Friday, May 18, 2012

Wayne Plein Air: Painting in Society Hill Today

"Second Street and Pine," Headhouse Square in Society Hill, oil, 20"h x 16"w, by Jill Banks
During the five-day Wayne Plein Air competition, the juried artists have been pointed in a general direction to paint. The first three days, Tuesday through Thursday, we were to paint within a 15 mile radius of Wayne ... which took me to ... downtown Wayne, Malvern, and Phoenixville (an allowed exception). Today was "Philadelphia" day, but with a major regatta scheduled for 4pm, my reconnaissance that kept me out late yesterday checking out spots in the city ... proved to be fun but unfruitful. I'd planned to paint the boathouses or around back of the Philadelphia Museum of Art ... areas that were going to be blocked off and then swarming with people.

While worn to a frazzle, I'm absolutely loving this experience. Last night, (husband) Randy and I walked around Philly to places I never knew existed. The back of the Museum of Art resembles ancient Rome. The terrain, the building, and statues. Really amazing.

Philadelphia is filled with public art, in a way few other U.S. cities are. The fountains are magnificent. On Thursday night, the streets teemed with people. Restaurants were overflowing. The city surprised me.

This morning was off to a slow start. Purposefully ... as I wanted to take it a little easier today and wait for the morning rush hour to die down. Given that the Art Museum area was "out" ... I wanted to try a spot in Society Hill. My parents lived on the Main Line after I'd left for college, and Randy and I had lived in Bala Cynwyd for a few months. I was trying to remember where we'd visited, way back then, that might be interesting to paint. With some brain cell digging, I ended up in New Market, in front of the Headhouse Square Farmers Market at 2nd Street and Pine. Just walking up to this spot made me feel good. The day was beautiful, temperature just right, visitors warm and welcoming, and I loved this painting from beginning to end.

Right at the beginning, the blue Deer Park water truck was parked in its spot. I knew that wouldn't last ... and so that's what was painted first ... in the first five to ten minutes before it was driven away. Lucky timing. Or smart thinking.

This trip has provided me with plenty of posts to come. I've now turned in seven paintings. One more half day of painting to go with the gala tomorrow (Saturday) night. The paintings being created this week are nothing short of stunning. The exhibit at the Wayne Art Center continues through June 30. You won't want to miss it.

Oh, and our lunch and dinner today were unbelievably great. That helps. Lunch was at the Wedge and Fig in Philly and dinner was at Matador in Wayne. Try them both. So good.

Exhibits and Events

May 1-31, "Out and About" Solo Show, Katie's Coffee at the Old Brogue, 760-C Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. Painting on site: Wednesday, May 9, 1-4pm and Wednesday, May 23, 1-4pm.  Check back here before coming in case times change or dates/times are added. Thanks! Preview the exhibit here.
May 15-19, Wayne Plein Air Festival 2012, one of 34 artists juried to participate in a plein air competition and exhibit in and around Wayne, PA. Gala Preview and Artists' Reception, Saturday, May 19, 6-10pm at the Wayne Art Center. Exhibition to follow May 20-June 23 at the Wayne Art Center. 

100 Faces in 100 Days Project

Phone: 703.403.7435

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