Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Open Life" Painting and Lots More...

Do you get nervous when I say "lots more"?

Today was a jam-packed day. I worked on "Weekend Edition" this am before heading the Atelier for open hours. There, I worked on the "Piazza di Michelangelo" that sat unfinished during my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. (You'll see it sometime soon.)

"Open Life," oil on linen, 20"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
Open Life
From 4 to 7pm, I went to Open Life held at the McLean Community Center (download the PDF on open life sessions near the bottom of the page). I hadn't gotten a chance to do that this year until today. And, next Saturday is the last one of those (long pose) until the Fall. So, good thing I made it!

When I walked in, two painters were there, set up at their easels with large canvases. Actually, one was huge. I had a little 9"x12" canvas in my bag ... that looked ridiculous on the easel. I like little paintings, but, those large canvases looked like way more fun. I trekked out to my car ... and chose a 20"x16" ... not huge, but better.

Open life sessions are fantastic. Such a treat. Easygoing, comfortable ... and I just love every minute of it.

I really like this painting. Everything works, the colors are beautiful and I captured the day. Love those legs, too. Maybe my best legs.

I keep reaping the rewards of my 100 Faces project (read about it on my web site:, go to the 100 Faces project pages). I paint so much more rapidly now at the beginning of a session, which allows me to concentrate on exactly what I want to accomplish with each painting. "Open Life" came together naturally and I spent two of the three hours refining the painting, pushing it in different directions. Being quick means I can take my time even in a relatively short session. A weird idea, perhaps.

"Weekend Edition" work in progress, 20"x20", oil on linen, ©Jill Banks 2011
My only difficulty was the horrible state of my paintbrushes. I promise (myself) that I will clean them tonight as soon as I post this. I didn't have a single small brush to use for her mouth or details. And, most of the larger ones I pulled out were stiff or hard as rocks. Not ideal.

"Weekend Edition" is still a work in progress. It might be my undertaking for tomorrow. I'm trying to get a number of pieces ready for the many juried shows and exhibits that are all right around the corner.

Thinking About Photography
I've been working on pulling together the knowledge and set up for photographing my own work in anticipation of an upcoming article on my "100 Faces in 100 Days" project and publishing a book. I spent a lot of the day Friday working on it ... and there are apt to be plenty more next week. I'll figure it all out, though, with the help of some friends. And guess what that will do? Make my photos on blog posts better and more consistent. Yea!

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

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