Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Deck of Paintings: Jack Platt Is Face #52

"Jack Platt: Face #52", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Jack Platt was my reluctant sitter ... having popped into my Great Falls studio while I was painting my dad (Face #11). My dad had been another reluctant sitter so I knew how to handle his "kind." When asked whether he'd like to volunteer his face for my 100 Faces in 100 Days project, Jack worked at switching the topic of conversation about 15 times in a few minutes. Like I wouldn't notice.

I kept persisting ... asking and Jack walks out the door. From out in the hallway, I hear him mutter resignedly that he'll send me an email.

When I get the email, he tells me that he's willing to volunteer and that he'll sit with a paper bag on his head ... his best pose. All this from a guy whose face I'd love to paint.

The painting in progress. Note: this is the painting shown in natural vs. tungsten light
He showed up at my door today with the peace offering of pretty red tulips. Very, very nice.

I loaded him up on coffee and he sat, talked, joked, enjoyed himself. He was here for exactly four hours and recognized himself at each stage of the painting. One of his discoveries was that paintings all make sense from across the room ... but close-up you can see how the painting is constructed. All of a sudden, close-up the painting becomes a series of brushstrokes, thick and thin, in broken color. He was fascinated with the idea that the painter is close to the painting (where it looks like patches of broken color and dabs of paint), yet can pull together this illusion that holds together from a distance. We took a look at the paintings of Joaquin Sorolla (my favorite painter) who mystified me in the same way. Sorolla worked on a very grand scale and the size of his strokes were huge. It's hard to fathom how he could figure out what the whole painting would look like as he was working on it bit by bit.

Jack and the painting. A good-looking pair. Doesn't he look like he's up to something?
I've mentioned this before ... but while painting my listening skills are just pretty good. Jack would be a great person to sit down with for another four hours (at least) without a paintbrush in my hand so I  could listen really well. His stories are as interesting as his face and I would benefit from his perspective. He's lived all over the world and gathered insights about people, culture, history I'd love to hear. He mentioned being a collector of heroes and I like that idea. Who are they and why are they heroes?

I'd like to see the house he and his wife had built out of nothing but a vacant piece of land. A house on a berm.

Jack was glad he volunteered. Enjoyed his time sitting and being painted. Liked looking at it coming together. Jack figures that I'll make it to my 100th face ... since I'm more than 50% there. When I've painted Face #100, he thinks I should treat myself to a nice dinner out. Okay.

Read more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project on earlier blog posts (there are 52 of them starting January 1) and on my web site: on my 100 Faces Project Page (link to it from my home page). 

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

1 comment:

christine said...

You were right. He does have a very interesting face, quite intriguing.