Monday, June 26, 2017

Plein Air Richmond ... It's a Wrap!

"Orange Umbrellas," oil, 12"h x 16"w, ©2017 Jill Banks -- my Quick Draw from Saturday of the newly opened The Pit and the Peel cafe in Carytown (Richmond VA) 

Get more info about each painting on my website:

How about I show you the week in pictures? Worth a thousand words, right?

"Night Cafe" (The Hill Cafe in Church Hill, Richmond VA), oil, 24"h x 18"w, ©2017 Jill Banks
"Twists and Turns," oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2017 Jill Banks
"Night Cafe" was painted across the street from The Hill Cafe over many hours in the late evening on Wednesday -- and finished up, unusually, the next afternoon.  Okay, I'd say there were a LOT of things unusual about the course of this painting. In selecting a spot  for a nocturne, my first criteria is some semi-acceptable overhead light ... as in a street lamp. Nope. None. Husband Randy set up a battery lamp on a high chair to help ... but the glare was really strong and my palette remained in the total dark.  My position also put me way too close to a very pungent garbage can.  That's how much I wanted to paint "Night Cafe."  The following afternoon, I let my memory guide me as to the scene at night but fixed up all the color errors caused by my "mystery" palette.  "Night Cafe" may still be available through the Brazier Gallery until July 6. After that, check with me.

"Twists and Turns" is set in Libby Park overlooking the river.  What a great place to paint.  Over the course of the week, I witnessed a wedding, photo shoots, exercise classes, sunset watchers, dog walkers, vista viewers and plenty of my fellow painters soak in the beauty of this spot in Church Hill.

"Libby House," shown later in this post was the view across the street from "Twists and Turns."

"Better Days," oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©2017 Jill Banks

"Garden Bathers" (Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Conservatory), oil, 16"h x 12"w, ©2017 Jill Banks

"Libby House," oil, 24"h x 12"w, ©2017 Jill Banks. Private collection. (Sold)
 Mother Nature is not always fully cooperating and with practice and ingenuity, plein air painters figure out all sort of ways to make the most of the situation.  "Church Hill Morn" -- shown at the bottom of the post -- was created over three mornings and on the last day, clouds were refusing to break for many hours.  So, I took that time to get "Better Days" going at another easel a few yards away. Once the sun broke through and shadows appeared, I could finish both paintings.

After turning in most of my paintings at the Brazier Gallery on Thursday afternoon (and catching a quick meal), I headed to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to paint. There wasn't much time to fuss ... and I quickly found my spot in the conservatory to capture "Garden Bathers."  It was SOOOO hot.  Visitors were more reticent about talking to me while I painted than normal.  My guess ... that with sweat pouring down and a probably purple face ... I looked a little frightening. Despite the struggle with the temp, I love "Garden Bathers." Wonder if you do, too?

"Libby House," as mentioned is the view directly across from Libby Park's "Twists and Turns." This painting came to life through conversations with my easel guests who added a sense of history to the scene in front of me. Through them, I learned that a couple who lived there prior loved to eat their dinners  out on their deck porch, enjoying that fantastic view. So there they sit. 
"Church Hill Morn," oil, 16"h x 20"w, ©2017 Jill Banks. Private collection. (Sold)
"Church Hill Morn" was painted over three mornings just steps from my host family (Chris and his dog, Violet). I "camped out" shaded by the hatch of our SUV with all the tools of the trade within easy reach.  Painted this, because I kept watching Richmond wake up morning after morning ... reminded me of the movie "Groundhog Day." Heck, a lot of my life reminds me of that movie since days transpire in slow mo and characters (all of you) become a part of my routine for a bit. "Church Hill Morn" went home with a great couple I met at the opening night at Brazier Gallery. It went to a great home.

In any case, Plein Air Richmond offered a fantastic week spent in an inspiring place ... full of fun with fellow artists, high heat, and culminating in a beautiful show at the Brazier Gallery in the Fan District in Richmond, VA. I believe that some of the paintings will be available for purchase there for a limited time after the show.  It's always amazing to look around at the end of such an event and think that these works of art were just blank canvases days ago. What beautiful pieces were created ... and the blessing is that so many of them found appreciative collectors to snatch them up. If you can, go take a look.

This has been an incredibly long post -- Thanks for sticking with reading it! My blog posts are fewer and farther between but I'm guessing the paintings provide a sufficient excuse for the delay.

I just saw the July issue of Southwest Art Magazine with a really nice article about my work as one of the Editors' Choice: Artists to Watch. Really neat!  Please check it out.  Southwest Art is sold at Barnes and Noble ... and probably lots of other places as well.  Dad -- I talk about you and your very early influence on my art making.

In an hour or two, my next adventure begins.  Telluride Plein Air ... a week in this cool town in Colorado lays ahead.  YAY!!!! If you're in the neighborhood, please visit me, help name the painting in progress, find out why I picked that spot, show me another gem I should not miss.

See you around some town, I hope!!!! Thanks for reading!

Jill Banks

June 5-11: Bucks County Plein Air, Philadelphia PA

June 18-25: Plein Air Richmond, Richmond VA
June 28-July 4: Telluride Plein Air, Telluride CO
July 7: First Friday Art Walk in the Village Centre, 6-8pm -- Start at the Artists'Atelier, 756 Walker Road, Great Falls, VA. See you there! (The Artists' Atelier is open Wednesdays, noon to 4pm and Saturdays, 10am to 2pm).
July 8-9: Wickford Fine Art Festival, Wickford RI
July 1-August 31: Long Beach Island Plein Air Plus, Long Beach Island NJ

September 16-17: Alexandria King Street Art Festival, Alexandria VA
September 23-24: Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Armonk NY
October 14-21: Sedona Plein Air Festival, Sedona AZ
October 20-22: Great Falls Annual Studio Tour, Great Falls VA (Artists' Atelier, 756 Walker Road, Great Falls -- I'll be there Sunday only.)

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