Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brenda Drake Is Face #60 Today: 40 More To Go!

"Brenda Drake: Face #60," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
If you read yesterday's post, you know I hadn't lined up a sitter for today until last night. The problem was solved when Randy and I went to dinner at the Old Brogue Irish Pub (Great Falls, VA) and ate in the Snuggery to see Brenda Drake's new exhibit. Guess who we ran into and who I grabbed for today's sitting? Not a tough puzzle. Brenda was already on my list of potential 100 Faces volunteer ... but she's been really busy getting ready for this exhibit ... so elusive as to scheduling until last night. Desperation helps ... plus I figured she could use a little rest and sitting for an alla prima portrait is pretty restful.

Brenda Drake is a fellow artist, studiomate, buddy of mine. We haven't been spending much time together in the studio for awhile, so this was a nice chance to catch up ... and one on one is the best way to do that.

We talked about family, painting, a book she's reading on de Kooning (about his life story), lots of stuff. Painting was easy and fun. A new, more relaxed person (me) arrived at the easel today. My sitters (especially Laura Nichols (Face #57), Elaine Elinsky (Face #58) and Christine Flack (Face #51)) have been teaching me my own lesson. That this project is about spending time with my sitters -- enjoying each other's company, enjoying painting from life, and potentially teaching myself something in the process. I've been taking the end result way too seriously and agonizing over painting if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to. I don't really think I can turn that off completely (personal pride, wanting to pay tribute to these very special people who come sit for me, etc gets in the way) ... but if I can look at it like I'm breaking the "deal" I've made with my sitters and myself about this project, maybe I can "move on" better. Each sitter is doing me a favor by sitting for me. It's not a very nice thank you if I appear to have been tortured by them.

One of the destructive aspects of trying too hard to end up with a more satisfactory result is that I spend lots of extra hours "fixing" and wear myself out for the next session. That appears not to do anyone any good.

Today I feel refreshed. Everything looks possible again. I'm more together and can manage some catch-up tasks and get ready to conquer tomorrow. Pretty great. Of course ... I'm happy with my painting of Brenda so I haven't had to pass a test today.

"Four By Four" Exhibit at the Atelier
"New York State of Mind", oil, 40"h x 30"w, copyright Jill Banks 2010
Featuring four works each by four Atelier artists: Jill Banks (me), Nancy Keane, Michela Mansuino, Mollie Vardell ... new in the gallery for the month of March.
Plus, the Bird Show 
See it First Friday, March 4, 7-9pm for an opening reception and Saturdays, noon-4pm or whenever an artist is in.
1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA 22066

Works I have in the show include urban interiors and exteriors including:
"New York State of Mind"
"Dining Al Fresco"
"Tea Party" (painting done on location at the Old Brogue)
"Colleen's Boys" (also painted on location at the Old Brogue)

"Dining Al Fresco", oil 24"h x 20"w, copyright Jill Banks 2009
This mini exhibit is a bit of a conversation with you. There's always a sense of becoming as an artist. I love urban streets and settings and have been working more and more toward capturing those moments from life ... with a little help from photographs and a lot of help from my memory. My Brogue paintings were giant steps in this direction. I hope that my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project is a huge leap to preparing me for this new journey. Come see.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

"The Tea Party," oil, 20"h x 16"w, Jill Banks 2010

"Colleen's Boys," oil, 16"h x 20"w, Jill Banks 2010

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