Friday, June 18, 2010

"Painting the Town" Workshops and "Garden Layers"

Thought you might like to see what I was up to a few days ago. In the morning, I decided I was going to paint what I'd been dying to paint. (Always a good idea.) For two weeks now, every time I've been outside the house or coming down the driveway, I'm stunned by just how beautiful these blue hydrangeas are ... and then how gorgeous they are with the astilbes blooming. And all that set off by the clematis vine.

The hydrangeas barely caught my attention last year. It's like they took the year off. They were leftovers from the previous owners and they were blue the first two years we lived here, then nothing, then blue again. The astilbes and clematis were added by my Dad ... who's the genius that planned our garden additions. The background plantings are part previous owners ... part us.

Since we're moving out in less than a month, I'm nostalgic about what's there. The garden will have new owners, new layers added. This is my chance to show it the way it is today. In all it's current glory.

So, I couldn't put off painting it and I didn't want to. I set up my EasyL (a great portable easel from Artwork Essentials -- I think mine's the EasyL-Versa) in the garage. (I need shade.) Sat down (which I hardly ever do) ... because that provided the best way to show all three of my stars (the hydrangeas, astilbes, clematis). Painted with a palette knife (which I almost never do). And, just played with my garden.

I keep experimenting. Every time I'm painting, I'm working to stretch in some way. It's my belief that all this stretching and experimenting will make me a better painter.

I want to finish this one and hope those blue beauties last.

"Garden Layers" work in progress (on my easel), oil on Raymar panel, 11"h x 14"w, copyright Jill Banks 2010.

Now, topic 2. A couple of posts ago, I described what I had planned for the sketchers in the group for my "Painting (or Sketching) the Town" single-day workshops.

For painters, get more info on my Classes page. I've added some additional details about instruction and exercises.  Expect: quick sketches in a.m., demos in both drawing and painting each day, longer studies in the afternoon, critique at the end of the day. Also, if "Painting the Town" isn't for you, I am offering a three-day still life workshop, August 3-5.

I will post to my blog and web site the location for each day. It may be Herndon, Reston, Vienna, Great Falls, etc. I'm looking for urban or town ... not a rural landscape. This is the first time I'll be teaching a plein air workshop. The reasons I haven't done this sooner: I don't like the heat, cold, or bugs. I need to stay out of the sun. I'm afraid of snakes. (I'm not expecting to meet any "in town.") I like fairly easy access to snacks/lunch and restrooms. Not necessarily in that order.

So now you know my plein air criteria. Hopefully, you're not pickier than I am and are willing to sign up for some of the workshop days knowing that I'll be trying to find us shade, and access to modern conveniences. I won't pick the buggiest areas and we'll be near concrete.

In case of inclement weather, classes will move inside. Please register by Wednesday, June 30. Note new dates for Session D&E.
A: Saturday, July 17, 10:00am – 5:00pm, lunch 12:00-1:00pm, $95
B: Sunday, July 18, 10:00am – 5:00pm, lunch 12:00-1:00pm, $95
C: Monday July 19, 10:00am -- 5:00pm, lunch 12:00-1:00pm, $95
D:  Sunday, August 15, 10:00am --  4:30pm, lunch 12:00-12:30, $95 plus model’s fees
E: Monday, August 16, 10:00am --  4:30pm, lunch 12:00-12:30, $95 plus model’s fees

Fee for 4 days: $350 + model’s fees (paid directly to instructor). Fee for all 5 days (three sessions): $425 + model’s fees. Please specify which sessions you plan to attend. Minimum class size for sessions 3&4 is six.

Registration form

I hope you sign up!

Phone: 703.403.7435

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