Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year ... and the Last Painting of 2012

"Garden Girl," oil on linen, 42"h x 36"w, copyright Jill Banks 2012

My shoulder's sore, feet hurt and eyes are a little bleary.

But it's so worth it.

"Garden Girl" sprang to life over the marathon of eight very full painting days. Two days ago the cyclamen flowers were hitting the table.  Yesterday morning, the strawberries were replaced.  Mid-afternoon, I used the tripod that was holding up the cloth on the left side to steady my camera to bring you this shot. The last three mornings, I've been wearing my Christmas gift of highly padded slipper boots (along with my pajamas and smock) to get to the painting more quickly. Those slippers did wonders. Sort of like painting on air. The full days of painting meant there was no awake time left to post to the blog.  Boy, have I stored up some things to write here though.

I feel kind of like my "Garden Girl."  She's resting after doing all that work -- preparing, looking for inspiration on what to grow, planting, tending, weeding, harvesting -- all necessary to surround herself with that beautiful bounty.  Just like her, I put everything I had and know into making this painting something really special.  Because I teach, while painting, those lessons passed on in my class keep replaying in my head.  There was lots of following my own advice. I was physically and mentally engaged throughout -- thinking about the process of painting in oils eight days in a row (recalling lessons learned during eight straight days working on the Brown portrait earlier this year); deciding on how finished to make each area to tell my particular story and guiding the eye; examining paintings I love and why -- and bringing that to bear here. Additions made to the original set up put together by my Dad included the three foreground objects: a palette knife and tube of oil paint -- two tools of my trade -- and the trowel for "Garden Girl." They look like you could pick them up.

All of you looking at this online are going to think it's a much smaller painting than reality. One of my favorite comments received from a collector this year was that she and her husband were talking about how much they loved my work and why.  She said that they don't feel like they are looking at the paintings, they feel like they are "in" them. That's what I want you to feel.  To share this secret world or special view with you.

My dad treated me with this amazing set up. It was inspiration, indeed.

As we all tend to do this time of year, I'm looking ahead to what to strive for and do in 2013. Because this entry is long enough already -- I'll save that for tomorrow's post.

I wish you a happy and healthy, wonderful New Year! To 2013...

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. Still Life is now full with a wait list. Sign up for the Portrait class -- it's going to be a great one!

No comments: