Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sarah Banks, My Daughter, Is Face #77

"Sarah Banks: Face #77," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
My daughter, Sarah, finally succumbed to becoming Face #77 in my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project. That means she's escaped for the previous 76 days.

Somewhere in the middle, Sarah asked me how much longer ... more than one hour? When I said I'd need four hours she wondered (aloud) why I say three to four hours when it's almost always four hours. She has a point.

I've painted her quite a few times, but this one's the best. Plus, I got to spend about five hours being with her, talking and taking breaks (including omelet making and eating). So, a very big treat for me! I want more days just like that.

With two kids grown, I miss spending day-to-day time with them. (I'm also very proud and happy for them.)

I hate to say this because I don't want to jinx anything ... but I'm getting better at painting. I'm struggling less (oh, I REALLY worry about saying that); concentrating on what's important and simplifying shapes; seeing and understanding subjects in three dimensions; dealing with paint and surfaces. In Sarah's case, I know how to paint her. That allowed me to push the painting farther than any of the rest which means I achieved everything I wanted to.

There'd be more photos ... like a photo of Sarah with the painting of her ... but she was napping when I thought of it.

Same painting with photo taken under tungsten light

Effect of Lighting: Photographing Paintings
I also photographed the painting outside, at dusk. I don't have a filter on my camera so the photo above has a bit of a dusky quality to it, but the colors are so much truer than many on my blog that I've taken under tungsten light. To show just how drastic the effect of lighting is on the photograph, the photo to the right is the same painting taken inside under tungsten light.

This is why when you look back through my blog at the photos of my sitters with their paintings, those photos look bluer/more natural. At those moments, there's more sunlight/natural light in my studio. Then I rest. Then I take photos of the finished paintings to get them ready for my blog and the natural light's long faded.

Cindy Grisdela's Blog
Cindy Grisdela is an accomplished fiber artist ... also a friend, one of my first "faces" (Face #4), and a fellow Great Falls Studios member. According to her blog, she was influenced by my project to start her own: a quilt a day for thirty days. I caught up on Cindy Grisdela's blog today about her quilt-a-day project ... and it ... and the quilts are terrific! Very inspiring! I'd heard about Cindy's quest from Laura Nichols (president of Great Falls Studios, a potter, and face #57). Seems Laura is thinking about her own project goal, this time in pots. I feel great that this project is getting these two very energetic and productive people to push themselves in a new way to help develop their art.

Recently I had a chance to be a "fly on the wall" and hear someone discussing my project. The comment was something like this: "She's already obviously great at painting portraits. Why would she want to paint 100 more?" My answer (which I couldn't give then) is multi-faceted. I think my work is really good and I put my heart and soul into it. But, I always want to keep improving. And, I'm not working to (just) become better at painting portraits, I want to grow as a painter (and artist) in my approach to all subject matter. Well, that's part of my answer.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435


christine said...

Jill, I have to tell you, my first thought when I saw this was "She is a grown woman". My second, "She is stunning". You must be so proud. She is beautiful and the painting is breathtaking. Definitely one of my favorites.

Jill Banks said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you.

I was amazed at this painting. I told (husband) Randy that I couldn't have painted this on January 1. Interesting, isn't it?

Plus, how great to have as part of my days time spent with strangers, almost strangers, friends, relatives (daughter, son, husband, parents) ... just one on one.

Cindy Grisdela said...

Thanks for the kind words, Jill! Your portrait of your daughter is beautiful--one of the best, I think. I'm looking forward to seeing them all together in May.