Monday, November 10, 2014

Ahead of the Cold Front

"Potomac Shores" work in progress, oil, 30"h x 24"w, ©Jill Banks 2014

Soon, painting outside is going to involve lots of layers, earmuffs and handwarmers. The sky won't always be the pretty blue it was today. Autumn leaves of oranges, yellows and reds will be long gone.  With a few days of warm air preceding blasts of cold (from Alaska), I headed out with my easel ... and a larger than normal-sized canvas for plein air ... to capture the scene in Old Town Alexandria. Tomorrow I'll go back. Hopefully the ducks and gorgeous colors will be there to greet me. Perhaps I'll have time to capture other folks enjoying these special days as well.

Because the canvas was larger, I brought with me an aluminum easel that could handle the height. Then, proceeded ... unusually to sit, not stand because that was the better view.

It was gorgeous out. I LOVED being there on the shores of the Potomac. Seagulls were circling overhead. Visitors were great ... with many stopping back to check on my progress.

I did have a conversation with Michelle, a visitor whose Mom painted. I mentioned ... as I have to many of you, that painting became an acquired passion. I had no idea how wonderful it was ... until after taking classes, having some successes (after working at it ... first attempts are almost always awful), falling in love with the notion that I could create something out of nothing.  Passion needs time and opportunity to grow.  You have to give it a chance.  Yours might not be painting ... might be rock-climbing, or sports, sewing, singing, writing, dancing, coin-collecting. Who knows? That's my lesson for now.

In case classes might help you in your search (that's how I discovered my passion for painting), I'll be teaching Portrait class on Sundays, 1:30 to 5:30pm starting January 25 for six sessions ... and Still Life on Tuesdays, 10am to 1pm starting January 13 for eight sessions.  Class size is limited ... sign up now. More info and a link to register is on my Classes page at
Events and Exhibits
  • November 3-December 1: Large Works Show, Art League, Alexandria, VA. "Garden Girl" chosen as one of 16 works for this exhibit (out of 80 entries). Small Works Show, same gallery ... "Circle of Truth."
  • 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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