Friday, December 19, 2008

A Great Falls Studios Holiday Celebration and the Case for Joining an Art Group

Last night, Randy and I went to the home of Laura Nichols, founder and president of Great Falls Studios (GFS), for a really amazing holiday party for members and spouses (or significant others). It was the anti-Office Party... and so much fun ... it was ridiculous.

Great Falls Studios is a group of 78 artists who work or reside in Great Falls, VA. It's with this group that I first "came out" as an artist ... started to exhibit and talk with art enthusiasts (and potential collectors) about what I do. Through GFS, I acquired an informed appreciation for a variety of art forms as I attended individual studio tours of members in which the artists talked about their inspiration and process. I gained 78+ friends. Sharing this strong a common interest is a great shortcut to real friendship. As a board member of GFS for the past three years, I learned a lot about building a successful arts organization, and in my capacity as co-chairman of the Shows & Exhibits Committee -- I learned all about putting on successful art exhibits and events. I retire from the board and as committee chair in January, but my commitment to this terrific organization will continue.

During the party, artist (and GFS member) GuruSangat Khalsa performed ... singing and dancing beautifully to "Amazing Grace", "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes", "Lean on Me," a Bob Dylan song, and tons of others. She had us singing along, dancing, tapping, humming, and playing the tambourine. All this in Laura's warm, ancient home ... with the fire crackling while enjoying the camraderie of super friends.

Last night was part of my life as an artist. Today I was painting a portrait commission I want to finish before the end of the year. Tomorrow, I'll be at the Atelier again for our Saturday Open Hours, noon-4pm. The Artists' Atelier is located at 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA.

Since I can't show you my painting from today, here's a drawing you haven't seen yet that is available for sale at the Atelier. What's remarkable about this one is that here are three drawings in one done from three five minute warm-up poses. The odds of this working out as a decent composition are probably a gadzillion to one. A special piece, then. "Wild Man", ink wash and pen&ink, copyright Jill Banks 2007(?).

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