Sunday, April 9, 2017

"Pairs of Parakeets" and Home Studio Visits

"Pairs of Parakeets," oil, 24"h x 12"w, ©2017 Jill Banks
Despite my blogging absence, there are actually a number of paintings "cooking" in my studio (and out and about) lately.  There are two plein air pieces of boats that need a little polishing. A really neat painting of Great Falls that's in progress.  Multiple portrait commissions coming together. And today, I went back to work on a piece "Pairs of Parakeets" that was lacking a signature and some more definition ... before a collector who owns parakeets came over to my house for a home art tour.

My photograph is awful.  Just what I get for waiting until dark to capture a wet painting.  A better one will go up on my website later.

About Home Studio Visits
There are a few times in the year that I'm able to make our home a rather perfect gallery to welcome collectors to see a full range of work. To do so generally requires tearing up my display at my studio in Great Falls and not being in the thralls of art shows or plein air competition seasons. This weekend was one of those rare times.

I'd been working on hanging the house and making  a list for a couple of days.  While the house was being prepared for my parakeet-owning collector, another admirer of my work had inquired about a piece she'd seen quite a long time ago and asked about seeing all of my available work.  While it isn't possible to see that -- this temporarily pulled together home collection was as close as I could get to accommodating that request.  Really, the stars aligned.

"Grace," oil, 24"h x 12"w, ©2017 Jill Banks -- one of 8 paintings purchased today.
She purchased a LOT of paintings on Sunday ... to be physically delivered later. They include many new and older favorites of husband Randy and mine including: "Grace," "Irish Pub" (of the Old Brogue), "Alice with a Bad Case of Wanderlust," "Tony," and "Parks and Recreation." "Alice" has been in my private collection until the showing this weekend when I decided it was okay to let her go ... as long as she was landing in a good home.  I know she'll have one.

I hung the house, too, in a way that would interest me ... with my best work, regardless of its new-ness.  My artwork has evolved over time, becoming more impressionistic -- but I love the best of yesterday and today.

Now the house will gradually return to being less put together with classes starting Tuesday morning and many fine art festivals starting in a couple of weeks. Maybe that's where you'll find a treasure of your own.

You know I'd love to see you!

Two More Pieces of News -- Women Artists Groups
I was just juried in as an associate member of Women Artists of the West -- a group I've been interested in being a part of since seeing an exhibit of theirs while in Estes Park, Colorado for a family reunion. I was impressed by both the work and the celebratory nature of the members.  There's a real need out there to promote the work and careers of women artists who are rather woefully underrepresented in collections, museums, galleries ... etc.

Another incredible arts organization for women is American Women Artists -- who are rolling up their sleeves to put together 25 museum shows in 25 years for their Associate and Associate Members with Distinction. (I'm an Associate Member with Distinction -- an honor awarded because one of my pieces managed to be accepted into their Annual National Exhibit a few years ago. They only accept 60 pieces total each year so the odds are slim.)  I did also find out that "Scene at the Bar" was accepted as a finalist in the American Women Artists Spring Online Show which will go up live on Tuesday, April 11 on their website.  While that number isn't limited to 60 ... there are just a little over 100 pieces selected and they are beautiful. So take a look online Tuesday or after.  It will be up for a year.

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.  Have any questions, please email me at  See my listing of all classes here:

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.  "Persimmons in the Kitchen" won Best in Show.
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
June 5-11: Bucks County Plein Air, PA
June 28-July 4: Telluride Plein Air, Telluride, CO

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


Best in Show -- BoldBrush Painting Competition, September 2016 for "Daily Special" -- out of 1440 entries.  More info on the competition here.

Finalist -- Sedona Art Prize, January 2017 for "Scene at the Bar" -- see the 12 Top Paintings selected by artist Robert Burridge here:

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