Saturday, March 21, 2015

Learning from the Real Masters

Something a Little Different Ahead

"After Sorolla's Valencia," work in progress, oil, 16"w x 20"h, Jill Banks 2015
Today was spent with me in charge of open hours at the Artists' Atelier, the studio I share with many fellow artists in Great Falls. There were a lot of us there. We're getting ready for changes ahead. Not all are moving to the new space in the heart of the Village Centre in Great Falls, VA but most are. The space we're in is beautiful, with soaring ceilings, lots of display and gathering space. It's been our "home" for art for five years.  The rent was escalating well beyond anything we were going to consider paying. It was time to move.

Fortunately we found (I'm really loosely included in the we) a new wonderful space. It's missing the soaring ceilings. The display space is not nearly as expansive but because of our soon-to-be, highly visible, fantastic location -- what IS on display might be seen more often, and perhaps by someone who would love to surround themselves with original art.

Every change has come with some trade-off. I'm so happy to be moving, opening this new chapter with nine fellow artists who are dear to my heart. I'll sorely miss those studiomates who are not moving into 756 Walker Road in Great Falls, VA.  I know they have their own new chapters to write and they will come back for visits. Or I'll see them in their new places.

I realized how wonderful the friendships are that formed in the studio. Thank you to each of you!

So there's not much I'm going to say about my work in progress above other than Sorolla was one heck of a painter. Just this little bit -- trying to copy a part of one of his murals "Provinces of Spain" is ridiculously daunting. Yikes.

Okay, back to my thoughts.

Friends, Love and New Chapters

The Goodbye Skit/Songs by the Choir were Fantastic
Last night, Randy and I were guests at the First Friday wine and cheese party at the Stratford House in Reston, VA for a Farewell Party for my Mom and Dad, who after living in and participating -- full throttle -- in all the wonderful doings at this remarkable community for 14 years, are saying goodbye and moving to Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, VA.

"Say it isn't so."  My Mom and Dad are the people you want ALWAYS in your lives, every day. They are a true joy and pretty
Dad and Mom
ridiculously wonderful role models  for how to live, how to love, how to treat friends ... pretty much everything. You want to meet them in the hallways Monday through Sunday.  They are GOOD neighbors.

They're invited back, whenever they'd like to Stratford House.

As my dad said, he wasn't really looking forward to this goodbye party because just like their friends there don't want to see them go, he and my Mom will miss all the neat people who have made living there so wonderful.

Still, they were serenaded, very warmly roasted by the "Choir" you see above. It was such a great tribute.  I am so ridiculously proud of them, I could burst. Just might.

They are moving on to open new chapters. Will make a gadzillion or so new amazing friends because to know them IS to love them.  I think one of the signs of living well is how hard goodbyes are.


I'm counting my blessings. Hope you are counting yours.

Thanks for reading!


Phone: 703.403.7435

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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

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