Friday, August 1, 2014

Nieve, Italy Day and Loving Oscar

"Piemonte Lunch," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©Jill Banks 2014 painted today in Nieve, Italy (near Alba in the Piemonte wine region)
My introduction to the Piemonte wine region of Italy continued today as we left La Morra, heading to our B&B for the next two days in Nieve. I'm glad Randy's driving (he's taken quite well to the Italian roads but we have yet to understand the signs and symbols). Roads wind around the hilltops with steep slopes, sharp curves, no guardrails, and views screaming for attention.  A precarious combination.

But beautiful.

We wound through Santa Maria, and Alba before reaching Nieve. The B&B is wonderful and room equipped with a private patio ... where I started this post.

Once checked in, we headed to the historic part of town for lunch (meat and cheeses, caprese, fresh pesto pasta) ... and then I set up my easel across the way looking back at Randy finishing up the meal. He was done sitting before I was done painting. The norm .... just Italian style.

I'm not sure exactly what tomorrow holds, but there's a good chance it will involve more exploring and more painting. Then the workshoppers arrive!

Oscar Haynes
Oscar Haynes
Our great friend Oscar passed away at age 98 yesterday. Oscar brought joy to every day, EVERY person he encountered. He already is so sorely missed here on Earth ... but the lights are shining even brighter in heaven, I bet.

I came to know Oscar through his wife, Joan, my parents' pastor.  We thought he'd be an ideal model for my portrait class ... and he agreed to sit for them. He was thrilled at being there ... almost as much as my class was to get to know Oscar and portray him. The downside was that no model for the class could ever hold a candle to Oscar.

To meet him IS to love him.

Oscar also posed for my 100 Faces project along with Joan. Those two days of sittings (one after another) were among my most memorable and special.  Joan and Oscar are two amazing, beautiful people who have taught me way more than a thing or two.

So many times when I posted a story here ... it would be answered with an email from Oscar with words of encouragement, excitement, cheer. He was always in my corner.

My life will be forever touched with Oscar's stories, joy, laughter, goodwill, love. My heart and prayers go out to Joan and Oscar's family and his world of friends.

Coming Up (in addition to the Workshop)

  • 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 13 & 14: Alexandria (King Street) Art Festival, Alexandria, VA
  • 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
Thanks for reading!


Phone: 703.403.7435

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