Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Secret Garden" Colorful Courtyard ... Happy Father's Day

"Secret Garden," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
Today's post is the finished version of a plein air study that I intend to develop into a larger work in the studio. Looking back at my week's work, almost all the pieces are saturated with color to a degree well past my quite colorful norm. The light turns every corner of the place into a vivid, color-drenched scene.

"Secret Garden" is based at the Pacific House in downtown Monterey.  Young kids were at camp in the courtyard learning about Mexican customs and at the moments depicted, they were testing out a historical snack of some sort. I was too engrossed on capturing them before they exited to find out much more. One of their camp counselors said the kids kept asking her if she thought I was painting them ... to which she answered "of course not ... She's painting the flowers."

I'd painted here in the Pacific House courtyard last year but wasn't able to finish. The dappled light enchants but is a bear to paint. I'm going to keep at it because it conveys the place, its intense glow ... so well.

"Coast of Santa Cristina, Lloret de Mar" by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida
These colorful days and the subjects of "Secret Garden" kept artist Joaquin Sorolla's work foremost in my thoughts. His piece shown above could easily have been painted here. There are better examples out there of his paintings in gardens. I'll look for hints from those works in approaching my larger piece born from "Secret Garden" and the hours spent at Pacific House.

Yesterday I painted the chapel at the Presidio in Monterey ... for hours and hours. It was a funny day with flatter light than the blue-skied ones that preceded it. Still, I took lots of mental notes of those moments that the yellows and oranges drew the sun onto the chapel's facade. You'll see it sometime soon.

Happy Father's Day!
It seems fitting that the day's post is of a garden ... in honor of Father's Day. Happy Father's Day, Dad ... who kept each of our homes (as a kid and then for my family) surrounded by flowers and gardens that greeted us each day.  What a beautiful gift!!! (One of SO many.)

May you celebrate the great Dads in your life this Sunday.

See more of the paintings (please) from California and other spots in the Places Gallery on my web site.

I plan on showing my California pieces in Virginia sometime soon.

Thank you for reading!


Phone: 703.403.7435



May through December:  First Friday Art Walk, 6-9pm, Artists' Atelier, 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. The Atelier is also open on Wednesdays, noon to 4pm and Saturdays, 10am to 2pm (or whenever an artist is in there working.)
June 21-August 15: "Flowers and Such: the Still Life Show" Solo Exhibit, Triny's, Great Falls, VA.  14 of my original still life oil paintings on exhibit in Great Falls.
July 9-10: Wickford Fine Art Festival, Wickford Historic Village in North Kingstowne, RI.
August 27-28: Shadyside: the Art Festival on Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA
September 17-18: King Street Art Festival, Alexandria, VA
September 24-25: Armonk 55th Annual Outdoor Art Show, Armonk, NY

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