How do you find inspiration?
Jill Banks: Inspiration is everywhere. I think it’s following me around. I’m fascinated by people. Animals too. In 2011, I took on a crazy project to paint 100 Faces in 100 Days – from life of anyone who agreed to sit for me. That project was filled my head with stories to last several lifetimes.
It was sad when people stopped showing up at my studio door daily. That was the major impetus for launching into painting plein air on location in the spots where they gather. If they weren’t coming to me, I was going to find them.
Each year – other than 2020 and 2021 – I’ve traveled overseas on personal painting trips to explore and capture life in oils. It was a joy to return to Paris this August, setting up my easel all over the city. The hardest daily decision was which direction to head once out the apartment door. That eleven-day trip produced at least a start on 18 paintings with some real beauties among them and more to come.
The rest of the year I find inspiration closer to home (sometimes in it), on domestic personal painting trips (like Key West) or during plein air competitions in the US.
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