Tuesday, April 15, 2014


"Florentine Kiosk," oil, approx. 11"h x 8"w, copyright Jill Banks 2014
As gorgeous and inspiring as it is here, I forget that you can take a nap while your internet connection is thinking about its next move ... and the commute/time zone change makes you long for that zzzzz-zone.

Now is day two (and a half) in Florence.  Day #half we arrived, ate dinner, crashed. Yesterday I painted in two parks along the Arno, across the river from the Duomo and Uffizi ... creating a curious sight perhaps but granted a warm welcome and murmurs of "Bella!" for my oil sketches. I was looking forward to painting but also attempting to avoid the massive crowds that fill Florence. A park -- not quite on the main drag seemed safe. It was ... and it truly was a glorious day. I feel often like a cross between a fly on the wall and an entertainer as an artist. I'm an observer - entering other people's worlds without the small, unobtrusive stature of an insect.  But, that's actually a good thing -- since the reactions of those who engage with me ... even in a foreign language and place are so great. One of my visitors, I figure, is related to some master artist ... and he deemed my kiosk, above, a success. Complete language barrier. I hope that's what he said.

Full days lead to questionable photos. Of yesterday's two paintings -- I only have a fairly decent photo of one.  It was painted on one side of a 12"h x 16"w canvas with space in the middle ... like I used in Paris last year.  Like then, one suitcase is filled with art supplies, another with clothes. Priorities.

"Florentine Dolphin" mixed media from Florence visit past, copyright Jill Banks 2008
Last night we were joined by great friends from previous journeys, and some new friends in the making. Yesterday was dining and meeting and a little time beforehand at the Duomo Museum to see Ghiberti's doors and one of Michelangelo's Pietas. (Astounding works.)

Today it was on to the Bargello this morning, and Accademia this afternoon. My third time drawing the David was not the charm ... but being there was. Lots for us ahead.  I will do my best to fill you in on the adventure ... despite the sluggish Internet, so much calling out & about ... and the need to nap. "Florentine Dolphin" is a drawing from a previous trip to this magical place ... and the the fountain on which this dolphin presides was seen today. Cool.

Mountain Maryland Plein Air
Just found out that I was selected as one of the 30 artists juried to paint our way through Cumberland MD and vicinity for the Mountain Maryland Plein Air 2014 adventure. So there you'll find me at the end of May. It will be added to my calendar of events on the web site sometime soon.

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Web: www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
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March 5 - December: Richeson75 Still Life and Floral 2014  Two of my paintings: "Honey Bunny" and "Garden Girl" were chosen as finalists in this online competition and exhibition. 75 total works were selected for this exhibition from entries/artists worldwide. See the exhibit at

March 28 - April 18: Women Painters of the Southeast Third Annual Juried Members Exhibition  "Ballerinas I" was juried into this beautiful exhibit at Magnolia Gallery in Greensboro, GA. See my web site's Events page for more info.
April 5 - April 27: Fine Art Professionals of Northern Virginia at Delaplaine, Frederick, MD  Reception on Saturday, April 5, 3 to 5pm at the Delaplaine Art Center, 40 Carroll Street, Frederick, MD. On exhibit: "Main Street USA," "Tony" and "Ice Cold Lemonade."
May 3 & 4: Fairfax Fine Art Festival  I'll be under a tent in Fairfax Corners ... surrounded by artwork. Come visit/shop for original art. More details to come on my web site's Events page.
Paint with Me in Italy: August 3 to 10, 2014.
For more info, itinerary and links to register, see the classes page on my web site. Great folks are signing up to join me on this wonderful adventure. I hope you can, too!

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