Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ice Cream and Snow

One of the many blessings of being an artist is that each day, for awhile, we can create our own world and make fonder memories spring back to life.

Outside today, the wind was howling -- and ice/snow covered the ground. It's not a fresh, beautiful, pile on the branches kind of snow either.  Mud peeks through the cracks. The sun is hidden by clouds. I'm not going to paint that.

So what was on my easel?

"Light Spill," oil, 12"h x 24"w, ©2017 Jill Banks was started plein air in February when the day was warm enough that this group gathered on benches eating ice cream cones on the Village Green in the heart of Great Falls, Virginia.

Art has the power to transport us -- its makers, admirers, visitors, collectors.  Today I "traveled" to this past Presidents' Day -- unseasonably warm. The kind of day that brings everybody out. I captured the ice cream eaters hanging out on the benches -- my view from the Artists' Atelier and Arts of Great Falls School's back porch. The view is often magical. Rays of light spilled over the rooftops in the Village Centre (Great Falls, VA) like the sun through a cathedral window.

"Sanctuary," oil, 36"h x 36"w, ©2017 Jill Banks -- one of my cathedral paintings
Maybe the day will be like this for the upcoming Great Falls Spring Art Show -- April 28&29 -- and you can see this sight in person. My work (minus me) will be at the Artists' Atelier, 756 Walker Road in Great Falls VA -- open that weekend from 10am to 5pm both days. (I'll be at the Fairfax Fine Art Festival -- in my booth -- that same weekend in Fairfax Corners, VA. Big art weekend! Come to both!) Get more info on the Great Falls Spring Art Show here.

Spring Classes are Open For Registration

Classes are taught through the Arts of Great Falls School at 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA.  Spring class listings including Evening Paint, Plein Air Landscape and Still Life Plus are on my web site.  It's a little confusing with listings still up there on current classes and upcoming ones ... but dig a little and I bet you'll figure it out. Have any questions, please email me at  See my listing of all classes here:

Now might be a good time to register. Make sure there's a spot for you this Spring.

Upcoming Spring Art Events Officially on the Calendar for 2017 
Hope you'll mark your calendars.
March 14-April 9: "No Place Like Home" juried exhibit, ArtSpace Herndon, Herndon VA. Reception: Sunday, March 19, 3-5pm. Get more info on that exhibit here.
April 22-23: Arlington Festival of the Arts, Arlington, VA (more info to come)
April 29-30: Fairfax Fine Art Festival, Fairfax Corners, VA (more info to come)
April 29-30: Great Falls Spring Art Festival at the Atelier (756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA) and the Grange/Schoolhouse plus more.  My work will be at the Atelier and hopefully I'll have a helper to greet you -- but see me at the Fairfax Fine Art Festival at my booth.
May 20-21: Northern Virginia Fine Art Festival, Reston, VA
June 2-4: Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Festival, Philadelphia, PA

Thank you for reading and your support... Hope to see you soon!


Best in Show -- BoldBrush Painting Competition September 2016 for "Daily Special" -- Hip Hooray! More info here.

Finalist, January 2017 Sedona Art Prize for "Scene at the Bar."
Here's the page with the 12 Top Paintings for January 2017 selected by artist Robert Burridge:
and then travel around the site from there.

Blog: For my latest news and works, visit or subscribe to my blog Life as an Artist at


(Please like that page if you like it...)

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