Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Overdue Post - Richard Ormond Lecture on John Singer Sargent and More

"Dining Room," oil, 18"h x 24"w, ©2010 Jill Banks. I'd seen (and been inspired by) Sargent's "The Breakfast Table" at the Fogg Museum but was wishing for company peeling an orange.

Lecture on John Singer Sargent at the Art League in Alexandria, VA
Last Thursday night, Randy and I attended a lecture by Richard Ormond, leading expert on John Singer Sargent who also happens to be the grandson of Sargent's sister Violet -- a frequent subject in his paintings. The venue -- the Art League in Alexandria, VA -- a place close to my heart, filled with fellow artists and friends.

There's a natural closeness among artists. It's the norm versus exception. I thought about that as Ormond talked about Sargent's circle -- of authors, actors, opera stars, fellow painters. There's an openness, expansiveness, generosity, spirit in those folks who surrounded him and who filled that hall in Old Town.

If my hearing was a bit better, I'd probably have walked out of the talk full of knowledge of who was who in Sargent's paintings of family members -- as they fit into Richard Ormond's and John Singer Sargent's family tree. Instead I had to look it up.  One of the few paintings I have copied is Sargent's "Repose" -- a favorite that hangs at the National Gallery of Art in DC.  According to the genealogy chart and quick research, the model for "Repose" (John Singer Sargent, 1911) is Richard Ormond's aunt, Rose-Marie Ormond Michel.

John Singer Sargent's "The Breakfast Table" -- Fogg Museum. The subject is Violet, Sargent's youngest sister and Richard Ormond's  grandmother.

Mom and Dad -- Honored Vows
Here is the cause of the "overdue" post part.  The day after Ormond's lecture, my Dad had his fourth surgery in as many months. Except for a short span of days at home before this last round -- Dad has spent four months in a hospital or rehab -- a test for any soul.  After Friday's surgery, one of Dad's doctors noted that the finish line was ahead -- not at the conclusion of the surgery but in the days/weeks of recovery to follow. To Dad's aid in recovery is his admirably strong, genetic stubborn streak (also called perseverance and determination) and positive nature (he passed on both traits to me, thankfully) --  and having the most beautiful, kindest lady on the planet (my Mom) by his side. They truly are there for each other "in sickness and in health." (Dad would be there just as vigilantly by my Mom's side if the table was turned.)

It's been a long, tough struggle and I pray and wish for lots of healing, health and better times for both my Mom and Dad.

"Sun and Sea" work in progress, oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
Throughout the course of these four months, they've sure made an awful lot of friends among the doctors, techs, nurses at both rehab and the hospital. Even in trying times, they show just how beautiful a pair they are. On each return visit, my Mom and Dad have been warmly welcomed back -- which is great if you've got to be there (in the hospital or rehab) but it would be even greater if all those nice health care folks could come for a casual -- not medical -- visit to my parents comfortably situated in their own special home.

On the Easel
I have been painting and doing but haven't been at home much at blog posting time. "Sun and Sea" is still in progress ... and one of my most recent works. An annual Collectors Open House is ahead and this painting should be hanging somewhere in the house (framed and finished) by then.

Winter classes are now up, too, on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January on Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm through the Arts of Great Falls School in Great Falls, VA. Classes are filling. I hope you'll sign up soon and start the New Year 2016 off right -- with art.

Evening of Art Fundraiser at the Kelly Collection of American Illustration on Friday, November 13, 2015
One of the pieces in the Kelly Collection
Attend a fundraiser at the Kelly Collection of American Illustration on the Potomac in Great Falls, VA. Enjoy food and drinks while viewing the vast collection of original paintings & drawing from th Golden Age of American Illustrators 1890-1925. All are welcome, but space is limited.  Find out more, purchase tickets at: http://www.greatfallsart.org/evening-of-art/.

The Kelly Collection is a treasure -- within the perfect home to showcase the art. I'm looking forward to being inspired again on November 13th. I hope you'll join me. Your support -- through tickets or donations -- helps the School (where I teach) expand offerings to the community and keep functioning throughout the year. 

"Evening of Art" is a fundraiser to support the Arts of Great Falls School and community art events and activities. The Arts of Great Falls is a 501(c)(3) with the mission to expand opportunities in art education, expression and professional development.


Thanks for reading (or looking)!

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com

See the Events page for more info/updates
December 3-6: One Of A Kind Show and Sale, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

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