Saturday, March 26, 2011

Maxine, Age 10, Is Face #83 Today ... And Painting Was Bumpy

"Maxine: Face #83," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Today's painting of Face #83 in my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project just didn't go smoothly. Soon-to-be 11, Maxine was happy to be the subject of the day and she was good company ... but the artist in me just wasn't cooperating. I figure that at this point, I've painted three Maxine's. One who looked about 20 (this morning). One who looked about six (early afternoon). (Age approximations by Maxine.) And, this one which I believe is a reasonable approximation of Maxine (late afternoon).

There is a potential culprit here ... other than me. I made the error of telling Maxine early in the sitting that a number of my sitters worked at standing out in the crowd of 100. Like wearing a bright different color. A scarf. Fun earrings. Bright color. No color. So, guess what Maxine noticed about the faces I have currently in my studio. No smiles. No teeth. I'm anti-grins with teeth because 1) it's an almost impossible pose to hold; 2) it's hard for it to look natural; and 3) it takes me forever to paint and I end up painting from photos. Maxine did do well actually "holding" her grin in person which was the only reason I attempted it.

I did send Maxine and her dad home when I just couldn't work out the painting. I know that with my younger sitters, the very best time to capture them is right at the beginning because a lot unravels after that. There just was no way I was going to be helped with the real Maxine in front of me for my third attempt on her face. Funny thing was, when I had first sketched her face this morning with just sepia paint ... about five minutes into it, Maxine's mom said she liked it just like that.

Maxine and a Blackberry break
About Maxine: making art is not her thing; she really likes math; loves rollercoasters; plans to be a dermatologist; she enjoys being an individual -- likes to stand out in the crowd; plays the piano; likes swimming more than diving; likes the trampoline; loves sweets; dislikes vegetables; likes bananas and blueberries.

One more note. Maxine wanted to play a game of storytelling with her dad and me. The story gets passed around and added to by each person. I flunked. There was no way I could deal with a difficult painting session and imaginative storytelling. Another time perhaps.

Register for Spring Classes and Workshop
I added info to the Classes page on my web site on my Spring Portrait Painting and Drawing class (Mondays for eight sessions, 10am-1pm starting May 2) and Still Life Painting class (Tuesdays for eight sessions, 10am-1pm starting May 3). I'm also offering my Mastering the Business of Art workshop in May. You can print a registration form also from my site. Space is limited ... but the school space will be expanded starting April 1 ... so more room!!! Classes are beginning to fill. Don't wait.

Faces from South Carolina ... Tomorrow
Tomorrow I'll be painting Jerry Stocks who has traveled from South Carolina with her daugther and two grandsons (age 4 and 7) to become part of my project. I'll be painting the four of them in the next three days ... so I'll be doubling up sittings. I'm feeling the pressure and will have to moderate/quiet that however I can. Tea with honey? Paint in pajamas? Clean brushes?

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

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