices in an email-able catalog. Photos of the 12" x 16"s offered were put into a PDF document along with a photo of one of those paintings, framed. Same with the 8" x 10"s and 6" x 6"s. Then, out went an email explaining "the gift" with those three PDF files attached ... and encouraging the giftees to decide quickly since the choices were one of a kind originals.
"Spanish Garden," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2015 Jill Banks - gift chosen today!
That's the very "dry" version of the story.

My Giftgivers felt the pure joy I get each time someone purchases a piece of my art.  They were hearing first hand how THRILLED each recipient was with their choices. They reveled in who chose what ... and then found the choices seemed just right.  They were amazed that each naturally selected a different piece (we didn't send out a list of art no longer available as the choices came in -- so no one knew).

The Gift that Keeps On Giving
Selecting art is not a ho-hum experience. I LOVE it when someone purchases a piece from me because not only are they showing me at the time their making the choice how excited they are ... later they send me photos in their homes, tell me how
"Morning in Telluride," oil, 8"x10", ©2015 Jill Banks -- one of two 8x10s chosen today!
thrilled they are when the painting shines in the afternoon or appears at different times in the day, or how they sat on their couch just staring at it enjoying how it transforms the room. It will ALWAYS be enjoyed ... every day.

On the Sleigh
Today's gift-giving and selections mean twelve of my paintings will be tied up with care and sent/delivered to their new homes as soon as my co-elf -- husband Randy -- recovers from the flu or something-or-other that has him laying on the couch as I type. I know that the recipients will treasure well BOTH the art and the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Gift Givers.

"Sheepish," oil, 6" x 6", ©2015 Jill Banks -- one of 4 6x6s selected as a gift today!
Those twelve paintings were added to six others chosen in December and ten at my Home Studio Open House in November to make me feel well part of the Elf family -- excited for each of the recipients and purchasers and very happy you invited my art into your homes. Many, many, many heartfelt thanks!!!!!

You may deduce, too from this post that I make a good partner in gift giving and all schemes to make you and your loved ones very happy.  That's one of my many joys.

While there are lots of other times I've helped someone pull off an unusual gift, here are two additional examples:

Gift of a Non-Traditional Portrait Commission, realized.
Gifts for Appreciated Board Members: The gift-giver offered a non-traditional portrait-to-be of mine. Many of my paintings capture people in casual, comfortable settings. To explain the gift, I put together a beautiful hand-crafted book with photos of my paintings that would help spark ideas for the recipients in planning their portraits. Then, I worked with them to bring that idea to life.

Gift for the Bride and Groom: The Mother and Father of the bride  commissioned me to come paint on site during the reception with the resulting painting  a special gift for the bride and groom. My presence and the present were a total surprise ... and the bride later told me that she was wondering who was crashing her wedding (when she saw me at my easel).  Guests at the wedding really enjoyed my being there and the couple were thrilled with the final painting. (I finished the painting two months later from that memory and a few photos taken in between brush strokes.)
"The Wedding Party," oil, 18"h x 24"w, ©2013 Jill Banks -- Present for the bride and groom

Read about that adventure on these two blog posts:
"Right After "I Do"" and
"The Wedding Party Gets a Visit"

Cherished presents.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Thanks for reading!


Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.
 







Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Played My Drum for Him

"Serenade," oil, 10"h x 8"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
Well, not exactly.

But I love the sentiment of this Christmas Carol ... the drummer boy bringing this heartfelt and humble gift to celebrate the Christ child's birth.

I worried this year about not "doing" Christmas. There are friends and family who sent cards and presents that weren't reciprocated. It's Christmas Eve and I haven't posted a single card, wrapped a present or sent one. There are some brimming stockings, baked cookies, and plans for Christmas Day and the days that follow -- thanks to a last minute push.

Some gifts don't require wrapping paper ... like the drummer boy's "pa rum pum pum pum." Mine this year -- to brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephew -- is to help however I can deliver the no-wrapping-paper-required gifts of Christmas to my Mom and Dad. Time and energy have been redirected from shopping trips to visits.

Tonight, Randy and I visited Dad at rehab ... while Mom was running some Christmas Eve errands. Dad told us to read the letters and card they
"Bringing Home the Tree," oil, ©2013 Jill Banks. Painting of a birthday gift from Mom to Dad.
received today from my brother Scott, sister-in-law Emily, and niece Annie. As Dad said, if you don't smile and shed a tear when you read this, you're not human. As Randy and I took turns trying to read those words of  Christmas memories and gifts received, we both amply proved we were human.  Geez. 

While Dad's been in rehab or the hospital with Mom constantly by his side since July ... they worry about belated presents, that they haven't been able to "shop" for one another or send out their annual poem and card.  Yet -- as Scott, Emily and Annie and every one around them knows and shows -- their gift to us is them. 

"Elf on a Chandelier" -- decoration by Dad, drawing by me.
Play your best for someone.

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading (or looking)!

Jill

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

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.