Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Giraffe ... In Progress

"Long Legs: Giraffe" work in progress, oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
Can you tell I was having some fun in my studio today?

"Long Legs" is already spoken for ... so bound for her new home once finished.  I love painting in general -- and capturing animals in oils is true joy, minus any intermittent angst. For "Long Legs," the biggest decision was the composition and pose that is dynamic and characterizes the creature. Think this does it.

More to do ... just not today.

It's hard to believe that the New Year is right around the corner.

I wish you and yours (and mine) a Healthy, Joyful, Prosperous New Year!

Oh, and two more things ... I  am hoping that more students enroll in my Tuesday Evening Paint class that starts on January 12. (We need you!)  Second, I am looking for models (clothed) for my Sunday portrait class and the last two sessions of my Evening Paint class this term. Classes are taught at the Great Falls School of Art in Great Falls, VA. Let me know if you or someone you know may be interested. Drop me a line for more info. See below for links to classes.

Thanks for reading!



Jill

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
 

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)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.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Elf Time - Ho, Ho Helping

First, I hope you enjoyed a very Merry Christmas.

"Every Which Way," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2013 Jill Banks --  gift chosen today!
The List
Now I want to tell you about an interesting twist on taking care of your Christmas list in a wonderful, personal way. Maybe it will come in handy for you next year ... and I'd sure love to act as YOUR Christmas elf.

My Mystery Couple wanted to give the gift of my paintings to quite a few on their list -- and asked me to figure out a way to help the recipients choose. We came up with the plan that the giftees could choose one of four options:
  1. One framed 12"x16" painting OR
  2. Two framed 8"x10" paintings OR
  3. Four framed 6"x6" paintings OR
  4. One framed 8"x10" painting and two 6"x6" paintings
"Queue at the Palace," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©2015 Jill Banks - gift chosen today!
For each of those options, I selected a group from all the 12" x 16"s available (and the 8" x 10"s and 6"x 6"s) to put together a manageable list of great choices in an email-able catalog. Photos of the 12" x 16"s offered were put into a PDF document along with a photo of one of those paintings, framed. Same with the 8" x 10"s and 6" x 6"s. Then, out went an email explaining "the gift" with those three PDF files attached ... and encouraging the giftees to decide quickly since the choices were one of a kind originals.
"Spanish Garden," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2015 Jill Banks - gift chosen today!
That's the very "dry" version of the story.

My Giftgivers felt the pure joy I get each time someone purchases a piece of my art.  They were hearing first hand how THRILLED each recipient was with their choices. They reveled in who chose what ... and then found the choices seemed just right.  They were amazed that each naturally selected a different piece (we didn't send out a list of art no longer available as the choices came in -- so no one knew).

The Gift that Keeps On Giving
Selecting art is not a ho-hum experience. I LOVE it when someone purchases a piece from me because not only are they showing me at the time their making the choice how excited they are ... later they send me photos in their homes, tell me how
"Morning in Telluride," oil, 8"x10", ©2015 Jill Banks -- one of two 8x10s chosen today!
thrilled they are when the painting shines in the afternoon or appears at different times in the day, or how they sat on their couch just staring at it enjoying how it transforms the room. It will ALWAYS be enjoyed ... every day.

On the Sleigh
Today's gift-giving and selections mean twelve of my paintings will be tied up with care and sent/delivered to their new homes as soon as my co-elf -- husband Randy -- recovers from the flu or something-or-other that has him laying on the couch as I type. I know that the recipients will treasure well BOTH the art and the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Gift Givers.

"Sheepish," oil, 6" x 6", ©2015 Jill Banks -- one of 4 6x6s selected as a gift today!
Those twelve paintings were added to six others chosen in December and ten at my Home Studio Open House in November to make me feel well part of the Elf family -- excited for each of the recipients and purchasers and very happy you invited my art into your homes. Many, many, many heartfelt thanks!!!!!

You may deduce, too from this post that I make a good partner in gift giving and all schemes to make you and your loved ones very happy.  That's one of my many joys.

While there are lots of other times I've helped someone pull off an unusual gift, here are two additional examples:

Gift of a Non-Traditional Portrait Commission, realized.
Gifts for Appreciated Board Members: The gift-giver offered a non-traditional portrait-to-be of mine. Many of my paintings capture people in casual, comfortable settings. To explain the gift, I put together a beautiful hand-crafted book with photos of my paintings that would help spark ideas for the recipients in planning their portraits. Then, I worked with them to bring that idea to life.

Gift for the Bride and Groom: The Mother and Father of the bride  commissioned me to come paint on site during the reception with the resulting painting  a special gift for the bride and groom. My presence and the present were a total surprise ... and the bride later told me that she was wondering who was crashing her wedding (when she saw me at my easel).  Guests at the wedding really enjoyed my being there and the couple were thrilled with the final painting. (I finished the painting two months later from that memory and a few photos taken in between brush strokes.)
"The Wedding Party," oil, 18"h x 24"w, ©2013 Jill Banks -- Present for the bride and groom

Read about that adventure on these two blog posts:
"Right After "I Do"" and
"The Wedding Party Gets a Visit"

Cherished presents.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Thanks for reading!


Jill

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
 

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)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.
 







Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Played My Drum for Him

"Serenade," oil, 10"h x 8"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
Well, not exactly.

But I love the sentiment of this Christmas Carol ... the drummer boy bringing this heartfelt and humble gift to celebrate the Christ child's birth.

I worried this year about not "doing" Christmas. There are friends and family who sent cards and presents that weren't reciprocated. It's Christmas Eve and I haven't posted a single card, wrapped a present or sent one. There are some brimming stockings, baked cookies, and plans for Christmas Day and the days that follow -- thanks to a last minute push.

Some gifts don't require wrapping paper ... like the drummer boy's "pa rum pum pum pum." Mine this year -- to brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephew -- is to help however I can deliver the no-wrapping-paper-required gifts of Christmas to my Mom and Dad. Time and energy have been redirected from shopping trips to visits.

Tonight, Randy and I visited Dad at rehab ... while Mom was running some Christmas Eve errands. Dad told us to read the letters and card they
"Bringing Home the Tree," oil, ©2013 Jill Banks. Painting of a birthday gift from Mom to Dad.
received today from my brother Scott, sister-in-law Emily, and niece Annie. As Dad said, if you don't smile and shed a tear when you read this, you're not human. As Randy and I took turns trying to read those words of  Christmas memories and gifts received, we both amply proved we were human.  Geez. 

While Dad's been in rehab or the hospital with Mom constantly by his side since July ... they worry about belated presents, that they haven't been able to "shop" for one another or send out their annual poem and card.  Yet -- as Scott, Emily and Annie and every one around them knows and shows -- their gift to us is them. 

"Elf on a Chandelier" -- decoration by Dad, drawing by me.
Play your best for someone.

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thanks for reading (or looking)!

Jill

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
 

See the Events page for more info/updates


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)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.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Snow Globe Painting

"He's Making a List," oil, 14"h x 11"w, ©2015 Jill Banks
He's Making a List.
Checking It Twice.

That's the music I heard repeatedly while painting today.

This snow globe was beckoning me while a pile of other To Do items took priority.

Today, I got to paint it.

I will most probably continue on tomorrow, capturing the snow flickering in the light in yellows, greens and blues. Seems like too much fun to pass up.

There will be more Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas messages to come before the 25th but hope you enjoy this one.


December 1st - 18th, 2015
at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY 10003. My painting "Irish Pub" won the Leila Gardin Sawyer award in the show. Call the National Arts Club to find out if the exhibit is open for viewing before heading that way.




Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)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.

Still Looking for Some Special Gifts?
You know I'd love to help! Take a shopping trip around my web site. Check out the selection of 6" x 6" framed paintings in a collection posted there. Not everything is on my web site. A visit to my home studio is also welcome. Just ask!

Thanks for reading (or looking)!


Jill

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
 

See the Events page for more info/updates


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Birthday Present

While most of you will be reading this post after my birthday has passed ... I received a great present tonight. Dinner at my parents' condo with my Mom, Dad, brother Scott, daughter Sarah and husband Randy.  Dad's been improving daily all week. Yea!!!!! Enough so, that he was okay to be wheeled over from the rehab center to the condo to celebrate my turning something or other.

That was the best of birthday presents ... by far.

Check out Dad's photo below.

Some sort of miracle starting arriving while we were in Chicago transforming my Dad back into my Dad. A rash caused the doctors to change his IV antibiotics and with the new meds and new determination, he's steadily improving. You probably know what my wish was when blowing out those candles on my cake tonight. Wishes and prayers.

Award at the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club's Annual Open Juried Exhibition
Well, that's a mouthful. Friday, December 11, 5:30 to 8:00pm is the Benefit Reception for the Metropolitan Museum of Art being held at the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New New York, NY. My painting "Irish Pub" was chosen for the Leila Gardin Sawyer Award ... and I'm looking forward to seeing it and the other paintings in the exhibition at the reception.

"Irish Pub," oil, 18"h x 24"w, ©2014 Jill Banks
Get more info on the exhibition on my events page.

Dad at the condo this evening ready to help make this a great birthday!


Winter classes are up on my web site. Take a look!  I'll be teaching a Portrait Painting/Drawing class this January (full with wait list) on
Sunday afternoons, Still Life Plus (Personal Painting Projects on Tuesdays - 10:30am to 1:30pm  (Only 1 spot left!) and Evening Paint on Tuesday nights - 6:30 to 9:30pm (still room!)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.

Still Looking for Some Special Gifts?
You know I'd love to help! Take a shopping trip around my web site. Check out the selection of 6" x 6" framed paintings in a collection posted there. Not everything is on my web site. A visit to my home studio is also welcome. Just ask!



Thanks for reading (or looking)!

Jill

Phone: 703.403.7435
Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.JillBanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
 

See the Events page for more info/updates

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Booth #1132 -- One of a Kind Show -- December 3-6

I shied away from being the voice of this ... my first ... video post on the blog but husband Randy's message is the same. Please visit me at the Merchandise Mart at Chicago's One of a Kind Show in booth #1132.

video

 See higher resolution video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmJn6iq1llE

It must take a whole lot of training to be in front of a camera. If I had to pick a spot relative to the lens, it would be in the back.

Booth #1132,One of a Kind Show in Chicago.
This is an amazing show. Each booth is a gallery or storefront and there are 600+ of them. Please make it to my aisle ... 1000 and I'm just about to the end of that. Randy and I have hung it with care.

This journey to Chicago's been bittersweet. I was born here at the Lying Inn Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and went to grade school in Markham and Homewood ... a long time ago.  All my Chicago memories are tied to my remarkable family. I kidded, not that long ago to one of my artist friends that I'd had a rough childhood. Anything but. With two amazing parents, I had beautiful role models to set the stage and add joy to every stage of my life to follow.

The last four months have been heartbreaking. Four surgeries (three back, one gall badder), four months in hospitals and rehab and an infection of the pseudomonas bacteria from one of those surgeries have left my Dad nothing like his strong, beautiful, inspiring self.  If anybody knows of a way to fight this nightmare, please let me know. 

If you are in Chicago, please come to the One of a Kind Show. Visit me in booth #1132 at the Merchandise Mart, December 3 - 6. Get more info on the events page at my web site.

And, I added a collections page for the 6"x 6" paintings created for this show. See some of them here.

Jill


HERE'S THE SCOOP on the One of a Kind Show

Show hours:
Thursday, December 3: 11am to 8pm
Friday, December 4: 11am to 8pm
Saturday, December 5: 10am to 7pm
Sunday, December 6: 10am to 5pm

Access a map to locate Booth #1132 here to view a PDF online. (You can navigate around the site from there for more info on tickets, directions, etc.

Phone: 703.403.7435

Email: jill@jillbanks.com
Web:
www.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. Visit me in Booth #1132.  Help me spread the word to anyone you think might be interested in coming to the show.  Thank you!!!