Monday, March 30, 2015

People's Plaza: "Shadow of Cervantes" at Plaza de Espana

"Shadow of Cervantes," oil, approx. 16"h x 5.5"w,©Jill Banks 2015
What I loved about today:

Painting in Plaza de Espana ... capturing the statues of Don Quixote and his buddy, Pancho while hordes of people climbed on top of them ... riding the bronze horse and donkey along with the heroes. Policia were there, only caring if dog owners led their pups into the beds of cordoned off pansies, but not if I painted, or folks interacted with the art. My idea of perfect.

I did get a lot of visitors interested in what's happening at my easel.  That's par for the course and I'm glad they care to see.

After painting and lunch, we headed to Fundacion Mapfre for an exhibition of works from the Musee D'Orsay. Wonderful inspiration and I so want to paint a portrait with a nod to Leon Bonnat's "Retrato de Victor Hugo."  There have been many times that painting,  and particularly classical work has been ruled "dead," "passe" due to cinema, photography, "isms." Those declaring it so don't see what I see. The beauty possible when artist meets subject on canvas is extraordinary. We don't see in an instant. We see and a subject is revealed over time. It takes work, patience, skill, openness, thought. Dead or irrelevant? No. Timeless? Yes.

More of what I loved about today:

The group for the Art Historical Tour of Madrid and Beyond led by Rob Liberace arrived today.  Rob's passion for art is infectious/undeniable. His knowledge is encyclopedic ... but more than that he sees works through the eyes of a master artist. The perfect guide and group with which to enjoy this journey! Can't wait!

Painting at Plaza de Espanol
Sign Up for Classes -- In Virginia
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.

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!


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.
Leon Bonnat's "Retrato de Victor Hugo"
December 3-6: One Of A Kind Show & Sale, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

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