Jill Banks

“Date Night, Little City,” oil on linen-lined panel, 20"h x 16"w, ©2019 Jill Banks.

Participating in Falls Church "Scenes in the City" Plein Air Competition, the winner of the top prize for $1250- The Don Beyer Kia-Volvo Plein Air Prize - was Jill Banks who lives in Fairfax. It was awarded by Glen Kessler, founder and director of the Compass Atelier.

This is what Banks wrote on her website under Artist Comments: “Painted plein air, over two long afternoons, at my easel in the parking lot, behind Dogwood Tavern. It's not always easy to know what time of the day to stop painting as there is something magical about many ... the sunset's brilliance on people or trees? When the lights shine brightest and figures fade? Seeing this scene at the same time over two days helped.

It is now on view at the Falls Church Arts Gallery, 700-B W. Broad St., Falls Church, Va. as part of the "Scenes in the City" exhibition from the Falls Church 2019 Plein Air Competition.”

Banks thanked the organizers of Falls Church "Scenes in the City" competition: “You truly are giving a huge opportunity for growth and success for area artists. From last year to this, the event has made great strides. The new display and addition of the quick draw are big improvements. Thank you for all your efforts. I know that these competitions require tons of time and commitment. "

Falls Church "Scenes in the City" Plein Arts Festival was held Saturday, June 15 during the popular Falls Church Farmers Market. This Plein Air Festival accommodates artists with busy schedules or who come from long distances, by having a longer period of time for painting - approximately 8 weeks. Artists from as far away as Pennsylvania have painted scenes in outdoor locations across the City of Falls Church for several weeks capturing the different phases of spring.

Plein Air refers to creating paintings outdoors to catch the beauty of natural light. Popularized in the mid- 19th century, plein arts emphasizes the importance of naturally capturing light and color notes in the landscape. Barb Cram, who initiated the Plein Air competition 10 years ago, says "Falls Church’s has many historical sites including homes as far back as the early 1800's, parks and a beautiful canopy of trees in the City. Additionally the very active small business community makes it a perfect location for this outdoor painting festival.

For more information about the competition, visit https://fallschurcharts.org.

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