Friday, March 27, 2015

Hola from Espana!

"Catedral de la Almudena -- Madrid," sepia watercolor, ink pen, layout pencil, approx. 10"h x13"w, copyright Jill Banks 2015
First time in Madrid ... now on day three. What a beautiful day!  While the last two were spent almost unconscious from jet lag, today we "kind of" took it easy -- purchasing a Madrid Bus Tour pass so we could see a good deal of the city from the second level of a double-decker bus (vs. wearing out the tired puppies that are my feet). It led us round the Prado, gardens, Plaza de Mayor, the Royal Palace past which I saw the spot where I wanted to eat lunch ... and our second time around that's where we stopped .. and this was the view.  "Catedral de la Almudena" was sketched in between munching on marinated olives and salad with tuna. Actually, it's impossible to sketch and do anything else. That meant I got 1/4 of the salad but the olives were safe until the drawing was finished ... only because Randy's not fond of them.

Jose Moreno Carbonero (1860-1942), "Prince Carlos de Viama" -- alone without subjects
Tonight I painted in the Plaza de Espana -- an EXTREMELY popular spot in a popular city.  That nocturne looked quite abstract at my last glance. It may appear later here.  Another was painted yesterday in the beautiful Parque del Retiro. That one, my first in Spain, might be a keeper. Or not. I'll have to check it out with fresh eyes soon.  It takes me awhile to get into the groove of painting, and here, I have NO idea what the "rules" are. Am I even allowed to set my easel up an paint? So far, no policio have carried me away ... so hopefully I'm a-ok.

Artwork in the Prado was stunning. Unbelievable. Diego Velasquez "Las Meninas", Joaquin Sorolla's "And They Still Say Fish Are Expensive." A whole room full of Mariani Fortuny paintings that were drop dead gorgeous. And, a painter I must find out more about: Jose Moreno Carbonero (1860-1942) whose portrait of Prince Carlos de Viama was so extraordinary. The prince had been stripped of a kingdom by his father -- left alone to study books, reign his kingdom of one. 

I'm loving Madrid. It's a welcoming, bustling city with beauty in its architecture, spirit, art. Looking up is filled with wonder. Statues, funny odes to the past, trinkets and more adorn the tops of buildings.

I know almost zippo Spanish. That's been made worse with knowing close to zippo Italian. It makes ordering something to eat interesting. I'd like to at least be able to  point to a treat that's tasty looking and ask "what is that?" Maybe tomorrow.

Sign Up for Classes -- In Virgina and Italy!
Registration is going on now for Spring classes -- Tuesday nights, 6:30pm to 9:30pm for Evening Paint and Thursdays, 10am to 2pm for Painting the Plein Air Landscape.  Take a look at my Classes page and I hope you'll join us.

And my Paint with Me in Italy workshop in the Piemonte wine region, July 27 to August 2, is filling up.  I hope you'll be there!!!

Call for Artists
Plus, if you enjoy plein air painting, consider registering for Paint Great Falls! (Great Falls VA) to capture the town from May 28 to 30 with a Quick Draw event on May 31, 10am to noon.  Registration is now open at

Thanks for reading!


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See the Events page for more info/updates
April 10 to May 1: Women Painters of the Southeast Juried Exhibition, Blue Ridge, GA
May 2 & 3: A-RTS @ Rockville Town Square, Rockville, MD
May 12-16:  Wayne Plein Air, Wayne and Philadelphia, PA. Juried as one of 30 artists nationwide to paint the area.
May 30-31: Art on the Green and Paint Great Falls, Outdoor Art Show (under a tent) and plein air competition and exhibit, Great Falls, VA
June 5-7: Rittenhouse Square: The Original Art Show, Philadelphia, PA. 
June 18-21: VA Beach Boardwalk Art Show, Virginia Beach, VA. Visit my booth right on the boardwalk.
June 29-July 5: Telluride Plein Air, Telluride, CO.  Juried as one of 32 artists who will spend the week painting this very cool town lined with Victorian houses, bustling street against a gorgeous mountainous backdrop.
July 11-12: Wickford Art Festival, Wickford, RI.
December 3-6: One Of A Kind Show & Sale, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL
Paint with Me in Italy Workshop: July 27 to August 2, 2015. Join me for a plein air adventure in the Piemonte wine region.
More info and how to sign up ... here!

Day two

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