Monday, August 29, 2016

Shadyside ... A Rollercoaster Ride

"Porch Light On," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2016 Jill Banks
For each of the ten or so art festivals I participate in, the journey there, days exhibiting, road back are full of twists and turns.

Shadyside: the Art Festival on Walnut Street in Pittsburgh PA this weekend was the ultimate study in contrasts. I now truly see myself as the adventurer. Full of hope and anticipation going. Jubilant at times. Doubtful others. Saying "phew" or sighing, hour to hour.

I loved the trip there from Virginia. We traveled roads that seemed to hold mystery and beckoning everywhere. Ate at an amazing farm-to-table restaurant in Bedford, PA (Horn O Plenty) that makes almost everything they serve -- minus some items from local providers.

I love this show though when you visit three times there is a bit of "Groundhog Day" mixed in. Each day reminds you of a previous 24 hours. In good ways and odd ways.

On Saturday, one smart purchaser went home with "Back Story" -- a favorite of mine and she was so thrilled! It will go in her law office which was relocating and "Back Story" will lay the framework for art to come and define the new space.

There were many other potential connections, favored paintings, great interactions. We'll see what comes of it.

Randy and  I stayed at the Inn at Negley in Shadyside. What a welcome respite from many hard hours of work. "Porch Light On" was painted on Friday night, while enjoying some wine and cheese there ... but actually, mainly painting.  I thought of the Motel 6 ad -- we'll leave the light on for ya -- but that whole part of the experience was so almost other-worldly pampering-like.

Hail, winds, holding on at breakdown at Shadyside 2016. No fun.
On Sunday, breakdown begins at 5 with a thunderstorm at least two hours away ... only the thunderstorm did not get that memo.  The skies opened wide and formed a river down Walnut Street with booming thunder, lightning and Randy, me and a fellow artist holding the tent down in three corners for a LONG time. We were drenched. Paintings were safe. We survived. The Howard Alan Events crew were in it for the long haul to help artists safely depart -- many with some damaged art.

Crazy end. Nice drive home. My tent was spread out all over the car and railings to dry out today.  Good times and more challenging ones -- all in 72 hours.

Register for Classes taught through the Arts of Great Falls in Virginia
Get more info on classes with a link to register for each class below.
Evening Paint -- Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm -- starts September 20
Still Life Plus -- Tuesdays, 10:30am to 1:30pm
-- starts September 20 
Calm and scrumptious breakfast on Sunday ... before the rains.
Painting the Plein Air Landscape -- Thursdays, 9:30am to 2:00pm, starts September 22. Classes are held in various locations throughout Northern Virginia.

Paint Great Falls Plein Air Competition -- September 7-10

The Arts of Great Falls is also sponsoring Paint Great Falls -- a Plein Air Painting Competition -- September 7-10 with two receptions: Friday Art Walk, 6-9pm on September 9 and the Awards Reception on Saturday, September 10, 6:30-8:30pm.  Participants need to register  ($30).  I'm the judge this year and am looking forward to seeing all the entries. First place is $500 plus awards will be given for 2nd, 3rd and People's Choice. Get more info on the event here.  Calling all collectors, too. The gallery will be filled with works fresh off the easel depicting Great Falls on September 9 and September 10.

Free Plein Air Painting Demonstration -- Saturday, September 10, Noon-3pm

And, I'll be giving a free plein air painting demonstration on Saturday, September 10, noon to 3pm. RSVP to if you think you'll be able to make that event. Weather permitting, that demo will take place outside near the school at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA 22066.

Lots of Art Events and News
Right around the bend...

September 9-October 24: "Island Life" Exhibition of work by artists juried to paint in the inaugural Long Beach Island Plein Air competition, Long Beach Island Foundation, Loveladies, NJ. (Those paintings are "under wraps" until submitted to the exhibition. Shhhhh. Except for four extras...)
September 17-18: King Street Art Festival, Alexandria, VA
September 24-25: Armonk 55th Annual Outdoor Art Show, Armonk, NY
September 30-October 29: Oil Painters of America Salon Show, Castle Gallery of Fine Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana. "Janssen's Market" selected for this prestigious show.
Sunday, October 2: McLean MPA Artfest, McLean Community Park, McLean, VA
October 14-16: Great Falls Annual Studio Tour, Great Falls, VA
Featured Artist for the Month of August:
Wonderful article spotlighting my work and inspiration just up until the end of August.To see the Featured Artist section, go to ... and click on Featured Artist on the top navigation bar OR you can access it directly here. The Month's almost over ... take a look if you haven't already.

Thanks for reading!


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