Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Sunflowers Still Life Today

Almost done. It needs a name, though. Any thoughts?

If you're new to this blog, click on Older Posts to read more.

Still Life, 30"h x 30"w, oil on linen, copyright Jill Banks 2008.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Tea with Anne" Wins Award in New York Exhibit

I got home late today -- couldn't stop painting, plus I took a terrific crash course from Heidi Mraz on Digital Photography this afternoon, so it was a full day. Anyway, in the mail I received a fat envelope from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Fat envelopes are usually good news. So, I won the Frank B. and Mary Anderson Cassidy Memorial Award for my painting of Anne Heilman.

That is good news! In a week, Randy and I will be traveling up to New York to go to the Benefit Reception for the Metropolitan Museum of Art -- that is taking place at the National Arts Club -- where "Tea with Anne" is being exhibited as part of the 112th Annual Open Juried Exhibition of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. Then on October 15th, we'll head back there for the Awards Dinner. Can't wait!

I do need a new hairdo and to do some serious rummaging through my closet. Painting clothes probably aren't appropriate attire.

By the way, I was amazed by Heidi's knowledge of the world of photography. Her course was great. She is teaching two more workshops this Fall through the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts -- one on "Photoshop Elements: The Basics" and the other of "Photoshop Elements 6: Beyond the Basics." I highly recommend her as a teacher.

The above photos are "scenes" from my studio, Saturday, September 27, about 6pm.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Making Headlines

Randy and I were out to dinner at the Brogue this past Wednesday and I happened to pick up a copy of the Great Falls Connection. On the cover, there's a small photo of me ... which is duplicated, larger in the E Section. This is part of the article "Great Falls Artists Gear Up for Tour" that gives a preview of the Studio Tour that's planned for October 18 & 19. You can read the story online.

The most interesting part to me is the caption under my picture that reads "Painter Jill Banks has created dozens of portraits, still life studies, and other paintings, mostly in oil, to display at her studio space during the Annual Great Falls Art Studios Tour, Oct. 18 and 19." Dozens of paintings -- that's a lot!

Model Mom

My mom modeled for my portrait class this Tuesday in Great Falls -- and I had a chance to create this sketch during the class. She did a great job. It's tough to sit still.

Anyway, this painting has had plenty of admirers. It's obviously fresh and loose ... just the way I like to paint. Plus, the subject's plenty special.

"Mom", oil on linen (Senso canvas), 20"h x 16"w, copyright Jill Banks 2008

New in the Studio

The Artists' Atelier has been a bustling place, lately. On Wednesday, my Dad came in and set up a beautiful new still life for me to paint ... so I've been working on it there for the past three days. Here's a picture of my painting after two days of work. A second photo shows more of the work that's on view in my space.

Friend and fellow artist, Adrienne Kralick had her first day of class, "Painting in Oils from Photos You Love" that was just finishing up in the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts Gallery (right next to my studio space) when I popped in. Plus, other studio mates (Jennifer Duncan, Brenda Drake and Mollie Vardell) were in, plus visitors. It seems that holding classes there, although this is supposed to be temporary, offers a new energy to the place.

My Dad's sunflowers helped, too.

Work in progress, oil on linen, 30" x 30", copyright Jill Banks 2008.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where to See My Work: An Update

"Tea with Anne" is in the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's Annual Open Exhibition at the National Arts Club from September 23 to October 13. 15 Gramercy Park South, NY, NY 10003. Phone: 212-475-3424. See my earlier post about this show.

A charcoal of "John" is in the Art League monthly juried show through October 7. "Male Torso" is also in the Art League gallery on view until October 7.105 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA. Gallery phone:703-683-1780.

"Summer Reading", "Striped Skirt" and "Orchestra at Florian's" are in the Art at the Mill show in Millwood, VA.15 Tannery Lane, Millwood, VA. Phone: 540-955-2600.

"Hog Wild", "Alice with a Bad Case of Wanderlust", "Nigerian Beauty", "Cabaret" and "Kathy After the Dance"--five interesting portraits-- are in my solo show, "La Femme" at the Bastille Restaurant in Alexandria, VA through the beginning of December.1201 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Phone: (703) 519-3776.

Check on this before visiting, but at Chasen Galleries in Richmond, you can see (and buy) some of my restaurant series: "Through the Window", "Corner Couple", "After Hours", "Friends in Florence" and "Like Husband, Like Wife". They also have a still life "Food and Games." 3554 West Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23221. Phone: 800-524-2736.

At Chasen Galleries in Charlotte, North Carolina, see "Home Again, Home Again" and "Pumpkinfied".2850 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209. Phone: 704-376-0066

And more, in my studio at the Artists' Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G. Come take a look. Best bet, make an appointment. Call me at (703) 403-7435 or email me:

See my web site ( for photos of some of the paintings listed here. Need more info? Contact me.

All images are copyrighted. All rights reserved.

Painting the Streets

Last night I finished this little painting that I'd started one morning this summer in Easton, MD. I've actually been dying to get back to this painting. I was in a workshop with Kim English -- an artist I admire. I had captured the backdrop of the toy store with the toy soldier, alla prima -- but couldn't come anywhere close to painting moving kids on site. I'll have to practice that.
Hopefully, you can feel the sunshine with this one.
"Toy Shop", 9" x 12", oil on linen (Senso canvas), copyright Jill Banks 2008.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great Falls Studios Tour 2008

Join me for the Fifth Annual Great Falls Studios Tour 2008

Kickoff Party: Friday, October 17 7-9pm at the Artists' Atelier (the studio I share with 13 other artists)1144 Walker Road, Suite G (at the corner of Colvin Run Road and Walker Road -- near Dante Restaurant -- up some stairs)

The Tour:
Saturday and Sunday
October 18& 19

Free self-guided tour

Visit 38 artists in their studios located in Great Falls, Virginia

Download the Studios Tour brochure at Great Falls Studios web site (
The brochure includes a centerfold tour map for locations of the studios with artist listings and bios.

Bring your art-loving friends and family. This is simply a fantastic event! Bring your checkbooks.

I'll list more of what you can expect to see in my studio in upcoming blog entries. See photo for what my space looked like a few months' ago. Photo courtesy of Al Reitan.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fresh Paint: Ellie's Done!

Yesterday I put some final touches on a painting of Ellie. Ellie, daughter of fellow Atelier artist and friend, Brenda Drake, posed for both my summer class and for our Atelier live modeling sessions. Ellie's back at school -- and my work yesterday was finishing up one of her hands and playing around with the skirt -- the kinds of tasks that seem to be okay to do from a photo.
Thanks, Ellie, for being an inspiring model. (Love Mom's clothes, too.)
"Summer Sitting," oil on Senso linen canvas, 24"h x 20"w, copyright Jill Banks 2008.

If you're new to this blog, be sure to read some older posts. Click on Older Posts at the bottom of each page.

Other updates:
My portrait class at Great Falls School of Art (being held in the Atelier, Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30) has one slot left -- but starts this coming Tuesday. If you want to sign up, call me: (703) 403-7435 or email me: right away! My mom's the model for the first session. Should be fun!

I'm teaching at Loudoun Academy of the Arts on Tuesday nights. Four more weeks left in this session. I will be teaching the next session (November, December) there as well. Sign up!

The Great Falls Studio Tour is fast approaching. I have great booklets and pamphlets to hand or send out. This is a fantastic event. Don't miss it. I'll put more info about it in tomorrow's post. Mark your calendars though. October 17, evening party at the Atelier as a kick-off. October 18 and 19, Studio Tour days.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art at the Mill Delivery

Among other things, I delivered my Art at the Mill Show paintings at the Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood, VA today. Fellow artist, Adrienne Kralick kindly drove -- so I could enjoy the scenery and take photos along the way. Anyway, I reported earlier that I had my best results yet in acceptances into the show. I had received a postcard that said that three of my entries were accepted, and one was placed on reserve. This one, "Reclining Nude," 11"h x 14"w, oil on linen -- had a check mark (meaning it was accepted) on the postcard (that I didn't bring with me). Yet, the records at Art at the Mill had an "x" by it -- meaning it was rejected. So, ultimately I left three other paintings and packed this one back in the car.

I could have tried to be more persistent, but I was actually just as happy to take it back home with me and exhibit it in the Atelier for the Studio Tour.

The Art at the Mill show runs October 4-19. The show is open Sunday through Friday, 12-5pm, and Saturday, 10am-6pm. There is an Artists' Reception, Sunday, October 12, 2 to 5pm.

The work in this particular show impressed me more than in previous shows. Adrienne and I also stopped in at the Aldie Mill show -- one I haven't entered yet. Both shows are worth taking an enjoyable drive to go and check out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Open Grisaille from Steve Early's Workshop

I'm taking Steve Early's Figure Painting Workshop at the Art League this week. Steve was a favorite instructor at Studio Incamminati, an atelier where I attended summer workshops in 2004 and 2005. Day 1 we did a whole series of really quick paintings to capture the gesture, darks and lights of the figures. We'd do them and immediately wipe them out and start again. Hence, all the shadowy figures behind these two.
This is an open grisaille because only the darks are defined with paint and the lights are implied.
I photographed this one before wiping it out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Teaching at Loudoun Academy of the Arts

Tonight I taught my first class at Loudoun Academy of the Arts, a six-week class (plus I will be teaching an eight-week class through the Great Falls School of Art starting September 23) in drawing and painting the portrait. The class is on Tuesday nights, 6:30-9:30. The first day I did a demo for about three hours. It really seems like it will be a great class.
This is my demo painting of "Joanie", 20"h x 16"w, oil on Senso canvas. Still, a blurry photo -- I'll replace it with a better one soon. That's the result of no tripod and trying to take a photo at night.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"La Femme" Solo Show in Alexandria

Randy and I hung a new show at the Bastille Restaurant in Alexandria. Sorry for the not-so-great photo -- we really needed a tripod. The show will hang until the beginning of December. It features two award-winning paintings of mine, including "Alice with a Bad Case of Wanderlust" -- the best of show winner at the Art League, July 2005. "Alice" hasn't made many appearances in public beyond that show -- so here's a great opportunity to see this special painting. Of note, this is the largest painting I've ever created. Take a look, too, at the chair. It's actually not fun to paint rattan -- but it had to be done.

The other paintings in the show include: "Nigerian Beauty" (Honorable Mention Award at Art League and exhibited in a Juried National Biennial Exhibition in Florida), "Hog Wild," "Kathy, After the Dance" and "Cabaret." Some great women are depicted here. Enjoy!

The five paintings in the exhibit are for sale; please contact me if you are interested in purchasing.

Phone: (703)403-7435

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fresh Paint

I just finished painting the "twin" of Erica Fortwengler, the communications director for the Art League. I painted the first during my demo at the Art League way back in January. Erica gets that one. The second one -- painted from the first one (so sort of from life) -- is finally complete and will be one of my submissions for the Art League monthly show for September.

The seven month gap between "Erica I" and "Erica II "doesn't mean I'm slow. Lots of other canvases have crossed my path in the meantime.

This one is called "The Writer", 24"h x 20"w, oil on linen, copyright Jill Banks 2008.