Saturday, June 22, 2013

Speed Painting: Reston Town Center and Frederick, Maryland

Long post ahead.

The last three days have been sort of a whirlwind.

Painting at the Town Center
On Thursday, I headed with my easel back to the Reston Town Center -- hoping to finalize two paintings in progress that are possibilities for my solo show "Serendipity" that we'll be hanging in less than a week.  (There will definitely be some very fresh paint in the exhibit.)

"M&S Grill," oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©Jill Banks 2013
After working on a portrait commission in the morning, the first part of the afternoon was spent eating lunch with husband Randy at M&S Grill at the Reston Town Center (Reston, VA) before painting it from across the street. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, with lots of enjoyable painting time and great conversations with visitors. Since lunch came first, I was worried that the chairs on the patio would be mainly empty but there remained a steady stream of paintable subjects staying seated for a decent spell. Still, they are moving -- not modeling for me. It was challenging, but not as much as tackling the next painting of the day.

Standing at your easel -- outside on the pavement requires a break. So, after packing "M&S Grill" back in my car -- before loading up with the next painting setup -- I grabbed an iced tea from Panera and sat in front of the Pavilion where a crew were preparing for a private party. It looked intriguing.

An opportunity knocked me over the head.

Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) Holds Casino Night Fundraiser
"Party Time," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2013
I just happened to choose Thursday as my day to paint at the Reston Town Center. It's been months since my last outing.  And, luck/serendipity put a party a few yards from where I'd been painting that afternoon.

I'm in training to paint large groups -- in motion, in real time. But, how many opportunities do you get?

While the result is as much a blur as the party -- I'm relieved to have tackled it, gotten over some jitters, stood with easel amidst a crowd doing something so ridiculously challenging -- and survived.

Quick Draw: Easels in Frederick
In a last minute decision, Randy and I decided to go to Frederick, Maryland so I could participate in this morning's Quick Draw painting competition. We'd passed through and lunched in this great town on our way back from the Mountain Maryland Plein Air competition two weeks ago in Cumberland, MD. It was just the kind of place that begs to be be captured in paint.

"Ice Cold Lemonade," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2013
We stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast, 10 Clarke Place in Frederick, MD last night. Monique, the owner fixed a ridiculously great breakfast (smoothie, waffles, frittata) to get me ready for the big day. The horn blew at 9:30am for us to start and then again at 11:30 to tell us to put our brushes down.

"Ice Cold Lemonade" was the result. These two hours flew. At the one hour mark, there was so much left to do. Still, the painting seemed to strike a chord. I thought the colors and aura of this shop were so great. Fun subject.

Those are Randy's fingers ready to take the framed painting for viewing at the Wet Paint Exhibition for Easels in Frederick. Phew. What a day.

100 Faces in 100 Days Project
Phone: 703.403.7435

On Location
Exhibit of Artwork created by students in my Spring Plein Air Landscape painting class taught through the Great Falls School of Art.  Come see some great work done under challenging conditions. Reception: Friday, June 14, 6-8pm at the Artists' Atelier Gallery, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA .

Solo show at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, VA. July 1 through August 31. Over 20 original oils. Reception: Saturday, July 20, 1-4pm. Demo days, too. Check web site for more details.
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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