Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Morning At Starbucks" Painting in Alexandria Today

"Morning At Starbucks," oil, 20"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
This was a wonderful, long day ... that reminded me just how much I love the Art League and being in Alexandria, VA. (And how much I dislike the drive to and from.)

Painting in Old Town Alexandria
I was committed to painting this morning with the Art League Plein Air Painters group ... which grew from my last outing. Today was not our official Painting on the Waterfront day (that's next Sunday) so we could pick our spots in and around the area. First criteria to be met for a spot is plenty of shade. I set up in the arcade, across from Starbucks -- and chose the only town view vs. boat view in the group. Back when I was taking classes there regularly, that was my spot for a snack or discussions after class. It's part of the ritual of being there.

The people in the scene streamed in and out. I tried painting a few dogs, puppies actually. You can imagine how that went. I sketched in two of these ladies while they were there. I'd been concentrating on the brick and mortar stuff for awhile ... figuring I'd add in people after I had a base for the rest of the painting.

I still may touch this one up here and there. So not quite done.

I had plenty of company and lots of people enthusiastic that I was there ... enjoying watching a bit ... and admiring the painting. I'd hear all the conversations behind me, like a young girl prodding her parents and brothers to ask me what I was painting. The rest of her clan pointed to the different parts, but I still think she wanted to hear it from me.

An art collector and his wife wanted to have their pictures taken with me. I'm sure their camera people (there were several) have now surmised that being photogenic is not my strong suit.

Old Friends
In addition to my painting group, I ran into Jin Chung, a friend of mine from Danni Dawson and Rob Liberace's classes -- who now teaches at the Art League.

The most exciting part of my day came at the end. I went into the Art League to pick up my painting that didn't make it into the 'Scapes show (you can submit two, but only one can be accepted). I took the opportunity to look around and ran into a couple looking at work in the gallery where my painting was hanging. I realized it was Susan O'Neill (and her husband)-- one of my favorite people and great friend from Rob and Danni's class. She's one of those people who just make you happy the second you see her. Susan was the person who I parked my easel behind so I could figure out how to paint.

She moved to Naples, Italy a year after I met her and the last time I saw Susan was in Florence, Italy when her now six-year-old son was six months' old.

August 8 to August 19: Three of my drawings will be on exhibit as part of the Salmagundi Club's Annual Photography and Graphics Non-Members Exhibit in NYC. This prestigious, 140-year-old arts club is located in a beautiful brownstone at 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. Through the years, the Salmagundi Club has been the gathering spot of such luminaries as Childe Hassam, William Merritt Chase, N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and many others. It's a pretty incredible spot. So ... if you're in NYC any time soon ...

August 1-31: "100 Faces in 100 Days" Exhibit #2 in the Gallery at the Artists' Atelier
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm
RSVP helpful for both events ... but please come anyway if you don't get around to it.
Open hours for August, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12:30 - 6:00pm, perhaps with some exceptions. Check my web site for the latest info.

August 3-September 5: 'Scapes Exhibit at the Art League, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA. My entry, "A New York State of Mind," won Honorable Mention.

Thursday, August 11, 6:30-8:00pm: Reception/Awards for 'Scapes exhibit at the Art League.

Friday, August 12, 6:00-9:00pm: Reception, 100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibit, the Gallery at the Artists' Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls. RSVP helpful via email. Thanks!

Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm: Ice Cream Social, 100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibit, the Gallery at the Artists' Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls. RSVP helpful via email. Thanks!

Sunday, August 14: Painting on the Waterfront with the Art League's Plein Air Painters, behind the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA, in the morning.

NEW! Sunday, August 21: At the Registration Pavilion for the Reston Century Ride, Reston Town Center, Reston, VA -- with prints of "W&OD BBQ", the first place winner in the T-Shirt competition.

To read more about the 100 Faces in 100 Days project on my web site (, go to the 100 Faces Project Pages 1 and 2 where you can see all 100 of my volunteers. Click on the paintings, and go to my blog post for that person's sitting.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 1 (faces 1-54):
100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page 2 (faces 55-100):
Phone: 703.403.7435


Jerry Stocks said...

Amazing painting. You are so talented. Wish I were closer so I could learn from you.

Jill Banks said...

Thanks, Jerry. I'm pretty proud of this one ... plus I'm loving being right smack dab in the the middle of the action.

I wish you were, too. I could learn from you, as well!