Monday, January 31, 2011

Sue Bennett is Face #31: A Whole Month of Faces

"Sue Bennett: Face #31", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Sue Bennett offered to sit for my portrait class today ... occasionally taking a chance to draw us ... painting and drawing her. She has a wonderful face (and spirit). Her skin glows. (See it?)

We had fun discussions, too ... and I'll return to teaching/helping lots more next week. This was the only time I could get Sue to sit to be part of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project ... so I had to make the most of it.

Perhaps this is time for a short post. I have a full day ahead with a day of teaching in the am tomorrow and painting Rachel's (Face #2's) eight-year-old brother Adam in the afternoon. Weather permitting.

Read more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project on earlier posts (the project started January 1) ... and on my web site, see the link to the project page from my home page.

Just Updated My Web Site's 100 Faces in 100 Days Project. All 31 faces are there with a link back to the blog post about each of my sitters. Check it out!

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pamela Grim is Face #30 and Sisters

"Pamela Grim: Face #30", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Pamela Grim, sister of Marlene Grim (Face #29), came to sit for me today to become Face #30 (in my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project)... and Marlene came to keep her and me company. Funny, fun day.

Pamela's single.

Pamela works in the lingerie department at Lord & Taylor in Tysons. Since I don't spend a lot of time in the lingerie department ... I'd never met her but I would bet that should you be in need of some help in that department (no pun intended), that Pamela's who you should go see. She's FULL of personality, with a  great sense of humor (needed while shopping for bras and undies). Warm and calming. (Also helpful.)

When Pamela first came over, she met my husband Randy ... and he looked really familiar to her. "Had he shopped at the store?" Uh-oh.  He hadn't shopped there for me. (I'm kidding about the uh-oh ... Randy's the greatest husband on earth. He's not shopping for anyone else.) We decided he was a celebrity look-a-like. But Randy might suffer from my overly imaginative dream mechanisms.

We share a love of pickles. I used to get them as birthday presents from my friends. Still, when I go to lunch with others, I collect all the unwanted or not-wanted-as-much-as-I-want-them pickles from everyone's plate.

Pamela and Marlene are two of five sisters in their family ... and they get a huge kick out of each other. Actually, Pamela comes up with the funny stories and one-liners and Marlene encourages by being quick to laugh. The fun is contagious.

Pamela Grim (l) and Marlene Grim (r) hamming it up
Their mom passed away recently, and Marlene mentioned that her mom was the glue that held them all together. I really felt that their mom was there today, so clearly appreciating them and vice versa. I think the glue's going to stick just fine.

Pamela did try to have a discussion with me about what I ought to paint in and out ... lightheartedly, I think. I told her, kindly, that I wasn't taking any instructions today ... that I wanted to paint her the way I saw her. I want people who sit to see themselves through other eyes ... and I try to convey that as best I can in paint. I see people as a whole ... not bit by bit ... and my heart's almost always in gear focused on your personality and story.

That said, painting-wise, I had a little trouble with the panel I was painting on today. Paint was streaky and picking up more than I wanted it to. I NEED to get to the art supply store this week for brushes, paints, stuff. I'm flying through paint and wearing out my brushes. Important tools.

Tomorrow, I'm cheating a bit and painting Sue Bennett, one of my portrait class students ... who agreed to be one of my faces if I could paint her during class. So she'll be painting us while we're painting her. (I teach Portrait Painting and Drawing on Mondays through the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts)

Randy and I did spend the whole afternoon together ... buying a suit for him for Sam & Michelle's rapidly approaching wedding. (Which reminds me of another thing I gained from today's painting session. I showed Pamela and Marlene my dress and Pamela recommended that I get some pretty patent leather shoes ... dressy enough for such a special occasion.) We also did some shopping but the day wasn't completely crammed full.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marlene Grim is Face #29 Today: 100 Faces in 100 Days, Day 29

"Marlene Grim: Face #29", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Marlene Grim is one of my parents' neighbors ... and my mom suggested to Marlene that she'd be a great sitter for my project. Marlene did do great. I think she was surprised that I could hold a conversation and paint. I've been well trained for that, by attending classes for years, giving public demos, and working with other artists in joint studio space. Sometimes I need to concentrate (quietly), but conversations are part of the rhythm of painting for me.

The conversations also serve a purpose here. To let me get to know my sitters better. Let them relax and enjoy themselves. Keep them engaged with me. I love listening to other viewpoints and perspectives on life.

Many of my sitters see themselves as non-artists. They can't draw and admire others' artistic talents. The ability to draw and paint has almost nothing to do with talent. It can be learned. Just as you don't know how to drive a car or ride a bike or swim or do a calculus problem through natural abilities, you must also study, practice, learn, be taught to paint or draw well.  You can master it ... a bit at a time. Or learn a little, and have fun just sketching what's around you.

This painting progressed well throughout the afternoon. Before and after Marlene's sitting, I worked on Randy's (my husband's) face. Poor guy. But I think it's better. I can see the kindness and good cheer in him. I need to step back. I did leave his painting in the studio to keep myself away from it. Tomorrow I paint at home ... Marlene's sister, Pamela Grim.

I do see myself improving. That doesn't mean I'm only going to have good days. But, I'm solidifying the process, understanding when the drawing (darks/lights) leave me ready to proceed, and make any helpful adjustments (process, setup, lighting, distance from subject) more fluidly. I'm just more at ease.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Friday, January 28, 2011

Stephen Klagholz is Face #28 Today

"Stephen Klagholz: Face #28", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Stephen Klagholz, a friend of my son Sam's, came and sat for one of my 100 Faces in 100 Days ... faces. He's great company and we had a great time! Plus, the painting pleased us both. Yea!

He left, and I said I'd post this tonight. Sam's already called and checked on my progress. Sam sent a text message to Stephen while he (Stephen) was sitting for me asking how painting was going ... so I guess I better get my act in gear and post this. I will add other photos ... and text later, perhaps but I don't want anticipation to harm anyone.

What I really appreciated was the opportunity to get to know a terrific person better ... and the chance to get to know a friend of Sam's better. With so many friendships formed away at college, we know what his friends look like, but not who they are. I can see why the two of them are friends.

Stephen's got a great outlook and I feel like he'll always heed priorities in life, with family, friends, work, enjoying life in a good balance. I talked about "quitting" a company I founded ten years ago to get reacquainted with my family (and my life) and how happy I was that I took that much dreaded step. And, how lucky I feel that my family was willing to take me back. Stephen gets the balance message. (Even though I set some challenging goals for myself, I am living a terrific, full life enjoying painting, family and friends.)

We had a great time together ... and he's been booked to sit for the Portrait class I teach on Mondays. Now, that's a good day!

More photos and thoughts later.

Oh, and I worked on Randy (Face #27) tonight, too ...  I may edit yesterday's post with a new photo today or tomorrow.

I'll be painting Face #29 at the Artist's Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA tomorrow (Saturday, January 29) starting at 2pm.

Here's a note from Stephen ... added tonight from an email he sent me.
"Mrs. Banks!

Honestly, thank YOU so much for today. I have written up a little blip about the session from my perspective that I hope thoroughly expresses my appreciation and that you can feel free to post it on your blog, in your book, and whatever you deem fit.

If you want to learn about art, take a session with Mrs. Banks. I had such a wonderful time talking with her, hearing all about her experiences, and learning about the true meaning of art. It is not about detail, perfection, or making art your life. It is about seeing the beauty in people and things, as they are, and illustrating them in such a way that captures that beauty, that sparkle in someone's eye, and that essence of life. Mrs. Banks is a master at such depictions and sheds a glimmer of her own radiance on every work she produces. During my session, our discussions ranged from the development of me and Sam's friendship to the philosophical conjecture that moderation is the key to a happy and successful life, which we both agreed upon. My painting is stunning and - not that she needs my approval - I am flattered to have such a magnificent portrayal of myself, one that has truly shown me an angle of myself that I've never seen before. No video, photograph, or description of me has captured the way that she has and it's so special to see it. This experience has given me a newfound appreciation for art and rekindled my personal interest in it. Mrs. Banks' talents blow my mind and it will be an honor to be a subject again.

Thanks again!

OH! P.S. Meredyth and my Mom LOVED the portrait and both asked when their session is :)

Sincerely,

Stephen Klagholz"
I'm going to have to turn into Jill Banks ... as opposed to Mrs. Banks ... since I probably won't show up on a google search for "Mrs. Banks artist". Thank you's go in both directions in all of these painting sessions. I love spending time with each of my sitters, and they really enjoy spending time experiencing something different and seeing themselves through someone else's (my) eyes. The ultimate good win-win thing. My favorite line from today was Stephen telling me that he thinks he has a twin! (The painting.)


Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Husband Randy Banks is Face #27 Today, Snow

"Randy Banks (husband): Face #27" Round Three. From 1/29/11
So we got whopped by some snow and ice ... so instead of painting Bailey's mom, Christine ... I painted my husband Randy who was sort of stranded with me.

Before I forget, I will not be speaking at the McLean Art Society meeting tomorrow am (due to weather and roads and school closings, I suspect). Another time. I'll keep you posted.

My painting of Face #27 is quite a conglomeration. Not sure how well I like it. I love him. (I may like this - again, don't know.) But this painting and our "sittings" haven't gone smoothly. It's not as easy to engage my own family as it is friends, acquaintances and strangers. I guess I've talked them out.

I had started this as practice before I began my faces project. I think on December 30 or 31 and it was absolutely awful. I had set up my easel way too close to Randy ... and it was that old "I can't see the forest for the trees" problem. Yuck. It didn't help a bit that I was about to launch 100 of these and hadn't figured out the problem. You need some sort of confidence when jumping off the high dive.

My painting of Randy on 1/27/11. Not so good.
Anyway, I left it until now because I figured I'd fix it and it would fill in when one of my faces couldn't show up ... or I couldn't paint. So I was working over a bad drawing (good drawing's depend on some distance from your subject or super skills) and my subject was yawning, diverted, falling asleep. (He's been working very hard on a renovation project and was out late last night retrieving our stranded daughter and shoveling the driveway this am -- so, reasonable to be falling asleep.) But it didn't help the painter and I relied on some photos to get the drawing in better shape.

So, there you have it. Husband Randy. Face #27. This is more detailed than all the rest -- so he'll stand out in the crowd. I prefer the more expressionistic, alla prima style -- but it was easy to apply the paint and get it to stick because the board had already had a layer of paint on it. A friend of our son Sam's is the subject for tomorrow.

Note: the painting at the top was my touched-up version on January 29 (two days later). The painting at the bottom is what I created on January 27 that pertains to this post. I know it's confusing.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today's Sitter (Face #26) Writes About Today's Session

Today's post is by a guest writer, Alex McVeigh, community reporter with the Connection Newspapers, who sat for me as Face #26. So here's his perspective on the day.
Today I was the 26th face in Jill Banks' 100 Faces in 100 Days project. I wrote a story about the project for the Great Falls Connection (link: http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=347779&paper=88&cat=104), and so I had seen faces 1-13 on the wall a few weeks ago. It's pretty cool to see new faces added to the wall. 

"Alex McVeigh: Face #26", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
I greatly enjoyed having my portrait painted, other than a caricature when I was younger, I'd never been drawn before. And while as a kid the 10 minutes it took for the caricature seemed to take forever, this morning flew by. 

I met Jill at her studio in Great Falls. She mentioned that in her home studio, the subjects can see her painting the portrait in a mirror placed directly behind her. I wasn't able to see the entire making of the portrait, but we took several breaks, and I saw a few different steps on the process, which was very interesting. 

Stage 1 - Just the darks
The first time I saw it, she had only done the darks, so the right half of my face was in shadow and barely visible, while the left side was roughly drawn in. I'm glad I got to see the preliminary part, because as I observed the painting further down the line, it was fascinating to see how Jill added different features in, and what she chose to emphasize from that basic sketch. 





Stage 2 - Starting to add the lights
Jill mentioned several times that she wasn't sure if she would give me two eyes, as the shadow was obscuring my side of the face. That was in interesting concept to me, because when you see yourself in photographs, it's generally with a flash so there aren't many shadows across your face. It was a glimpse of what other people see in darker spaces, and it was neat to see what the light picked up and what the shadows blocked. 

It was also interesting watching Jill work, as she constantly moved her eyes back and forth between me and the canvas, making strokes every time her eyes hit the canvas. Sometimes after a few strokes she would look pleased, puzzled, or amused, so it was interesting to watch her react to how the painting came together. 

Alex with the finished painting
Overall, it was extremely fascinating to watch the painting come together, and I enjoyed talking to Jill during the process. I didn't have to freeze in one place, or with one expression on my face, so it wasn't difficult in the least. 

Seeking some outside input on the portrait, I sent a photo to my girlfriend, and she said she really liked the portrait, but that she thinks I'm "more handsome in person." I respectfully disagree with her, but I'm glad she liked it, because I like it too. 
Alex McVeigh
Community Reporter
Connection Newspapers
Back to me ... it was a pleasure talking to Alex today. There are many similarities between us, with the primary one being we're interested in other people's stories and getting to know them. He's an incredibly likable person. Great to be around. Interested and interesting. I had fun!

My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project will be exhibited at the Great Falls Library (Great Falls, VA) in May. I'll be keeping in touch with all the volunteers for the project on that exhibit and other events/news about the project as it unfolds.

Thanks Alex for sitting ... and writing about it.

Jill Banks
Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

John McCabe is Face #25, One-Quarter Through My Project

"John McCabe: Face #25", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
25 Faces!!!

John McCabe, fellow studiomate, painter and artist sat for me today ... as #25 of my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. John's also a portraitist ... so we had plenty of discussions on the subject. He just received a fantastic commission to paint the portrait of Professor Constantine Katsoris, Fordham Law School (John's alma mater), for installation in the Moot Court Room. Can't wait to see that one underway at the Artists' Atelier, the studio John and I share with 15 other artists at 1144 Walker Road, Suites D&G, Great Falls, VA.

The portrait turned out much better than this photo depicts. I had changed the settings to better photograph in one room ... and took this in another. I'll replace it on here tomorrow when I get a chance.

The wall in my studio on day 25 ... so 25 faces
I'm patting myself on the back today. (That's okay, right?) At 25, I'm a quarter of the way through my project and I survived two days in a row of teaching in the am and painting in the afternoon without too much trouble. Now, if I can remember to bring in a pad to cushion my feet -- I paint standing up and the floor's brutal -- life will be even better.

Randy and I redid my wall of faces in my studio this evening and extended the shelving. So more faces can fit ... so here's a photo of it on day 25. Pretty cool!

John ... near today's painting.
Last night, I attended the annual meeting of Great Falls Studios, a group of 90 artists who live or work in Great Falls. I had put out an email right after I dreamed up this project looking for people to volunteer. Well, a lot did and last night's meeting was full of many of my faces... and many more I'll be painting soon.

Okay, time for rest. Tomorrow morning is Face #26, which I'll be painting in the Great Falls School of Art room, 1144 Walker Road, Suite D, Great Falls. Feel free to pop in, take a look at the wall and see how I'm doing on the face of the day.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nancy Bruckner Sits for Face #24

"Nancy Bruckner: Face #24", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011

Today after my portrait Class, Nancy Bruckner sat for me upstairs at the Artists' Atelier to become Face #24 in my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. Sitting (Nancy's a student) and painting after class is a little difficult ... just hard to keep up a high enough energy level. Both of us were munching on a few chocolates ... and Nancy did great.

I did fine in the painting department ... occasionally seeing her on the canvas only to have her disappear and reappear again. But not too much. Considering I couldn't put in a long night, we pulled the Judith St. Ledger-Roty (Face #15) trick and carried the painting to the mirror to figure out any problems. Then, I fixed them.

Now, this painting is one of my favorites.

Nancy was looking at me ... while I was looking at her, and she thinks I ought to model for my own portrait class. She marveled over the fact that my eyelids are barely visible and I marveled over the fact that her eyelids are this beautiful, big surface to decorate. People fascinated with painting people can get very interested in every part. I have tried to sit when a model was late to a class I was taking (quite a few years ago) and found it very difficult. I had proposed that my students in portrait class draw or paint someone this week while letting them talk and move ... like my project. If they can get the hang of that, I'd have a very easy time getting models. And, they'd get lively looking portraits.

I've been receiving lots of volunteers lately ... and I need to spend some time figuring out just where I am with my list before accepting all these nice offers. It will take at least a few days.

I'm speaking to the McLean Art Club during their meeting this coming Friday, January 28 at the McLean Community Center. My topic is "Building and Engaging Your Art Clan". The McLean Art Club holds its monthly meeting at 10am. I talk starting at 10:45am.

I've got to stop typing for the night ... go to bed early ... to be ready for Still Life class and painting Face #25, John Francis McCabe tomorrow.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ray Rollins is Face #23

"Ray Rollins: Face #23", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Ray Rollins, Chris Rollins' (Face #22 from yesterday) husband became Face #23 today. We had a wonderful time, laughing and enjoying the hours flying by. Chris was working (on  her art, yea!) upstairs in the Artists' Atelier and would occasionally come down and check out progress ... which seemed to work just from the beginning.

On Retirement
Ray is retiring soon -- and looking forward to it. He, like so many of my other faces is looking at doing new things (besides sitting for an alla prima portrait) and returning to adventures and undertakings he enjoyed before. He enjoys acting, so will look at what community theater offers. And watercolor classes. (Ray, there's a one-day workshop coming up next Saturday, January 29, 1-5pm through the Great Falls School of Art taught by Bob Gilbert (Face #9). $75.  To make it easy on everyone, supplies will be provided.) And cook more -- he loves to cook and promises to abide with healthy, delicious choices, fresh, slow food. (Sounds great ... as I just put a Company Pot Roast in the oven for tomorrow night's dinner.)

Ray Rollins with his Face #23 Painting
 Funny Story
One of our really funny discussions was about this whole 100 Faces project. Ray and Chris went out to dinner last night with good friends. Chris had sat for me already and Ray was revving up for his big day. (I can't quote this too accurately -- but the gist will be there.) Ray said he had never even given the slightest thought to having his portrait painted.  It never crossed his mind. So Chris and Ray told their friends about signing up for me to paint them. And, their friends were incredulous -- and were like, my god, how much does that cost? (Figuring portraits, expensive ... which they are.) And then, Ray goes, "That's the wild part. It doesn't cost anything!!!! All you do is agree to sit." And then, they all were talking about, well, I hope you can buy the painting at some point.

This one's blurry but too great to leave out. They were looking at Face #23 done.
So, the transition is from: I never wanted a painting of myself. I have to sit for four hours. You don't have to sit still and you get to talk the whole time.  It sounds like an interesting thing to do. It's free. Boy, I hope I can buy it.

Advice for My Talk
Ray helped me, today, in thinking through a talk I'm giving Friday for the McLean Art Club. My topic is how to "Build and Grow Your Art Clan" ... and my problem with it is that it is supposed to be for an hour and fifteen minutes. (Awfully long.) I plan on just telling stories. (I have PLENTY of those.) When I told Ray my topic, he asked what an art clan is ... and I proceeded to tell him in a way that I hope I can repeat on Friday.

And another of Ray and Chris Rollins. Think they like it?
When I've painted couples, it's been fun to see the interest each one has in the others' portrait. Chris made sure that Ray had longer hair ... like she likes it ... and delaying the haircut. She helped with orchestrating the photo of him with his portrait. (He needed her!) And, they just have fun sharing this experience with each other.

Now, if I'm painting your Face at the Artists' Atelier, my sitters get to hang out with my wall of faces -- and the impact is amazing. While each painting is interesting to look at, there's an incredible power with all of these Faces together. Everyone feels it. It's fascinating. My husband, Randy is getting ready to add a shelf and extend the ones I have so I can fit more ... but in the meantime, Chris and Ray Rollins are hanging out over the big window in my studio. Maybe I'll give you a glimpse of that tomorrow.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chris Rollins is Face #22 of My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project

"Chris Rollins: Face #22", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Quick post for now ... and I'll come back to this later... maybe tonight.

Chris Rollins sitting for me was great ... really enjoyed getting to know her better and hopefully inspiring her to get going on creating more art. Chris is a photographer and painter interested in botanicals. See her website to read more about her and see her photography.

But I was a little awkward in the painting area today ... and this took forever ... working from photos after the sitting which I don't like to do. Don't know what was up ... but know that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

More later.

I'm back. (On Sunday -- one day later.)

Chris and I talked quite a bit about art ... and getting started. She sees herself as the reluctant artist -- who needs to take care of all these other life things before she can get around to her art. She really enjoys it when she makes the time. It's just committing to getting started. I'd just read a post about that same subject. (I subscribe to a daily online art marketing newsletter called Fine Art Views that has great ideas ... and the post was titled "Just Do It!) The author encouraged artist to quit "getting ready" and pick up a paintbrush -- or whatever they create artwork with.

Chris Rollins (Face #22) with the painting of her.
She asked me how I motivated myself ... and I had a few answers. One is to turn inertia into your friend by building new habits (like having artmaking on your calendar). It's always easier to keep doing the same thing than it is to change gears. (Another idea from Fine Art Views.) Another answer is my 100 Faces in 100 Days. When someone is showing up to sit for you, I guess I better show up at my easel ready to paint.

What's really wonderful is that Chris was in the studio the following day (I'm writing this on Sunday night and she sat for me on Saturday), accomplishing a number of those things she'd been postponing.

Being around other artists working is inspirational ... and makes you want to get going yourself. I get that every time I walk into the Artists' Atelier, the studio I share with Chris Rollins and 15 other artists at 1144 Walker Road, Suites D&G, Great Falls, VA.
 
Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cindy Hargroves is Face #21 in My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project

"Cindy Hargroves: Face #21", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Cindy Hargroves came to sit for me ... because she read the blog post of Cindy Grisdela (Face #5) about sitting for my project. Thanks Cindy (Grisdela) for explaining that it's a fun and different thing to do. Cindy (Hargroves) believed you ... and emailed me to "sign up."

I'm going to say that 2011 seems to be the year that a lot of people are committing to trying something new, moving outside their comfort zone, or giving something a shot that they have always wanted to do. Lots of my faces subjects have volunteered because it's something they had never done before (and they wanted to do something outside their comfort zone). It's one of the top three reasons I hear. (The other two are volunteering to help me improve my skills as an artist while letting me do what I really want to do ... and the curiosity/learning aspects of the experience.)

This is an open grisaille (one color painting) of Cindy. How I start.
Cindy Hargroves has been trying out new things including taking a drumming class and an African dance class ... and sitting to have her alla prima portrait painted. Alla Prima means all at once, or in one sitting. These "faces" paintings are much less developed than a formal portrait and are more like an oil sketch to get the essence of my sitters versus an accurate snapshot. Today's sitting was three-and-a-half hours. Most are from 3 to 4 hours.

I keep getting to each person's mouth last ... since we're having conversations from beginning to end and I can't paint it mid-sentence. I did ask Cindy to keep her mouth still -- no talking -- for a little bit. But, I complicate things because I'm always having such a good time, I'm always smiling and it's difficult not to smile back. (You can try it when you come sit for me.) Plus, inevitably, I'll ask someone to hold his/her mouth still so I can paint it, then immediately ask them a question. Duh. This time I was about to ask a question, then stopped myself and by the time we started talking again, I'd forgotten what I wanted to know.

The painting a little further along ... on my easel.
Today I painted in my home studio ... and tomorrow and Sunday I'll be back in the Artists' Atelier to paint. Feel free to stop by on Saturday from 10am to 4pm (I'll be painting from 10am to 2pm -- but the studio will be open for regular open hours until 4pm). I'll be bringing in my three paintings I did at home -- Begona Morton (Face #19), Adrianne Pedlikin (Face #20) and Cindy Hargroves (Face #21) to put up on my Faces wall in my studio at 1144 Walker Road, Suites D&G, Great Falls, VA 22066. Those will complete my wall with its current shelving -- so husband Randy will need to add more for my next week's worth of paintings.

I love the wall. You will, too. It's amazing how powerful all these people all together. Like a room jam-packed with friends.

Cindy Hargroves taking a photo of the finished painting.
Which reminds me. One of the wonderful things Cindy told me about today was that her neighborhood all gets together for Friday Happy Hour, hosted at one of the houses with people bringing snacks to share and drinks. Neighborhood kids know neighborhood kids, everyone knows everyone. From there, they've formed other activities like a Book Club, dinner club, etc. -- but it's a wonderfully social group. How great is that? So much better than everyone leading their own separate lives -- and terrific for the kids who need those connections with those older and younger than themselves.

Okay, enough typing. I've got a show application to do ... and have to really map out a talk I'm giving next Friday to the McLean Art Club. Got to go.

Thanks, Cindy Hargroves, for sitting for me. Thanks, Cindy Grisdela, for your help in convincing her.

P.S. I forgot to mention that my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project will be exhibited in May at the Great Falls Library in Great Falls, VA. At least that's one of the places you will be able to see it. I will also be doing a solo show there in February 2012. (Something other than faces that I'll spend the following 256 days on, I guess.)

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Thursday, January 20, 2011

20 Faces Painted in My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project

"Adrianne Pedlikin: Face #20", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Another milestone. Adrianne Pedlikin is Face #20. Yea!!

Adrianne used to work for me in my life #1 -- the old days, and we both agree that she doesn't look a bit different. She doesn't age at all.

We talked non-stop and so, while I have her mouth closed ... that's just not the way it was. Even when I asked her to "try" to do it for a photo ... she had to concentrate and get ready for that second before it broke into a smile or a laugh. Pretty funny. I figure that this is still her, even with her mouth closed because her eyes are smiling.

She was fascinated with her finished painting. It was tough to stop looking at it "because you never get to look at yourself in that way." It seemed three-dimensional and her own eyes followed her as she moved side to side at the painting. That three-dimensionality comes from having someone sit for you ... live ... versus from a "flattened" photo. I paint what I see and I obviously see in 3D. Much cooler.

Adrianne next to the almost finished painting of her.
I'm going to post this ... and come back and add to this one later. Since I've now one fifth of the way through my faces project ... I'd like to just reflect on this journey we're on and share it with you. So, more later!

I'm back!


My Project So Far
So, at Face #20, I'm feeling great! I find myself talking to anyone and everyone I meet or run into about this project. Yesterday, when I dropped off my Strauss Fellowship grant application, I stopped in the store/gallery downstairs in the Arts Council gallery and started talking to the very nice woman who sat at the desk there. I had come from a wonderful sitting/painting session with Begona and I was on Cloud Nine. (The good cloud.) She got excited about it ... and said I was positively glowing. I imagine I was. One of the great things about the project is that the people I'm painting are seeing me: a person who just loves what she gets to do all day and with her life. I want everyone to be living out their passion, whatever it is. You can do that.

I can't possibly reflect on everything, but here are a few more observations/parts of conversations that have stuck with me.

Each of my sitters are extraordinary people.  I love just how unique each person is and I'm getting a chance to see how different each of us is on both the inside and outside. I'm getting wiser because what's brought out in conversations here are the highlights or epiphanies in life. (It helps when people share their epiphanies with you.) I will carry a part of each one with me.

Begona told me something about my teaching that was interesting. She said that she wanted to take classes from me because in addition to liking my art, she liked the way I paint. I made it seem easy and fun. She felt like she could do it. (She can and does.) But, I like her observation ... because I want people to know that they can learn to paint (and have just as much fun as I do).

A lot of people are excited about the project. They are becoming a part of it by reading (this) blog. Some comment on it. Some volunteer to sit. Some know someone who has volunteered. And, a whole bunch of all of those people are telling other people about it. (That's good. I hope you keep it up!)

Just like me, you don't know what will happen next. Or whose face will appear tomorrow. Or what snag I'll run into ... or painting or life epiphany will strike. The painting part is a bumpy cycle of anticipation, frustration, perseverance, relief, and exhiliration. The people part is awesome.

Sam and Michelle
One more important life note: my son Sam and his bride-to-be Michelle left our house today with some furniture to embark on Sam's new life. He signed the lease this afternoon on an apartment in Richmond where he'll be starting his job on January 31. Then, their wedding is on February 19. After that ... it becomes Sam and Michelle's place. I'm thrilled for them ... but I still have that giant pang that he's not going to be living with us any more. I know they're not far away. But still.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Begona Morton Is Face #19 ... and Shopping

"Begona Morton: Face #19", oil on panel, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Now I'm really pooped ... and for good reason. I'm also really on a high, loving my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. Every aspect of it.

This morning Begona Morton sat for me and became Face #19. We had a LOT of fun. She's good company, and we just had lots to talk about. Begona's taking my Still Life class for the second time and she's passionate about art ... and about learning everything she can. So, we certainly talked art. But, we also talked about Spain (where Begona grew up) and some about Brussels and raising kids.

Oh, and this was the first time I neglected to inform a sitter which location I was planning to paint him/her at ... so Begona was at one studio and I was at another. Oops. There's only about 10 minutes between the two. Begona called me about 15 minutes after we were supposed to start trying to figure out if she had the right day. So, if you're scheduled to sit for me ... make sure we've agreed to where I'm going to be (home studio or the Artists' Atelier). I'll know my schedule better the week of the sitting.

Begona checking out her painting
I took over my application for a Strauss Fellowship grant to the Arts Council of Fairfax County. Today was the deadline (at 5pm). I had won a Strauss Fellowship grant in 2008, and recipients are eligible to apply again after three years -- so I qualify. Preparing the grant requires a lot of paperwork, time and thought ... so I'm glad to have it behind me. I asked for funds to support the creation, exhibition and book publishing for my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. Hopefully, the panel that evaluates the applications gets as excited about the project as I am. I really think they should be!

After that I went on a much-needed five-hour shopping trip. (The primary reason I'm pooped.) My son Sam marries Michelle one month from today and I needed a mother of the groom dress. So, I think I got it. I'm supposed to put on a "fashion show" tonight to get the opinions of the young folks around here who have better taste in clothes. I hope I pass!!!
Begona photographing the finished painting

Thanks, Begona for being such a wonderful sitter.








Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jonathan Fisher Becomes Face #18 Today

"Jonathan Fisher: Face #18", oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Jon Fisher, a wood sculptor and the Communications chair guru of Great Falls Studios agreed to sit for me today. I canceled my still life class today, following suit with the Fairfax County School System deciding not to fight the icy roads and to catch up on a pile of "to dos" before my painting session this afternoon. What a relief unanticipated "free" time is! It takes away panic for a few hours and I had a whole lot more energy to paint and concentrate on Jon. This turned out to be one of those paintings that look just like the subject.

I was a member of the board of directors of Great Falls Studios with Jon. I graduated off the board a few years ago while Jon remained and continues to make remarkable things happen for the organization. One of my favorite perks of being a board member was to attend meetings with Jon with his continuous stream of wild ideas and hysterical one liners. He has a wonderful sense of humor and it strikes without his changing expression and the rest of us break out in irrepressible laughter. He's also somebody who questions everything ... and thinks of every possible scenario. What a great asset to keep us on our toes.

"Blue Quartz" wood sculpture by Jonathan Fisher
I learned more about Jon today and I'm glad to have had the opportunity. He was working to be a good model for me ... sitting still and talking a bit like a ventriloquist to keep his mouth from moving. No one's tried that before. Jon was talking about this being a bit like being in the dentist's office when they ask you questions knowing that there's no way you can answer at the moment. Perhaps.

There were some funny moments during the sitting ... but typing this made me think about another instance when Jon was up to no good. Part of our promotion of Great Falls Studios Annual Studio Tour (in mid-October of each year) is to put up blue balloons at our studio locations all around town. We are responsible for picking up signs and balloons from one of the member's studios and I arrived to pick up mine as Jon Fisher was finishing up. The hardware store in town lets us use their helium tank to blow up all the blue balloons ... but the tank was empty so balloons were dwindling down to nothing. Jon had his and I was getting mine and that was it. No more. So Jon walks out the door with his balloons and two seconds later we hear him say, "Oh, SH_T!" You know what we thought. Just kidding.

My wall of faces on day #18. Pretty cool, isn't it?
So today we had fun. Painting went well ... and #18 looks good up on the wall with the rest of my characters. It's starting to look like I'm doing something around here. I need to schedule some sittings for this upcoming weekend. Just haven't had time to do so yet. (It gets a bit complicated.)

For more info on my project, go to my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page on my web site and/or check out earlier posts on my blog to see faces #1 through #18.


Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Monday, January 17, 2011

Patti Chisholm is Face #17

"Patti Chisholm", Face #17, oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
I'm sort of pooped ... so probably a short post today.

Portrait class was great today with some outstanding progress and bold steps. Patti Chisholm sat for me after class was over ... and the conversation was great ... but we were still both ready for a nap. I sent her sleepy eyes home and I finished up via photo. I've got a pretty clear picture of Patti, and she has one of those faces I was itching to paint. There is no way I could portray her hair as wild as it really is, but I had fun trying.

My description of Patti is what you see, is what you get. Always a lot of fun. Bold. Cool. Interesting. Thoughtful.

Patti's a professional artist who normally leans toward abstract, but she's a strong portrait painter, too. Check out her web site: www.pchisholmstudio.com to see her work.

One comment that perhaps I should leave out is that when I put my painting of her up on the wall, I realized I'd painted her on a slightly smaller scale than the rest of my faces. I'd been influenced (my guess) by painting little Bailey the day before. Except, I like this painting of Patti and its composition just the way it is.

You can check out all of my faces and more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project on earlier posts and on my web site, 100 Faces in 100 Days Project Page.

"Patti Chisholm", Face #17, oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bailey Was Here: My Youngest Face is #16

"Sweet Bailey" is Face #16. The cloth flowers on her head were only there sometimes.
Whew! It worked.
Bailey and her mom came to sit for me today. Bailey's all of six-and-a-half months' old and is as cute as you see here ... or even cuter. I took over 100 photos today but painted only from life. No touchups here or there. The photos were just because Bailey looked so darn cute no matter where she was or what she was doing. It's amazing how big a space looks when a munchkin is sitting in it.

I was thinking before Bailey and mom showed up how large I wanted her face to be on the canvas. Did I want to scale her down so you had some sense for her littleness or did I want to zoom in and give you a closer look at her Bailey-ness? What happens is the size/scale just suggests itself ... and once put down you can't imagine it any other way.

Bailey and her mom check out progress. Note the flowers had fallen off.
Just to give you a picture of the process ... you can't direct a baby to sit any particular way. Mom held her and when I wanted her head to look up, toys would go a bit higher. Bailey's mouth was only visible sometimes. She was happy to be chewing on toys, mom's hand or sucking on her binky. Her head would turn, look up, look down (all of her face would disappear).  If I couldn't see her mouth, I couldn't see her chin and her cheeks would change shape. Mom stuck flowers on her head with "booger tape" (I think that's what she called it) and that would last for a little while and then fall off. So I painted them when they were on and painted other parts when they were available/visible. A "go with the flow" painting. I loved every minute of it.

I could have painted Bailey a thousand different ways.  It was hard to pick just one.

Modeling's hard work. I'm pooped.
As this painting progressed, I just found myself smiling at the painted Bailey. There's no way not to. (Try it.) This painting just makes me happy.

Bailey's mom is someone I love and the two of us were looking forward to just spending time together and enjoying ourselves. Which we did. She's unbelievable with kids ... and has always wanted them but had to wait a good long while before that happened. Seeing her as a mom is beautiful ... and she has two lucky daughters.


Bailey is an extraordinarily happy and peaceful baby. Supposedly, according to her mom, she was a little crankier than normal. We both agreed that if that was cranky, mom didn't have much to complain about.

I was so glad this worked. You never know. No angst. Just happy, peaceful, easygoing painting of a beautiful baby. Yea!

I will be painting Bailey's sister and mom and potentially her dad. (This will be news to him.) In my call for volunteers, I've had many families, many couples come forward. I'll have to ask  permission before posting some copies of emails that I've been sent ... but the reactions have been unbelievably positive ... and it's fun for people to share this experience with a spouse.

I did get a great email from Judith St. Ledger-Roty (Face #15) who has more than forgiven me for holding her hostage all day. She enjoyed it ... a lot!

So, now I need to regroup. Get ready for tomorrow's portrait class. Take care of some art business. Have dinner. All that stuff.

And pictures of Bailey will be dancing around in my head. Beautiful day.

Read more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project in earlier posts (every day since January 1) and two posts about the planning stages in late December ... and on my web site which I just updated tonight. On my 100 Faces in 100 Days project page, each of my first 16 sitters paintings is there along with a link back to their respective blog posts. Cool.

"Sweet Bailey", Face #16, oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Judith St. Ledger-Roty is Face #15: Perseverance Is Theme of The Day

"Judith St. Ledger-Roty", Face #15 ... FINALLY
While we decided to keep the length of today's sitting a secret, let's just say that today's painting didn't paint itself. My sitter: friend, fellow artist, former studiomate Judith St. Ledger-Roty did her part and then some. No problem there. I felt like I had some serious momentum going leading up to today being really pleased with the way each alla prima portrait sketch was turning out. Yet today was all about drawing issues and color issues and paintbrush issues.

My painting wasn't dreadful but it looked like a whole different person than Judith. I'd occasionally catch glimpses of Judith ... only to see them disappear. Judith was kind enough to tell me to take as long as I needed ... and she meant it.

At one point I said that this looks absolutely nothing like you and she came over to the easel and agreed with me. (Just the truth.) Then she carried it into the bathroom so we could look at her and the painting in the mirror. We were thinking it might be my first do-over, because there just seemed to be so much wrong with it. I still wanted to stick it out ... and one of the main problems I saw in the mirror was the relative height of her forehead. So that was fix-it job one. Judith also suggested we both be quiet and let me concentrate. (I was excited about having her sit to catch up on all she's learning and experience in her part-time program at Studio Incamminati -- so we'd done a lot of talking.)

I worked more. Things were improving. We returned to the mirror. Better, but I noted other changes I needed to make.

Judith is fair-skinned and that is an important part of making her look like her. She doesn't have an ounce of fat on her which makes her cheekbones stand out and I had recurring chin problems.

I moved her mouth four times.

Rough day at the office ... but still goodhearted fun and somehow I chose exactly the right person to share a rough day with. She couldn't have been more patient and helpful.

I admire Judith greatly. She's dedicated to becoming the best artist she can be. Four months ago she enrolled in Studio Incamminati's part-time atelier program, traveling to Philadelphia for what began as two days a week and immediately turned into four days a week ... to study art all day, year round, for three to seven years. In this program, students draw in charcoal for an entire year ... no painting and you return to square one in skills. Like starting to draw a sphere. They rebuild the skills from there.

So, to go from painting, having taken countless classes and workshops to starting in order to get better is an incredible, and admirable commitment. At the end of our marathon sitting session, Judith showed me some of her drawings on her iPhone and they were markedly better than any I had seen her create pre-Studio Incamminati. She can feel herself learning and is having a lot of a-ha moments. She is drawing from the model three days a week and drawing the still life one day a week ... and loving it.

I guess the patience that's being required of her at Studio Incamminati made sitting for me not quite so taxing. She knows how difficult the road is to get it right and she helped me along it today.

Today, I painted at the Artists' Atelier and so was lugging stuff there from my home studio. I forgot my cell phone, my purse, the card for my camera so I could take photos, and my brushes. So, no extra photos from my painting session. Just as well, considering the trauma of it. Tough day.

In the end it turned out just fine. This is Judith.

And, tomorrow I may have my biggest challenge so far with a very young model. Please cross your fingers for me.

"Judith St. Ledger-Roty", Face #15 of 100, oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meet Face #14: Anne Guerin

"Anne Guerin", Face #14 of 100, 12"h x 12"w, oil on panel, Jill Banks 2011
Anne's a new student of mine -- in my portrait painting and drawing class I teach on Mondays. So, today we were getting to know each other, plus examining the process and  taking a look at my drawings and paintings spread out throughout the house... as well as putting face #14 on canvas (panel).

What I gather is that Anne's a strong, determined, hard-working soul. Born in Paris, she's participated in full and partial marathons and climbed Mont Blanc. Anne's just beginning her journey in art, but I have a sneaking suspicion that her other journeys up mountains and on the road will come to her aid.

I'm asked often ... as I was today ... about recommendations for training. i.e., should students take multiple classes at one time, what programs are good, should they work with multiple instructors, etc. I base my answers on my own experiences and the experience level of the particular student.  While I studied for many years with two primary teachers/mentors, I had a problem when I studied with two different ones simultaneously when I was first starting out. Reason: I hadn't yet adopted an approach to painting and those two competing approaches just left me confused because I didn't know how to pick and choose among the lessons taught by each. Later, I felt ready to study under multiple instructors and to cull guidance and advice that I wanted to apply. Since then, I have chosen instructors/classes/workshops specifically for what I desired to learn from them. Multiple classes by the same instructor, even in different genres are great, particularly if you need the motivation to paint (or draw, or sculpt, etc.).

An interesting coincidence is that Anne recently retired from running her own business for 30 years to turn to other pursuits ... as I did in 2001 after running a business for 16 years. Turns out her business started as Mothers' Aides. They helped place a wonderful sitter for my daughter Sarah when I first started my business in 1985. We figured that Anne is probably who I talked to, to find out the right person to come stay with Sarah at my workplace for her first year and a half. Small world.

Tomorrow I'm painting former fellow studiomate Judith St. Ledger-Roty, who has been studying in a part-time Atelier program at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. Studio Incamminati was founded by Nelson Shanks ... and I took two summer 2-week long workshops there early in my painting training in 2004 and 2005. These workshops were instrumental in kicking my training and painting into full gear. (They are bootcamps for artists, and my lack of habits and newbie-ness was perfect for learning new skills.) Anyway, I'm anxious to hear all about her experiences.

I need to work on scheduling for next week with volunteers needed for Tuesday afternoon (2pm or after for three to four hours) and Saturday and Sunday (January 22 and 23, flexible times). I'll look to filling those slots with volunteers who already said they'd be willing to sit ... but let me know if you want to be the one for those spots. (Send me an email.) Unsure what this is all about? Look at earlier posts or my web site.

I'm a little less peppy today. Yesterday was a bit too jam-packed. I like a happy medium.

See you tomorrow!

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oscar Haynes is Face #13

"Oscar Haynes", Face #13 (of 100), 12"h x 12"w, by Jill Banks 2011
Oscar Haynes, the soon-to-be 95 year old super model who agreed to pose for my Portrait class last session ... also agreed (happily) to be one of my volunteer faces for my 100 Faces in 100 Days project. Oscar's wife, Joan Bell-Haynes  (Face #12) posed for me yesterday.

My Dad escorted Oscar to and from my home studio ... and we had a wonderful time between that to and from.

I enjoyed stories of Oscar being conscripted into the Air Force in 1941 on July 3; going home for the July 4th holiday; and getting assigned KP duty for unknowingly going AWOL.  Remarkable stories of his work in marketing and in and for the church. He talked about saying "Now, can't we just work together ... " and I just can't imagine anyone turning him down. He is a visionary, seeing what could be who evidently also knew how to make what could be ... happen. All of what he accomplished would be remarkable at any time, but when he did so, make it more extraordinary. He constantly strove to be better and better. To be the best.

Oscar Haynes checking out the newly finished painting of his Face #13.
With all that, what's most important to those who meet and love Oscar is his extraordinary kindness. The gentleness of his spirit. His sheer happiness at being alive. A beautiful attitude.

His motto: "My attitude is gratitude."

Pretty great lesson.

Fun day!

"Oscar Haynes", Face #13 in my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project, oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.

Check out more about my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project in earlier posts and on my web site.

I went tonight to the Art League (in Alexandria, VA) for the awards reception for the All-Media Membership Exhibit. I received an Honorable Mention for "Sunflowers in My Studio."

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Joan Bell-Haynes is Face #12

"Joan Bell-Haynes" Sat for Me Today, Face #12 of 100.
First comment ... my Internet is down, thus email is down. So, I'll be slow on replies and it'll be trickier to post for a day and a half.

Joan Bell-Haynes, Face #12
I spent a wonderful morning and early afternoon today with Joan Bell-Haynes. Joan is my parents' pastor and also the wife of Oscar (the famous model from last Fall's portrait class and my model for tomorrow's face).  Both are beautiful people and it was most enjoyable to just "meet" Joan as Joan ... versus Joan as wife and pastor.

We don't have "isn't the weather blustery outside" conversations. There's a lot to learn, understand ... a lot of common ground, both ways. Perhaps sometimes we don't think that someone else is interested in what we have to say, or we're never in the right time/place to be ourselves and share what's important to us. But, when we're open to listening and revealing what we're about, it's just easy, comfortable and helpful!

I took this shot in the mirror. (Backwards and there's a streak. Oops.)
I'm having these conversations while painting and I never want to stop either. Today was certainly no exception. What's being revealed isn't what my sitter looks like but who they are. While I care whether two eyes are aligned and a likeness exists, these "Faces" are far more in tune with the person's soul than surface.

In Joan, I felt, saw, heard her spirit. She is wise and full of love.

These "Faces" aren't snapshots of people. These "Faces" are who they are as seen through someone else's eyes.

I think that's what is surprising when each one of my sitters sees his or her painting. They are used to seeing a photograph and just accept that the camera (or the mirror) must be an accurate reflection of what they "look" like to someone else. But, I don't think that's true. (At least I hope not, in my own case -- since photos of me look pretty dreadful.) I know that this painting of Joan looks like her to me in a way a photo never could.

My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project
While we were together for a bit longer, this sitting was probably three-and-a-half to four hours long. (They aren't getting shorter.) To find out more about my project, read earlier posts on my blog ... each day from January 1 to today and the two posts in late December when I revealed my 2011 plans. Or go to my web site to my 100 Faces in 100 Days project page. I'll be updating that ... again ... when Verizon gets our Internet back in business. Sitters volunteer to come sit for me from anywhere to two-and-a-half to four hours ... to help me out, enjoy and learn about the process and be part of a project that I envision as a future exhibit and book about the project ... featuring them.

Tomorrow's "Face" is Oscar and I will get a post up on his sitting ... somehow ... tomorrow night.

I'm actually overloaded with technical issues at the moment. Boo hiss.

"Joan", Face #12 in my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project, oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Face #11 is Dad! Great Day Today

Today was the first day of my Still Life class ... more on that later.

"Dad" is Face #11. Yea!
Today was also my Dad's day to sit for my 100 Faces in 100 Days project ... and I wouldn't trade in today's four hours for the world. Sometimes, you realize (or recognize) just how lucky you are. I know it always, but it comes right smack dab and hits you over the head other times. Like today.

I heard some stories I hadn't heard before and some I had that were fun to hear again. Our conversation crossed all paths, wound around, filled the space with good cheer and laughter. We rarely get a chance to just spend time like that together. One on one. Today was one of those memories I'll hold onto for a lifetime.

My painting of Dad is just like Dad. He's wearing his Swedish hat and his head is cocked and thoughtful. He's always telling me that someone else has an interesting face to paint ... or that someone else would be more interesting to paint than him. So he's not wise in this one area.

Looks are deceiving here. My painting is only 12"h x 12"w
I showed it to him in a number of stages, and just like the rest of my sitters, he was surprised to recognize himself on canvas. He really liked it, and was wondering if that was an okay reaction. That's a great reaction. How sad for me if someone didn't like my painting of them.

My paintings express just what I like (or love) about the people in front of me.

So, at the end of today with freezing rain and snow falling outside the studio, I had a hard time leaving my wall of faces behind. (I bet Dad likes it because he gets to share the row with Mom.) It's getting somehow more powerful by the day.

Day #11. Face #11. "Dad" (Ken Johnson), oil on Raphael linen-lined board, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011.






Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
100 Faces in 100 Days Project: www.jillbanks.com/jillbanks/100_Faces_in_100_Days_Project.html
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435