Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy Day

NYC Fruit Stand work in progress, oil, 30"h x 24"w, copyright Jill Banks 2012
Since my life is surrounded with artist friends, the people I know get the problem of not painting (or creating). We get cranky.  Each day without making something out of (almost) nothing, our crankiness gets a notch worse. 

The other thing that happens when I'm not painting consistently is my first series of attempts at the easel are questionable at best.  My answer to husband Randy's question of how it went are apt to be "not so well" or "I don't know."  Not good signs.

So, what you haven't seen is my work on a Christmas still life that looked great in my brain, but wouldn't cooperate on canvas.  That was painting #1 after a break. My self-portrait was painting #2 -- and it still definitely needs work.  There was the half-done drawing at the National Art Gallery that has yet to appear.  But, I love yesterday's painting of the Mission from Tucson. My penance appears to be over. When Randy asked me about how it went yesterday, I answered "great!"

"Stepping Out," copyright Jill Banks 2012
Today was pretty darn great, too. I had fun being in the Atelier for open hours. A lot of my studiomates were in -- not all at once, but over the span of the afternoon. It made me realize just how lucky I am to be part of this group of artists that share a loft space in Great Falls, VA to create together.  I'm going to be there a lot -- painting away -- on non-holiday days.  That's in spite of having a very inviting home studio to compete for my attention.

A visitor came in, too, who came in during open hours -- looking for a piece of mine that sold recently.  A friend of hers had seen "Stepping Out" during my solo show at the Old Brogue and told her that she HAD to go see it and buy it. It was perfect for her house (that she was still in the process of finishing/settling into). Heck, "Stepping Out" was perfect for everyone's house.  Including mine.  I don't paint the same work over again -- but "Stepping Out" is close to my heart.  There is something about the wonder of creating it that I'd like to repeat.  That's coming up.

Then there was a great meeting with the new School Director for the Great Falls School of Art (Great Falls, VA), Julie Casso, and the teachers -- including two new to the school. It was fun (when's the last time you said that about a meeting?) and productive (ditto?).  What a great group.  Sign up for classes. The web site is still bare bones -- but you can sign up online -- and it will just get better and better. 

And, I got to paint. Before and after -- starting a new work of a NYC fruit stand. There's a switch that turned on in my Tucson plein air paintings that I'm working to employ in future pieces.  The three-dimensionality of "Desert Garden" is a new goal.  The first pass at a larger painting won't show it --- but there it is in my head -- wait for it to show.

I'm not a bit cranky any more.   Smiling in fact.

See more of my NYC and market paintings on my web site:, click on works and then the Places collection.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Phone: 703.403.7435

Events and Exhibits
Register now for Winter classes.  See my web site:, Classes page for Still Life Painting in Oils and Draw, Paint, Sculpt the Portrait -- offered through the Great Falls School of Art, Great Falls, VA.

"Large Squares, Small Squares," Gallery at the Artists' Atelier, November 14-December 31. Open Hours: Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 4pm, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA 22066. Closed: December 26.

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