Holly Hope Banks was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1957. She began her art education at the University of Toledo, receiving her Bachelor’s of Art degree in 1981. She was a registered copyist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for 5 years. Holly continued her classical training at the Atelier of Plein-air Studies for 4 years and then furthered her studies by extensive travels to Europe.
Her work has been included in numerous national open juried exhibitions: the last six years alone have included appearances in the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club at the National Arts Club in New York and with the Audubon Artists at the Salmagundi Club in New York. She has won major awards with both art organizations and is a full member of both. Her work has also been included in exhibitions in 2000, 2001 and 2010 at the Butler Institute of American Art.
In 1996, Holly was one of six American artists chosen for cultural exchange with the Union of Russian Artists. They were the first group of American artists to be officially invited to Russia. Here work was featured in an American/Russian show in Kolomna and Moscow, Russia. In 1998, she was named as one of ten prominent emerging artists in an article of American Artist magazine, and wrote an article, ‘An Artistic Imagination’, which was published in the same magazine in the October 2001 issue. Her portrait of ‘Ms. Ramona Tumblin’ was selected for the ‘Best of Portrait painting’, North Light Books, 1998. She is listed in numerous reference books including Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the World.
Holly is a realist painter who specializes in portraits, figurative outdoor work, and still life.
Artist’s Statement: The beauty of nature moves my spirit. I want to express this nature visually and in a traditional manner, as in the fine old master paintings you see in the museums. I look to them for inspiration and guidance in the convention of picture-making and strive to find my own language, my own personal handwriting within this discipline. The artists most influential in my work are the 19th Century French, Naturalist painters Jules Bastien-Le Page and Emile Friant as well as the English Newlyn school painters, Arthur Hacker and Sir George Clausen. Emile Carlsen and Henri Fantin-Latour are my influences for still life. I develop an idea visually through thumbnail sketches followed by a more detailed drawing. It’s then transferred to canvas, blocked in, allowed to dry thoroughly, and finished off. My goal is to achieve the highest caliber of workmanship and craft as the masters accomplished in the past. Always striving for that high standard, humbly.