Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reston Founder Robert (Bob) Simon Is Face #100: Happy Birthday, Bob!

"Reston Founder Robert (Bob) Simon: Face #100," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
It was my privilege to paint Reston, Virginia's founder Bob Simon as Face #100 of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project! Today, April 10 is the 100th day of 2011 and Bob's 97th birthday... and the day I successfully completed one of my resolutions of what I will do in 2011. Painting this very nice 100th face means a resolution met. (I started this project on January 1 this year.)

I have to tell you about Bob's visit.

I generally think that my parents are the busiest people on the planet. (Mom (Face #8) and Dad (Face #11) are Shonnie and Ken Johnson.) Whenever they give me some of their calendar info, my head starts to hurt. Bob Simon's schedule is even crazier from what I can tell.

Bob Simon agreed to become Face #100 even though he had a completely jam-packed schedule ... with his birthday and Founder's Day activities in his honor. That's amazing and very much appreciated! My mom and dad brought Bob to my home studio (in Reston, VA) and hung out with husband Randy upstairs during the one hour and fifteen minute window that I had to paint him. I would have loved to have had more time to spend with this beautiful man ... but it was one of the best hour and fifteen minutes ever.

We managed to have a relaxed, interesting discussion about places, Reston, Paris, Florence, architecture, family, restaurants and food, plazas, my art training, and art. Bob opened my eyes in many ways. In such a short time. He looks at places so differently from me. He pays attention to how people interact with their environment. I never thought about that. He evaluates urban spots on their impact on people. Are there places to gather?

Bob Simon, Me (Jill Banks) and "Face #100" ... Just painted!
With all his accomplishments and accolades, he was sincerely interested in finding out about me. I showed him the painting often during his sitting ... even once when I was only about five to ten minutes in. He saw himself! (That amazed him.) I thanked Bob profusely for having a beard. I love painting beards!!! And, that beard saved the painting because I couldn't have painted him so quickly if I had to deal with a chin.

My mom came down to give me a 15-minute warning. Then a 10-minute warning. Then, five. That's when I called it a wrap (this was painted during that session, live) and Randy took on the role of photographer ... to capture, Bob Simon, Face #100 and me. I turned to Bob and told him "Thank you for coming." He turned to me and said "Thank you for being." What a beautiful thing to say!


I'll add more thoughts later ... and get around to reflecting on this incredible journey and project. Perhaps tonight. If not ... tomorrow.

See the previous 99 Faces ... and get to know all 100 of my WONDERFUL sitters on all the posts from January 1 to today. Exhibits of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project are planned for May at the Great Falls Library with a reception on Saturday, May 7 and demonstration/talk on May 21. Another exhibit is planned for August at the Artists' Atelier with a reception and ice cream social event. I'll add more details soon. Please email me if you would like to receive an invitation.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!


Philip said...

What a wonderful ending (sort of ending) to an incredible journey. A great story as well... "Faces I'll Remember".
Congratulations! Beautifully done.

Nancy K said...

I can't believe it- all this in only 1:15???? Mr. Simon's "face" is one of your BEST works. Congratulations! Now go have a rest....

Jerry Stocks said...

Jill, what a wonderful face for your your 100th portrait. Congratulations on a job well done, and I am so honored to have been a part of your incredible journey.

Carol said...

Jill, pretty impressive! You should post a picture of the wall with all 100 faces. All the paintings are beautiful, but I have to say the one of Hannah was dead-on. Awesome. You are so talented. I hope you are enjoying London. Tell Randy we said hi. Oh, and BTW I can't believe Sam got married!!!