Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Painting Sunflowers ... And Decisions

"Cut Sunflowers," oil on linen, 20"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
Yesterday's "Cut Sunflowers" continued today ... with  a full day of painting. So much for doing just a little bit. I can't tell you how many times I take three major paintings into the studio ... requiring hours (or days) of work each ... all the time thinking I will get to them all. That "anything is possible" artist mentality ... does not translate to everything is possible in a single day.

I did enjoy every minute, though. The flowers are droopier today and I let them droop. After many hours of painting, I finally got rid of the clippers. They were actually disruptive and didn't add anything to the composition. Everything made more sense after they took a hike.

I've painted a lot of sunflowers in my time. "Sunflowers," a still life my dad set up for me is part of my permanent collection -- and brightens my day -- every day. That's perhaps why I return to them again and again. We've got the same attitude. Sunflowers are my buds.

Something is interesting about this painting. The sunflowers here remind me of my first painting of sunflowers. More than any other. They are soft and happy and droopy and atmospheric ... just like the "Sunflowers" that hang in my house. Hmmmm. See "Sunflowers" at the bottom of this post and tell me what you think.

"Sunflowers and Gladioli," 30"h x 24"w, oil, ©Jill Banks 2009
To Leap or Not... Revised June 9
Okay, never mind.

I decided against taking a particular "leap" that was tempting but not tempting enough.

I was considering going on a painting trip to the Adirondacks where I'd be staying in a dorm room and going off to beautiful spots to paint in plein air with  some outstanding painters from around the country ... who I don't know personally. It sounded intriguing, and difficult, .. and not exactly up my alley ... but challenging. It is billed as a once in a lifetime opportunity and it is probably that.

I'm going to commit to carving my own adventure out ... exactly right for me ... closer to home. I got an offer from my mom ... that my Dad would like to accompany me to the zoo so I could paint or draw ... and I'll take them up on that. When it cools off. And paint them playing cards at Iceberry's in Reston before it does. Stuff like that. Schedule it and do it. So get out around town. This town.

No bears, fewer bugs, great views, new and old friends closer to home. And a nice bed to snuggle into, my own bathroom, a husband to share dinners with and plenty of privacy. 

"Sunflowers II," oil on linen, 30"h x 30"w, ©Jill Banks 2008
See more of my sunflower and other still life paintings on my web site, gallery section, still life page.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project:
Phone: 703.403.7435

"Sunflowers" the First, oil on linen, 30"h x 30"w, collection of the artist

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