Friday, December 23, 2011

"The Gin Game" Painting of Mom & Dad Today...

The Gin Game Painting of Mom and Dad work in progress, oil, 30"h x 40"w, ©Jill Banks 2011
I had a blast today ... starting a painting that I've wanted to create for years. Believe it or not, while I've painted plenty of other people's parents, I haven't had the pleasure of capturing my own Mom and Dad. So, today was the day to begin.

That I'm painting right before Christmas has astonished a few people. Like, shouldn't I be out shopping or home wrapping or cooking or something? Painting these few days has been my present to myself -- for getting all those other things done that needed to be accomplished. It's like driving against traffic instead of with it. It feels great.

My mom and dad are gin rummy fanatics ... keeping running game/series totals throughout the year and starting anew each January 1. A painting of them had to depict the card playing rivalry. They both take it very seriously.

I had so much fun hanging out with them all afternoon ... sometimes being part of the conversation but mainly observing and painting. I had the opportunity to be part of their world as a couple. (It's a very nice world.)

My painting corner at Mom and Dad's
After asking Mom to change sweaters from pink to green, I chose the breakfast area in their kitchen to paint ... then kept rearranging where they sat and the angle of the table to change the space between them and take advantage of nicer light patterns. I love the way they are set up now. You get to be as much a part of the scene as me. (This did cram me into the corner though ... with no room to back up. You've got to do what you've got to do.)

I will be painting this during the game -- not from photographs. The Gin Game -- like The Poker Game -- is the kind of work I plan to do in 2012. From life. Developed "on the fly." As real and full of life as I can make it and focused on relationships.

There were other great parts of today. My life as an artist gets very sneaky around Christmas with deliveries and drop-offs of surprise gifts.  I'm expecting some photos of gift-opening ... since I'll be hanging out around my house on Christmas day.

Happy Holidays!

And, hey Sam and Michelle ... see Papa's Virginia Tech mug?

Current Exhibitions
Mainly ... my home is filled with lots of art from my December Home Studio Open House. Want a tour?

Sign up for Winter classes. Now, my Still Life class is full (but you could join a wait list) and the Portrait class has one spot left. See my web site:, click on the classes page.

Richeson 75 Animals, Birds and Wildlife Online Exhibition, November 7- December 15, 2011. "Pretty Girl Hen" was selected as one of 75 finalists viewable online at and in a full-color catalog.

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):

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