Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Kensington Gardens" Drawing from London ... And 100 Faces

"Kensington Gardens," ink wash/pen&ink/pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Last Day in London Revisited
I've got to be quick ... since there's still loads to do tonight. But here is the drawing I did the last day in London (on Sunday) after spending a great time exploring the Wallace House collection. I wish the fountains had been on ... but it was an awfully beautiful place nonetheless.

I sat next to three women (a mom and her two grown daughters) and they were fun folks to share a bench with. I was drawing the scenery, but I wanted to concentrate on them. I did get permission to photograph them to create a painting of them sooner or later. They were a bit reluctant at first, but warmed to the idea. When I do get around to it, I'll look at the photos but think about hearing their voices and laughter right next to me.

Me with 27 of the 100 Faces. Imagine being surrounded by all of them!
Lots and Lots of Faces
I've been working on getting my act together for hanging the 100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibit next week. This is one complicated undertaking. This 100 business makes each task take SOOO much longer. On the plate today was working on painting edges I'd neglected, practicing my talk for tomorrow at the McLean Community Center, and pulling together info and photos for the press. Photos of individual paintings (faces) from my project don't really convey the scope of it. So here's an attempt of giving a clearer picture of what it's about. Sort of. I'm using different photos for my press releases but here's one ... just for you. You can read all about the project ... one face/person at a time on this blog ... posts from January 1 to April 10.

100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm

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, April 27, 2011

Classes, A Workshop, A Talk ... And More

 I just got back in town on Monday (from a two-week trip to London) and there are lots of preparations and stuff going on in the Banks household... getting ready for this Friday's talk, the start of classes at the beginning of next week (May 2 & May 3) and hanging the 100 Faces in 100 Days exhibit at the Great Falls Library on May 3. A bit nerve-wracking.

Talk on "Building and Engaging Your Art Clan" on Friday, April 28
I'll be talking on "Building and Engaging Your Art Clan" this Friday, April 28 from 10:45 to Noon at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Drive, McLean, VA. The talk is sponsored by the McLean Arts Society and is free and open to the public.

Also, check out info on classes I'm teaching through the Great Falls School of Art. It's getting down to the wire to sign up... please email me if you're sending in your registration and check. Go to my web site: www.jillbanks.com and click on my Classes page for more info, links to supply lists and info on registration. I give a demo the first day of class. Continuing students can choose to watch the demo or paint. For new students, that gives you one more week to gather your supplies.


Portrait Painting and Drawing 
"John," oil on linen, 40"h x 30"w, private collection
This course covers the basic elements of painting and drawing the portrait: composition, mood, gesture, form, structure and features. Emphasis is placed on creating sound and compelling paintings (or drawings) as well as achieving a likeness. Beginning students will work in grisaille or charcoal – concentrating on accurate values and form. Intermediate and more advanced students will learn how to paint beautiful skin tones through color studies and to place the figure in space. For information on the instructor, see Jill’s blog at http://jillbanks.blogspot.com or www.jillbanks.com. Model fees are extra and are to be paid directly to the instructor the first day of class.  For real beginners (new to oil painting or with limited drawing experience), I suggest taking my still life painting class for a few sessions before taking this class.

8 Class Sessions - Mondays, May. 2 - June 20, 10:00am-1:00pm  $280 plus
model fee (model fee to be paid directly to the instructor)

Still Life Painting in Oils
"Sunflowers and Gladioli," 30"h x 24"w, by Jill Banks
Still life provides a great tool to hone skills. Students of all levels welcome.  Beginners will learn the fundamentals including laying in lights/darks (grisaille), color, materials and form.  More advanced students will apply skills to increasingly complex subject matter (metals, textures, water, flowers), refine color and produce finished paintings, learn to see as artists, simplify forms into abstract shapes and how to construct compositions. Some classes will concentrate on drills/exercises to get at the essence of single objects and loosen brushstrokes and style. Want to learn something in specific? Email me at jillbanks1@aol.com and we’ll work that into the instruction. Information on the instructor can be found at www.jillbanks.com and on her blog at http://jillbanks.blogspot.com.

8 Class Sessions - Tuesdays, May 3 - June 21, 10:00am-1:00pm
$280 plus materials fee (materials fee paid directly to instructor)

WORKSHOP
Mastering the Business of Art 
"Dining Alfresco" on cover, April 2011
Creating a successful art career requires more than just creating appealing art.  This two-part workshop covers the fundamentals of planning and establishing a career as a professional artist.  Topics include goal setting, studio setup, purchasing supplies, pricing your work, exhibiting and selling, grants, marketing, social media and more!  Jill began art classes in 2003 and has successfully built a rewarding art career through sales, commissions, awards, a grant, gallery representation and teaching.  This popular class is held once a year.  Do not miss this opportunity!  For more information on Jill visit www.jillbanks.com.
Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26, 6:30-9:30pm
$100 plus $20 booklet fee (booklet fee paid directly to instructor)

School Address for classes and workshops: 1144 Walker Road, Suite D, Great Falls, VA 22066
To register, complete the registration form (you can download all the course listings and registration form at www.greatfallsfoundationforarts.org or print the registration form on my site and mail with full payment to: Terri Parent, Great Falls Foundation for the Arts, Inc., 1144 Walker Road, Suite D, Great Falls, VA 22066. Questions? Contact school registrar Terri Parent, 703-433-5358 or parent.terri@gmail.com

I have a few more drawings from London to show you ... sometime soon. I'm hoping to paint again on Friday afternoon! Can't wait!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Day of Drawing: The British Museum and Regent's Park

Two quick posts. I've written enough lately.

"Elgin Marble Horse," graphite on Italian paper, copyright Jill Banks 2011
This morning was spent drawing at the British Museum ... where we made a beeline for the controversial Elgin Marbles, saved from the ruins of the Parthenon. It seemed like Ancient Greece visited London and has been staying awhile. I went for a cushy, wonderful chair (the only one in sight) to sit in and draw. Talk about being in a coveted position. Given how creaky my bones were from sitting on the ground at Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and near Parliament, I was staying put. No offers to give up my post were forthcoming. Heaven.

I also visited a wonderful art supply store ... L. Cornelissen, around the corner from the British Museum. Nancy Keane had given me the well-appreciated hint. With bottles full of pure pigment and painters' potions everywhere, it was a whole lot of fun. I actually bought some stuff. That's an endorsement.

"Regent's Park," watercolor/ink/pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011
The afternoon was spent at Regent's Park on a drawing exposition. What a gorgeous place. All these parks are unbelievable. I can't imagine the crew that designs, plants, maintains these spots. Walking through them makes me feel joyful. I wonder how these parks affect the psyche of Londoners. Sure seems like they enjoy them.

I'm anxious to return to color. I've enjoyed my drawing days but feel a bit like my hands are tied behind my back. What colors there are around here make a major impact ... perhaps because there's a lion's share dose of gray. The gardens were dotted with colors... chartreuse, deep purples, yellow dots, dark green spires. It'd be nice to show you. Bet that comes with time.

 Drawing time was cut short by our first encounter with rain on an almost two-week trip. Who would have thought?

It's almost time to head home.

Happy Easter!

And coming any minute (or so it seems)...

100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Even though I’m out of town, please mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm


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

Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now... Classes Start Beginning of May!
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Visiting London: Royal Treats and John Singer Sargent "Land"


"St. James's Park Pelicans," watercolor wash, pen&ink, pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Two days worth of London on this entry… and all I can give are the highlights. Big, full, great days!

Hand painted fan in the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
Yesterday was Day Royal. Our morning tour was of the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace that featured a Dutch Landscape show then a rotating regular exhibit in two main salons which were beautiful. This was the first time that the furnishings and furniture truly held a candle for me to the paintings and sculptures. They were absolutely amazing. But it was the extras … like a handpainted, exquisite fan … that shocked me.

The afternoon was “free” and a few of us, led by Rob, headed off to draw in St. James’s Gardens adjacent to Buckingham Palace. An observation: everyone in London heads for their gorgeous gardens to enjoy all parts of their days … week long. This was my first time exploring the St. James’s Gardens … and what an extraordinary treat. Beautiful flowers and birds, ducks, swans, pelicans … birds I’d never seen. Plants I’ve never seen. People enjoying the day … their style … everywhere. At the very end, with a duck caretaker’s house as a backdrop, we set up to draw.

I wasn’t expecting pelicans and these took on all sorts of poses for me. I chose the tame ones I thought would last.  This super landscape format was fun and the subject was perfect. The standouts on this visit for me have been the parks (with people), the window boxes and flowers (all healthy and creatively arranged) and a sense of place/people. I’ve got more thinking to do about the last one…

At 5pm, we went on a tour of Buckingham Palace State Rooms. Unbelievable interiors … as you’d expect … with cascading chandeliers, intricate mouldings, fancy furniture, and absolutely incredible art. King George IV, according to our tour guide, was the great collector in the family. The absolute highlight among extraordinary works by Peter Paul Rubens, Canaletto, a Vermeer, Guido Reni, Canova and more … was the very finest Rembrandt I’ve ever set eyes on.  My favorite: Rembrandt's painting of "Agatha Bas" painted in 1641. It was tough to pull our group from the main gallery hall to go see the music room or more portraits of the royal family.  We weren’t able to tour the ballroom. Something about a royal wedding coming up next week…

Walking in John Singer Sargent's Footsteps

And now for today.

"Coventy Patmore" by John Singer Sargent
We spent the morning at the National Portrait Gallery, concentrating on the John Singer Sargent portraits. I loved his portrait of Henry James and Coventry Patmore. I'm beginning to like the head and shoulders, more intimate portraits to life-sized or larger-than-life versions. I want to see the person's face and I can't do that if they're towering above me. I also saw incredible portraits by artists I wasn’t aware of before. Always happens. What I walked away with from this morning is how deeply intrigued I am with capturing people/humanity on canvas. I’m always a bit afraid of going too far in that direction, because I like to be able to paint according to my own muse. As soon as you’re painting real people, they tend to care about how they are portrayed. That’s not as much fun. I also came away with the thought that all of these individuals seemed a bit lonely. My people will have to have people.

I wasn't allowed to take photos in the National Portrait Gallery ... or there'd be some. See the National Portrait Gallery's site for a better pic.

Part of the gang in Julian Barrow's studio. Thank you for the wonderful hospitality!
For our major treat, this afternoon we were able to visit Julian Barrow’s studio at 33 Tite Street … one  floor up from John Singer Sargent’s London studio. Sargent had also painted in the space we visited.  What a great place to paint, despite an abundance of stairs. Julian and his wife graciously allowed our enthusiastic group to visit and enjoy … plus fed us cucumber sandwiches to boot. We were happy campers.

"Parliament," watercolor wash, pen&ink and pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011


Back to Parliament
Afterwards, Randy and I returned to Parliament’s grounds to get a chance to finish up my drawing from a few days ago. The light was fleeting but I think I got it. Some adjustments to come… maybe.

Tonight we splurged on a fantastic dinner in the Portrait Gallery Restaurant that is open late on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It has the perfect view of the city. Wow! I bet a painting or two develops from tonight. Did I say, “wow”?


And coming up as soon as I get home (yikes!)...


100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Even though I’m out of town, please mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm




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

Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now... Classes Start Beginning of May!
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Today at the National Gallery and Tower Bridge

We drew at Tower Bridge this afternoon. Here's mine. Watercolor and ink pen and pencil.
Today was a jam-packed tour of the National Gallery in London. The museum is overwhelming with the best of everything. We really saw the "tip of the iceberg." Gorgeous tip, though it was.

I do want to create a copy of something. I left Rome last year assuming I'd paint a copy of a Caravaggio because there is so much to learn there. Today we saw for the second time, Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus" ... and that just might be the one. But there was also a gorgeous ... and touching ... self-portrait by Rembrandt "Self Portrait at 63: that is tempting. It's not like I want to copy everything I see. I've only done a few copies that I can think of ... and it seems right to be selective. It's a learning tool and time-consuming. An exercise to make the most of.

After a full day at the National Gallery, a group of us took a trip to Tower Hill to draw Tower Bridge. By the way, this is NOT the London Bridge. I thought it was ... a myth I share with all Americans according to the tour guides. London Bridge is a nondescript, unmemorable ... bridge close to Tower Bridge. Lesson for today.

"Supper at Emmaus" by Caravaggio, National Gallery at London
With my paid-for internet moments dwindling ... I'll post this and perhaps (albeit unlikely) come back to it. (After Randy checks his email.) It's been a very, very full day. My head's overflowing with images and inspiration.


100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Even though I’m out of town, please mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm

I hope to be blogging regularly during my stay here. See what's new. Hopefully 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

Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now... Classes Start Beginning of May!
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Day at the Tate Britain


Rob Liberace discussing Sargent's "Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose"
Today was the official start of our art historical trip … with the morning spent at the Tate Britain and afternoon enjoying a close-up view in the Tate’s Print & Drawing Room. Highlights of the day were seeing John Singer Sargent’s (1856-1925) “Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose" next to Sargent's “Claude Monet Painting By the Edge of a Wood." I'm taking an art historical workshop with Robert Liberace as our artist guide. Rob explained how both paintings showed a departure from Sargent's more traditional approach. He took on some of what he learned from the Impressionists about peering into shadows for color rather than dipping into his traditional tools of black … and see what’s there. He also approached the “Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose” canvas in five minute stints per day … over two years’ time. He held to painting according to the tenets of the Impressionists working in plein air, with the subject right in front of him … and not relying on his memory or the comfort of the studio. Considering this is a massive canvas, with young models, with light that appears and fades within moments … Sargent had taken on quite a feat. Successfully. We also saw Sargent’s painting “Ellen Tracy” of a well-known actress. I’ve admired that one for some time and want to capture some of that drama someday in one of mine. Actually, perhaps I have. Not all, but part. There are lessons here.

John Singer Sargent's "Claude Monet Painting By the Edge Of A Wood" at Tate Britain
We also took a good look at paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites, particularly John William Waterhouse (1849-1917). These are dreamy and detailed. (Too much so for me.) But exquisite. Every detail was carefully and beautifully rendered. Rob explained that the Pre-Raphaelites were inspired by Raphael’s predecessors, particularly Botticelli. I could see that.

We looked at lots of JMW Turner paintings and drawings, too… moving into the Romantic Period (around 1800) … but the real treat was in the Print and Drawing room where we looked at many of his watercolor studies for oil paintings. We saw watercolors he’d developed as guides for etchings to be used in travel guides. Best of all, we saw one of Turner’s many sketchbooks donated to the Tate upon his death. Nothing like that. What a treasure.

JMW Turner's Sketchbook: right there. Amazing!
I did two drawings yesterday that probably aren’t ready for prime time … but Randy and I enjoyed visiting the Courtauld Museum and the Somerset House. A beautiful place. I’m gaining a whole new “vocabulary” of British painters. Funny how I have to gain this knowledge a bit at a time. I never took Art History in college. Guess I was a chicken. I sure love learning it now as I can look at the work relative to contemporaries and just through my own understanding of painting.

Today I created two more sketches … totally different than one another. The first was done in a very short stretch of time while I waited for my group’s turn in the Print & Drawing room … so this is done outside the Tate Britain in ink brush and ink pen.

"Waiting Outside The Tate," pencil, ink brush and pen, copyright Jill Banks 2011
My second drawing of the day is a start at capturing “Parliament” in watercolor wash and pencil. This isn’t easy but I will return to it as soon as I can. It has potential … but like Sargent, I had temporary, changing light to reckon with.

I’m now paying for Internet service. I’m buying it in 24 hour stretches … then some time away … etc. Hopefully, I’ll post again tomorrow.


By the way, my drawings are not on blue paper.  Just weird photos ... so excuse them ... think positively and see them in person sometime.

"Parliament" work in progress, watercolor and ink, copyright Jill Banks 2011
100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Even though I’m out of town, please mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm

I hope to be blogging regularly during my stay here. See what's new. Hopefully 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

Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now... Classes Start Beginning of May!
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Search of Inspiration: London Style


Well, I’ve had a week off from blogging and it’s time for me to get back to it.

"Buckingham Palace Fountain," watercolor/ink/pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Randy and I are in London and have been since Wednesday am, April13. I’m here recovering (slowly) from the pace of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project (read all about it on my blog entries from January 1 through April 10 or on my web site’s 100 Faces Project pages), looking for inspiration for when I resume painting in the next week or two, drawing around London, and about to start the art historical workshop part of our trip. The workshop portion is led by Rob Liberace who is guiding our exploration of the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace – to name a few.

Facing A Turning Point
My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project was tremendous in so many ways, and I had a clearcut direction and driving force for 100 consecutive days as one person after another entered my studio to share words about themselves and let me paint them while we talked. The schedule was demanding and difficult … but decision-making was simple. I knew what I was to paint every single day. I knew what I would blog about. (My sitters and their sittings.)

Not so right now. What am I going to paint when I get back to my studio? Hmmm.

My stuff, right outside the gate to Buckingham Palace.
This trip to London is meant to inspire me and send me home running to my paintbrushes. Ready for the paint to fly. I hope it does that.

What you’ll see on my blog posts will be different than what you read while I’m away. I draw, in a variety of media, on trips. No oil painting. Trips mean change. I need to do something different than normal … to shake things (me) up. While I’m thinking about what lays ahead, I draw the place around me. Usually focused on architecture vs. people. Again. Different.

Success Breeds Uncertainty
Working (very) hard for 100 days straight, wanting to make the most of the skills and knowledge acquired in the process, and realizing that it will be exceedingly difficult to be better than I was on April 10 (Day 100) at painting alla prima (painted all at once, in one sitting) portraits – are all factors that make moving on from here pretty daunting. My expectations for myself are great. I’d say there are some of you out there who’ve set a high bar for me, too. I want to live up to great standards and continuously improve. I need to apply what I’ve learned in these 100 Days to whatever I paint so all that effort doesn’t go to waste. There’s work to be done.

I arrived at painting 100 Faces in 100 Days by looking at what I was really driven to paint. What made me happiest. That answer was certain then. Painting people when they were right in front of me. I’ve got to do the same soul-searching now but maybe ask some different questions. I’m concerned with both the process and the result. When Randy asks me what I’m going to do next, my answer is I just don’t know. But I’ve got to figure out a way to sort it out. I’m percolating.

So, What Have I Been Doing in London?
Wednesday: Arrived in the am. Checked into the beautiful Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel where we were staying for four nights before moving to the hotel for the workshop group. Went to the Antoine Watteau (French, 1684-1721) retrospective drawing exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts. Watteau was a master at chalk drawings (red chalk, red & white chalk, three-color chalk). The exhibit made me wish I’d brought treated paper so I could do chalk drawings. I’m easy to sway.  A really beautiful exhibit I almost fell asleep at. We were trying to stay awake so we’d have an easier night’s sleep. Instead, we overdid it. To make full use of our all day’s pass on the tunnels and buses, Randy and I took a roundtrip tour on one of the bus routes to sightsee around town. We ended up getting back to our hotel and to bed about 1am. Long, long day.

Drawing #1: "White Tower @ Tower of London," wc/ink/pencil, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Thursday: We were late for breakfast in our hotel. We didn’t have a single device that told us the proper time. Every single “electronic” gave us a different hour. Actually, this has been a problem our entire stay so far.  We don’t wear watches. Our cell phones don’t work. My laptop’s confused. We ate and caused as little trouble as possible in the bar. Kept the chefs and waiter after.  Then we headed to the Borough Market that’s open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It was wonderful!!! (Except I’m still dragging and my eyes are barely open. Randy doesn’t look much better.) We started a two-day bus tour with the Big Bus Tour Company, too … so our trips around town were on the second story … so part of our getting acclimated occurred Thursday afternoon.

Friday: Lots more Big Bus … riding around town. My highlight for the day was seeing Harrod’s. Wow!!! Sort of Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and Walt Disney meets the department store. I went nuts photographing the food markets. Inspiration started really hitting me over the head. I have to do something with this. Somehow.

Saturday: A very long stroll down Portobello Market … that I loved. Minus the blisters and funny walk I’ve now adopted after too much treading. Unbelievable. I now pick where to eat based on whether or not it has a loo. I’d prefer the street food but a necessity is a necessity. We also toured the Tower of London. What a fascinating place this is … London. I finally had the opportunity … and took it … to sit down and draw. Drawing #1 from London is “White Tower @ Tower of London” done in watercolor wash, ink and pencil. Drawn sitting in the courtyard.

Sunday/Today: We changed hotels meaning Randy and I rolled our suitcases from Mayfair in the direction of Westminster/Victoria Station. Across Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace. That’s where I stopped to sit and draw while Randy checked us into the our new home away from home. This is the fountain that sits dry for now. Not a problem. There was enough going on that I didn’t need to also contend with water. This one took awhile. My guess: three hours. The temperature dropped. Frozen artist.

It's been awhile since I've drawn. I'm rusty but working at it. And thinking of things to come...

Wish me luck on the inspiration business...

100 Faces in 100 Days Exhibits
Even though I’m out of town, please mark your calendars for the 100 Faces exhibit events. All 100 faces will be on view two times this Spring/Summer. These will be WONDERFUL, not to be missed exhibits. Come see everyone!
May 3-31 at the Great Falls Library, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Saturday, May 7, 2:30-5:30pm
Demo/Artist’s Talk: Saturday, May 21, 2-5pm

August at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
Reception: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm
Ice Cream Social: Saturday, August 13, 2-4pm

I hope to be blogging regularly during my stay here. See what's new. Hopefully 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



Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now... Classes Start Beginning of May!
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reston Founder Robert (Bob) Simon Is Face #100: Happy Birthday, Bob!

"Reston Founder Robert (Bob) Simon: Face #100," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
It was my privilege to paint Reston, Virginia's founder Bob Simon as Face #100 of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project! Today, April 10 is the 100th day of 2011 and Bob's 97th birthday... and the day I successfully completed one of my resolutions of what I will do in 2011. Painting this very nice 100th face means a resolution met. (I started this project on January 1 this year.)

I have to tell you about Bob's visit.

I generally think that my parents are the busiest people on the planet. (Mom (Face #8) and Dad (Face #11) are Shonnie and Ken Johnson.) Whenever they give me some of their calendar info, my head starts to hurt. Bob Simon's schedule is even crazier from what I can tell.

Bob Simon agreed to become Face #100 even though he had a completely jam-packed schedule ... with his birthday and Founder's Day activities in his honor. That's amazing and very much appreciated! My mom and dad brought Bob to my home studio (in Reston, VA) and hung out with husband Randy upstairs during the one hour and fifteen minute window that I had to paint him. I would have loved to have had more time to spend with this beautiful man ... but it was one of the best hour and fifteen minutes ever.

We managed to have a relaxed, interesting discussion about places, Reston, Paris, Florence, architecture, family, restaurants and food, plazas, my art training, and art. Bob opened my eyes in many ways. In such a short time. He looks at places so differently from me. He pays attention to how people interact with their environment. I never thought about that. He evaluates urban spots on their impact on people. Are there places to gather?

Bob Simon, Me (Jill Banks) and "Face #100" ... Just painted!
With all his accomplishments and accolades, he was sincerely interested in finding out about me. I showed him the painting often during his sitting ... even once when I was only about five to ten minutes in. He saw himself! (That amazed him.) I thanked Bob profusely for having a beard. I love painting beards!!! And, that beard saved the painting because I couldn't have painted him so quickly if I had to deal with a chin.

My mom came down to give me a 15-minute warning. Then a 10-minute warning. Then, five. That's when I called it a wrap (this was painted during that session, live) and Randy took on the role of photographer ... to capture, Bob Simon, Face #100 and me. I turned to Bob and told him "Thank you for coming." He turned to me and said "Thank you for being." What a beautiful thing to say!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BOB SIMON!

I'll add more thoughts later ... and get around to reflecting on this incredible journey and project. Perhaps tonight. If not ... tomorrow.

See the previous 99 Faces ... and get to know all 100 of my WONDERFUL sitters on all the posts from January 1 to today. Exhibits of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project are planned for May at the Great Falls Library with a reception on Saturday, May 7 and demonstration/talk on May 21. Another exhibit is planned for August at the Artists' Atelier with a reception and ice cream social event. I'll add more details soon. Please email me if you would like to receive an invitation.

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


Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Diane Scott Is Face #99; Happy Birthday Spencer; and a Strauss Fellowship Grant!

"Diane Scott: Face #99," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
I'm hovering around on cloud nine. (The good one.) As I approach the end of this incredibly daunting, challenging, wonderful journey ... I'm thankful for the one hundred people who volunteered to become a part of OUR project to paint 100 Faces in 100 Days. I'm proud of myself for thinking up such a challenging and perfect-for-me quest ... and following through. I've been painting 100 Faces in 100 Days. Today, Diane Scott was my 99th "Face." I started on January 1, 2011 with Dorry, Face #1. Today is the 99th day of the year. Guess what happens tomorrow...

Diane Scott is a fellow student and follower of Rob Liberace and she's been on all those art historical trips of his that Randy and I have enjoyed. She's really a beautiful spirit. And, I could listen to her voice for a million years. It's soft, gentle, soothing.

Three cool women
My last two faces have been up in the air lately. I'd planned for Diane to be Face #99 and me to be Face #100. Remaining flexible is a lesson from Art 101. Diane called me two nights ago from the Fauquier County hospital ... where she'd been hanging out the last few days. She was going to be transferred to Fairfax hospital to undergo a procedure and she wasn't certain whether she could make it today. She went through hoops (lots of them) to call me. That's dedication to this volunteer job! She's also gone on almost no sleep for the past few nights (hospitals don't make good hotel rooms), so this took a huge effort ... which is much appreciated.

We had lots of wonderful conversations. We shared funny "horror" stories of trips with our young kids though hers definitely topped mine. I loved hearing Diane talk about taking classes with Rob quite awhile ago and how she loved preparing the paper for drawings. (I love that, too ... but never would  have thought to say that.)

Diane retired from nursing two years ago and now all she wants to do is art. I get that, as does it seem, everybody else I know who really tries their hand at it. It truly is a passion that grows. And grows. And grows.

Happy Birthday Spencer!
Face #87 turned eight today! Congratulations and I hope you had a wonderful day.

Strauss Fellowship Grant
Today, Randy handed me a "fat" envelope from the Arts Council of Fairfax County, received via mail. Chances are a fat envelope's better than a skinny one. I'd applied for a Strauss Fellowship grant  in January ... to help support my 100 Faces in 100 Day project and exhibit. (I won one in 2008 and awardees are eligible after three years to reapply.) I love letters that start with "Congratulations" versus "We received a record number of outstanding entries ...". I was awarded one of eleven individual artist grants for what I believe is a fantastic project to promote the arts in Fairfax County. Thank you to the Arts Council of Fairfax County!

Face #100 is not as planned. Not mine (although I may show up very soon). It's going to be a great day. Great post. You absolutely have to come back .

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



Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sam Woodward Is Face #98 and Lots of Loose Ends

"Sam Woodward: Face #98," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Sam Woodward came to sit to become Face #98 today. Sam is the husband of one of my studiomates, fellow artist Brenda Drake (Face #54). Each sitting has an interesting rhythm and flow. Sam was working from the beginning to figure out the ground rules. What should he do/shouldn't he do. He had two Blackberries (he has a reason for having two) that he needed to keep close enough in case anything really had to be dealt with ... but he was pretty intent on being a good sitter.

Sam mentioned if he really sat for four hours today that would be the only time in his life he volunteered to sit in the same spot for that long. It seems more daunting than it really is, I think There are breaks. Time to wander around some.

For the first part of the sitting, Sam was interviewing me. Full force. He wanted to get my life story ... figure out just what kind of a person I am. Turns out Sam's worn a bunch of hats but was a clinical psychologist by education/training. My brain was being examined.

See? I did let him out of the chair.
I did suggest to Sam that the tables needed to be turned ... otherwise I'd be writing a blog post about me. That will happen soon enough.

We talked about family -- his roots and relatives. He painted a solid picture of the Woodward clan for me. We talked about work. Schooling. Art and marketing. He worked on getting me to push the boundaries toward greater success/recognition as an artist. On a different scale. I'd like to take him up on that. (I'll let you know what I come up with ... here.) Sam contributed some outstanding ideas that I'll wrap around what I do next. Thanks, Sam!

Trying to Tie Up Loose Ends -- The 100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Life's a tad bit overwhelming at the moment ... I've got to take some photos soon for a peek into the wild world around me. My husband Randy and I are trying to pull together as many loose ends as possible as the painting phase of my 100 Faces in 100 Days project nears a close. Tonight, he'll put together panel #8 of nine of my faces. Putting together a panel means stretching a leather-like, good looking dark gray vinyl over uniformly sized plywood. Attaching two velcro strips per painting to the vinyl-wrapped board and two matching strips to the back of each painting. Then he positions each painting on the large panel in three precise rows of three. Oh, and he's been painting gray gesso on the four sides of the painting so it looks more finished.

Two of the boards, 18 faces ... getting ready for the exhibits
My "details" involve finishing the fronts of the painting. As in parts where the white linen shows and detracts. (That means I have to match the color of that area of the painting.) I'm applying retouch varnish to many -- I'll get to them all -- as the color sinks and drys flat looking. The retouch varnish brings the color back to the vibrancy of wet paint. I'm also rephotographing many of the pieces so they can be used for my postcard images. Postcards are being designed and printed to advertise the two exhibits (May in the Great Falls Library and August in the Artists' Atelier) of my 100 Faces in 100 Days project ... and their related events. And, I need to check with the venues to make sure the times listed will work out fine. (They are subject to tweaking.)

Lots and lots of steps. 

I did update my web site late last night. My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project page has grown into two. The first 54 faces fit onto page one. 46 faces are being fit onto page two. You can click on each of the photos of the paintings and come to the blog post about that person and their sitting.

Anyone want to write a press release and get the word out about the project and the upcoming exhibit?

Make sure you come back to the blog for Faces 99 (tomorrow) and 100 (on Sunday). I'll be up to something!

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


Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Marie Drissel Is Face #97

"Marie Drissel: Face #97," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Marie and I know each other as fellow students at the Art League. We took regular classes together from Rob Liberace ... year round. Our chance to really get to know each other came on art historical trips ... led by Rob ... to Italy (five years ago to Florence, three years ago to Venice and last year to Rome). We've shared a lot of meals, and Marie is always the most enthusiastic (of the group) about the food and everything else. Her speech is riddled with "Awesome!"s, "Outstanding!s" and "Out of this World!s" -- at both trattorias and museums.

With all that previous together time, I was surprised at how much I learned today about Marie. What a fun day! I think I learned about the six or seven "lives" that Marie has packed into her own so far.

One of my favorite topics was about Marie as a perpetual volunteer ... something she's been doing since a little girl, going off on her own to help at a center for crippled kids. She'd get so excited to go, being uplifted by seeing kids learning to walk again or making strides. Volunteerism has been a constant in her life. She's worked on community affairs, in politics, with rescue animals, and maybe, most notably, in helping to get the Columbia Heights Education Campus, a multicultural, Washington DC public middle and high school combined with community center built and brought to life. Students must learn a second language and are encouraged to learn more from the myriad of other languages native to the student body. The high school was ranked 37th in the nation's public schools by Newsweek in 2010. It's the only public school in DC to earn a place in the top 100 list.

Marie started taking art classes five years ago at the Art League ... and is thankful for what that organization has done for her life. She's happier now than ever. (Art can do that for you.)


Marie put in her sitting time as an excellent model ... but wanted to beat traffic home to DC. I wasn't satisfied with the painting I had at the end and worked more from a photo after she left. It's not perfect (that's not the point here anyway), but there's a bit of the devilish Marie in what I ended up with. And, I swear, I always see things in photos of the paintings that bug me that seem perfectly acceptable in the painting itself.

"The Brogue," oil, 30"h x 40"w, copyright Jill Banks 2007. That's Curtis in the upper left.
One more aside. Marie's husband Curtis made it into one of my all-time favorite paintings, "The Brogue." "The Brogue" was my postcard image for my 2008 solo show "Place Settings" at the Art League. (Curtis is sipping something and shown middle left.) During Marie's sitting, I heard about the start of Curtis and Marie's romance and the great proposal. Fun stories.

There are ton more tie-ins and tales ...



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




Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm. Sign up. Be happy!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sally Simms Sat for Face #96 Today

"Sally Simms: Face #96," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Sally's a big fan and supporter of my artwork ... particularly of my portraits ... and my persistence in asking her to sit for my 100 Faces in 100 Days project finally brought her to my studio to sit. The idea of sitting in one spot for four hours made her nervous. Even though she gets to spend the time with me. Talking.

A benefit for today's sitting ... in addition to seeing her face developing on the canvas ... was my husband Randy helped her get her iPhone working again while I ate lunch and she snacked on half a pack of peanuts left over from a recent flight. (How does anyone have half a bag of peanuts left over?) She was glad to get reconnected with the world. I did notice that she's not quite as involved with her iPhone as Randy is his. Every time a question comes up when Randy and I are together, he's thoroughly researching the answer on the spot. Relentlessly. Sally ponders the answer with me instead.

Sally talked about a recent trip to Texas where she went shopping with a friend at a huge art/flea market/collectibles/antiques market. She's already doing her Christmas shopping! Her finds sound terrific. I can't imagine thinking that far ahead.

Sally with the painting. Pretty cool.
She also talked about how we just take our surroundings for granted... not paying attention to those goofy/ugly things in our house that really need to find their way someplace else. Sally had a lacy shower curtain in her master bath that had been there when she moved in (a good while ago). Suddenly she realized 1) it wasn't her, 2) it wasn't attractive, 3) she didn't need it, and 4) it had to go. Down it went ... and phew. Part of that Texas shopping trip put more of her individual tastes and ideas into that room.

Today went great, despite Sally's trepidations. Her reaction to the painting, "That's me." It really is.

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



Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gwen White Is Face #95 in the 100 Faces In 100 Days Project

"Gwen White: Face #95," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Getting very, very close... to the end of my 100 Faces in 100 Days Project. The last day will be April 10 (the 100th day of 2011). Then there will be exhibits (May and August and perhaps more) where I hope my 100 Faces -- the painted and real versions will gather.
 Fellow artist Gwen White sat for me today. Gwen and I know each other mainly because we've gone on art historical/drawing travel trips together that are led by Robert Liberace offered through the Art League. (We've been to Florence (2006), Venice (2008) and Rome (2010) together.)

Even though we've attended the same trips, we haven't spent much time talking one on one ... so this was a nice opportunity to learn more about each other.

Gwen's been going on regular workshops, travel trips and taking classes for a lot longer than me. Fun destinations and interesting adventures. She went on a watercolor workshop to the Cotswolds and brought photos to show Randy of me ... as this is one of our potential destinations ... soon. Looks pretty terrific. Who knows when Spring blossoms in England?

Gwen with part of the painting...
She mentioned a recurring theme with artists ... they worry that they are trying too many different media, too many different genres and styles. Gwen paints in watercolor, oil, mixed media and draws. While most of her work is classical, she also creates abstracts. She likes it all. I understand the issue. I love all sorts of subjects and working in different media. Focusing is tough and temporary. Going off on tangents seems constant. (But I have just painted 95 faces in a row...)

Tiredness set in today, I think, and it impaired my painting capabilities. I'm still evaluating Gwen's face ... even after working on it after she left. My photo of Gwen with a part of the painting is evidence the painting and she did not look like a pair. As usual with almost all my-not-so-sure days, Gwen was great. I just couldn't kick quite into gear. (I did skip coffee today ... )

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


Here's a Repeat: You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alessandro Gaiarin Is Face #94 in My 100 Faces in 100 Days Project

"Alessandro Gaiarin: Face #94," oil, 12"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2011
Alessandro ... what a great name! I did spend all of today's sitting session calling sixteen-year-old Alessando ... Alex, though. Just didn't know the alternative.

Alessandro was happy to sit for me except that: 1) he wished the sitting time wasn't so early (he likes to sleep) and 2) having his "face" painted caused him to get his hair cut (he prefers longer hair and there were some haircut-related difficulties yesterday). Thank you, Alessandro ... on both counts! Because of both 1 & 2, I ended up with a better painting of you. Better, more even light helps and it would have been a shame to just have hair, nose, mouth and chin.

Today's was an enjoyable, fun painting day. Alessandro is the third face in his family to be painted for my project being preceded by his brother Ben and grandmother Barbara Marhoefer. Alessandro's mom, Mary Beth Gaiarin, takes my Still Life painting class ... with her mom, Barbara Marhoefer ... and I just get a kick out of the entire family. Each individual is ... highly individual ... and the relationships between them are fun and interesting to witness. A very dynamic, positive, cool group of people.

Alessandro is a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston. He's active in the theatre arts, currently working as a techie (lights, sets) and sometimes acting. He has a job as a tech with the Reston Community Center. Most of his friends are also into theater and we talked about how this interest makes participants more like family than friends. And that it also crosses over age differences. I'd say that happens when a group of people get together who share a common passion must also rely on each other for the success of the whole.

It's an illusion ... the painting's about life-sized, but here it is as a work in progress.
There were lots of things that were fun about today. One was a similarity between Alessandro and his brother Ben. Both had other things (books, projects) that they brought along ... that they thought about doing. Yet, they both were really "there" helping me paint them. They were a part of and interested in the process. Some subjects project themselves. I've seen it in classrooms where I was either student or teacher and everyone painting the model turns out their best work. Paintings become a collaborative effort. I'd say that was true today.

You've Got to See the School! Register Now...
Wow! I went to see the classroom that I normally teach in ... now expanded to include my previous second downstairs studio at 1144 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Wow again! I'm so excited about teaching there in May. The expansion made all the difference. It gets great light. There's plenty of room. Such a difference. I'll try to take a photo of the classroom soon and post it here. Yea!

Get info about the classes I'm offering on the Classes page on my web site. Portrait Painting and Drawing. Still Life Painting in Oils. A workshop on "Mastering the Business of Art" on May 25 & 26, 6:30-9:30pm.

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