Thursday, June 5, 2014

Horsing Around: Painting at the Paddock

"Sticking Together" work in progress, oil, 18"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2014
--> It was a dream of a day. Gorgeous weather and I got to paint exactly what (horses) and where (Kidwell Farm in Herndon VA) my heart desired.

My Spring Plein Air class that I teach on Wednesdays has not been as charmed as in seasons past.  With only six sessions, it has rained for three of them -- so yesterday morning's sunshine seemed particularly blessed. All were grateful to be outside. The spot was Kidwell Farm where students painted the chicken coop, outbuildings, a Chevy truck, the merry-go-round, the farmer's market and expansive scenes up and down the farm's lanes. And, horses.

"Stepping Out," 30"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2012, private collection
Right beyond Kidwell Farm is a field full of equines, snacking on hay, rolling in the mud, grazing on grass, hanging out together.  I would never have known they were there ... if Bob Gilbert hadn't explored and set up overlooking them the day before. There was no question that I'd go back.

One of the few problems with Kidwell Farm is its sparse bit of shade. It's farmland and pasture, not forest. But today I found shade, a perfect fairly close up view of these beautiful creatures, and a painting heading constantly in the right direction.

Another Warm Welcome
Even though my painting spot was far from out in the open, there were many who saw me at the easel and extended their hand and spirit in welcoming me. It's an amazing feeling to know that just as you're doing what you love, someone else is inspired, uplifted that you're creating right in front of them. Today, I was appreciated by the Kidwell Farm staff, and the volunteers and participants in the SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program.

SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program
Turns out those horses I was painting are a mix of rescues and donations trained to provide therapeutic riding programs for children and adults. So, they are beautiful inside and out.

"Horsepower," oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2013, private collection
Coming to Pittsburgh, PA
Perhaps I'm a bit worried about a busy schedule -- but still looking forward to a summer of adventures, now with one more on the calendar. I will be participating in Shadyside: The Art Festival on Walnut Street (Pittsburgh, PA) on August 23 & 24, 2014. This is one of the top 100 art festivals as ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine. Can't wait. My plan is to paint in many of these art festival locations -- along with attending the booth. I so hope that the plan works!

Coming Up
  • June 13, 14, 15: Columbia Festival of the Arts, Columbia, MD
  • June 26-29: Paint the Shenandoah Plein Air Paintout, Sperryville, VA and vicinity
  • July 4, 5, 6: Amagansett Fine Art Festival, Amagansett, New York (just east of East Hampton)
  • July 12 & 13: the 52nd Wickford Art Festival, Wickford, RI. Over 200 artists from New England, US and beyond.
  • July 19 & 20: the 41st Annual Westport Fine Art Festival, Westport, CT.
  • Aug. 16-Oct. 12: Paint the Shenandoah Exhibition, River District Arts, Sperryville, VA
  • Aug. 23-24: Shadyside: The Art Festival on Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA
  • September 20 & 21: Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Armonk, New York
  • October 5: McLean MPA Artfest, Sunday, October 5, McLean, VA. 52 artists in McLean Central Park
  • Oct. 17-19: Great Falls Annual Studio Tour, Artists’ Atelier, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls, VA
  • Ongoing: Visit the studio I share with 14 other artists at the Artists’ Atelier, Great Falls, VA open Wed. and Sat., 12- 4pm
  • Jan.-Feb. 2015: Solo Exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon, VA
  • See the Events page for more info/updates
With all these events happening in new places, and my being the "new tent" in many towns -- I really hope you can attend some or let me borrow your friends in these spots.  Please spread the word. Art fairs are a gamble of sorts. I foot the expense of tent, travel, accommodations, pack up what I hope visitors want to see, put up the tent, talk art, bring my very best attitude and work, cross my fingers.  Your help, advice, recommendation will be GREATLY appreciated.

See more of my paintings of Furry and Feathered Friends in the Bird, Animal and Wildlife Collection on my web site.

Thanks for reading,

Phone: 703.403.7435
Subscribe to my Email Newsletter:
News from the Easel (This link takes you to the subscription 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!    

No comments: