Friday, August 10, 2012

Studio Nesting

Settling In
"Studio #333 and White Glads" work in progress, oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©Jill Banks 2012
Today was the start of being comfortable in my temporary studio space in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I regained my painting "legs" in this new space ... with a few small changes.

Turning the easel around so sunlight from the window is behind me, not blinding from in front, made a huge difference. Now I can see visitors come in, as well. Nicer for them and me.

Going Shopping/New Brushes. Right downstairs from my studio is a small, but very well stocked art supply store. That's proving to be costly -- but I'm loving it. During my home studio days, I was complaining about brushes. Bristle brushes move paint around really well on rough surfaces, but more often over the past year or two, I've been working on smooth surfaces -- especially on portrait commissions. Using a bristle brush on a smooth surface -- the paint slides off. So, today I bought a variety of softer brushes in different shapes and had fun! My start on "Studio #333 and White Glads" is done almost entirely with a flat, large synthetic hair brush on a very smooth canvas. I may be in for trouble tomorrow ... but it sure made painting today a blast. Materials matter.

Starting something new. Today's painting places me in Studio #333 at this particular time. I'm fitting into someone else's space -- Beverly Ryan's -- and that's her more abstract work on the wall behind the gladioli. The vase of flowers is from last night's reception/opening. Normally, flowers would have been arranged by my dad who is recovering (well) from back surgery -- and not yet ready for flower duty. The Pellegrino water and meringue cookies in a bowl made by Great Falls Studios potter Laura Nichols are from the reception ... and home as well. On the desktop is my painting "Elizabeth" -- a work that is probably more classical than any other I have on view.  One wall of studio is mainly filled with my work. "Elizabeth" resides in front of the wall that is Beverly's main space. This painting -- in progress -- speaks to that juxtaposition.

Painting felt good. I was at ease. Today was filled with memorable visitors including two art teachers, a four-month old baby who made the most wonderful faces at me, a 94-year-old man who I hope goes back home and pulls out his paints, families, and two young ladies (one from Spain) who looked over every inch of Beverly and my paintings because as one said -- "artists pour their heart and soul into every inch of what they create, so I should at least look carefully."  It was a very good day.

Events and Exhibits

August, Visiting Resident Studio Artist, Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA, Studio #333. See regular hours/days, reception, demo dates on the events page on my web site.  
Reception: Thursday, August 9, 6-9pm (2nd Thursday Art Night receptions throughout the Torpedo Factory).  
Portrait painting demos: Sunday, August 12 and August 19 and August 26, 1 to 5pm.
I'll be in my studio:
Mondays, 10am-5pm
Thursdays, 2-9pm
Friday, noon-6pm
Saturdays, noon to 6pm
Sundays, noon to 6pm
Other events/times will be listed on my event page on my new web site. I hope to see you there!

July 7- August 31, Artists' Atelier, "Water, Water, Everywhere" group exhibit, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA.  Open Saturdays, noon - 4pm. 
Sunday, October 14, MPA Artfest Outdoor Juried Arts Festival, McLean Central Park, McLean, VA

Saturday and Sunday, October 20&21, Great Falls Annual Studio Tour, 10am-5pm, visit artists in their studios throughout Great Falls on a self-guided tour. I’ll be at the Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA 22066

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