Monday, May 20, 2013

Church Bells, Mountain Air and Steam Engines

"Rollercoaster Hills," oil, 8"h x 6"w, copyright Jill Banks 2013
This morning I'm typing from a very comfy room at the Bruce House Inn in Cumberland, Maryland ... two hours from home, but seeming farther away than that.  Randy and I arrived yesterday, a little after 11am -- to see the town that I'll be painting as one of 30 artists juried to compete in Mountain Maryland Plein Air next week.

Nestled in the mountains, Cumberland's streets resemble a ride on a rollercoaster.  There's no seeing over the top. Driveways drop down from thin air. Roads shoot up to the sky.

Dotted over the landscape are church steeples.  Randy said you always what time it is in this town.  Dong, dong, dong...   Church bells are everywhere.

Coming together in the center of town is  Will's Creek and the Potomac River with the rail running through it.  A huge treat right after we got here was to hang out at the train station to watch a fantastic old steam engine get ready to take off on a roundtrip scenic trip to Frostburg and back.  The train runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- leaving the station at 11:30 and returning around 3:00pm.  By 3:00pm, I was at my easel on a hill well above the station and saw the smoke curl around the bends several times as it came back to drop off passengers and then head to West Virginia to rest up for next week's trips. The smoke made it into "Rollercoaster Hills" a couple of times ... only to be "erased."  I think there's enough going on in this little canvas without swirls of steam.

We head back home later today.  I don't know what subjects to choose next week (that's okay) ... but it was really nice to enjoy this place, talk to long-time residents and explore in a relaxed way prior to the plein air event.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Phone: 703.403.7435


Mountain Maryland Plein Air
Participating as one of 30 juried artists from around the country to paint Allegheny and Garrett Counties in Maryland, May 29 to June 1. Quick Draw on Saturday, June 1, 10am-Noon.  Reception: Saturday, June 1, 6-8pm, Saville Gallery, Cumberland, MD. Exhibit of Artwork from Mountain Maryland Plein Air continues June 1 through June 16 at Saville Gallery

"New Works" Exhibit: the Artists' Atelier Gallery, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, noon to 4pm through May 31. On view in the gallery: "Ballerinas I," "Ballerinas II" and "Red Pillow." 

Solo Show at Greenberry's Coffee & Tea
6839 Redmond Drive, McLean, VA 22101
(703) 821-9501
Exhibit of six paintings including "Two Kittens," "Traffic Patterns," "Primary Colors," "Spanish Steps," "Second & Pine Streets," and "Sunlight, Sunflowers and Orange." Through June 30.

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