Monday, August 22, 2011

Plein Air Painting in the Great Falls Village Centre: Part One

Great Falls Village Centre work in progress, oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
First of all, Mother Nature delivered one beautiful day here today. So, while I wasn't sure exactly where to paint this morning, I knew my easel would be outside. With holding open hours in the Artists' Atelier from Wednesdays through Saturdays this month, and painting in Alexandria on the waterfront on most Sundays, only Mondays and Tuesdays are available for exploring other spots. I want to pick good ones.

And, today I did. This is my view of the Old Brogue and Deli Italiano from up on a hill in the Great Falls Village Centre (in Great Falls, VA). I'd climbed to this spot sometime last week -- when I couldn't paint it and it came back to mind this morning. I consider this Part One of the painting, to be resumed, hopefully, this weekend when this portion is dry and I can try something I think will be really great. (A secret, sort of, for now.)

My guess is I looked a little unusual up on the hill. The Brogue is a popular spot (the parking lot was loaded with cars all day long) and patrons waved, pointed, posed, joked and a few visited and checked out my progress.

Setting back up after lunch. See the shirt?
I took a break for lunch with (husband) Randy ... and we both wore matching Reston Century t-shirt that sport my winning artwork "W&OD BBQ" on the back. Randy and I don't usually match. Thankfully. So, I felt conspicuous multiple times today.

I'm really happy with this painting in progress. I took a longer view than normal. Thought about what would really capture the place. I studied clouds -- an unusual subject for me. Tackled a couple of cars (I know they're rough right now). A good day.

Each of these outdoor days wear me out though, so much more than days in the studio. There's a good bit to lug around, I'm usually too hot and challenges abound. Even the wind takes its toll. But, I love how the paintings are tied to the experience of the day. The waves and jokes. Shade and sun on the move. Two young girls letting me know how much they appreciated my art. Pretty wonderful.

For those of you who are still hoping to see my "100 Faces in 100 Days" exhibit at the Artists' Atelier (1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA), the remaining opportunities are few. The show comes down August 31, a week from Wednesday. Open hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12:30 to 6:00pm for this month. (I might be late opening this Wednesday, August 24 ... more like 1pm.) I hope to see you soon!

"A New York State of Mind," 40"h x 30"w, ©Jill Banks, 'Scapes Exhibit
August 3 - 31: "100 Faces in 100 Days" on exhibit at the Artists' Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Open hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12:30-6:00pm.

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.

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

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