Saturday, May 21, 2011

Now There Are 101 Faces...

"David Reynolds: Face #101," oil on linen, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Today I gave an artist's talk/demo at the Great Falls Library for my "100 Faces in 100 Days" Exhibit. David Reynolds, the founder and publisher of élan Magazine, kindly let me rope him in as volunteer Face #101. Great choice!

Because I was combining a talk about the project with the demo, and I had a three-hour time limit (a little shorter than what's comfortable for me), I wanted a face I knew I could capture quickly and relatively easily. So my selection criteria for sitter #101 was ... to find a man with a beard and an interesting, good-looking face. Sort of like a scavenger hunt.

David's office is right next to the Great Falls School of Art (where I teach) and the Artists' Atelier (where I share studio space with 15 other artists at 1144 Walker Road, Suite D, Great Falls, VA). I saw him pull out of the parking lot in his convertible. Voila! I found my face.

élan Magazine's focus is on the arts and local artists. David has gotten to know a LOT of artists over the past 11 years as publisher... and his immersion in that world gave an added dimension to this afternoon's discussion.

I talked about the magazine's influence on my life as an artist. In 2003, I read an article (in élan) about Robert Liberace and knew that "this" was what I wanted to do and that Rob was someone I had to study with. (I did ... taking classes year round with him at the Art League for years.) A dream of mine was to someday be featured in élan ... a sign for me of official artistdom. I was thrilled in May 2006 to be featured on the cover with a great article inside. Last month, April 2011, my painting "Dining Alfresco" made it to the cover as well. David's brainchild has offered a huge boost for all of us working to gain recognition and exposure for our art.

Think he likes it?
David is a humble, kind, funny, easygoing guy. During my "100 Faces in 100 Days" adventure, I regretted a bit the times when I painted my sitters with other people around ... because I wanted that one-on-one time that let me get to know him/her. David was comfortable, open and conversant with me and the audience so we all had a chance to see the real "him."

The painting went well from beginning to end ... but my husband Randy told me later that it took me about 10 minutes to put down the first stroke. (I was thinking ... and talking.) I called it a wrap at about the two-and-a-half hour mark very happy with the painting. So was my sitter!

It was fun to share the demo and some of this project's story ... to let others in on what these 100 days were like. It was really fun.

Highlights, too, from the day were my visitors. It was an interconnected day. Everyone had ties or common interests or wonderful help/advice for someone else. Elaine Sheetz, who modeled for my portrait class said that I bring people together. Well, I hope so. They all need to meet.

A great treat was that Rob and Lina Liberace came, walking through the door right as I was putting my last brushstroke on the painting. These two lead unbelievably jam-packed lives and it meant a whole lot to me that they came. Thank you! Both Lina and Rob have been featured in élan ... talked with David and again, there were all these connections.

Thanks, David. Thanks all for showing up. Great day.

All the 100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibit Events
Mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. Please come!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

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