Monday, December 31, 2012

Punkin Patch

"Punkin Patch" 10x8" oil on gessobord

"Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat." 
                            — Mark Twain Notebook, 1894

I haven't posted in nearly three weeks and am feeling quite remiss. All of the holiday madness and deadlines on a couple commissioned paintings took up most all of what little spare time I could muster away from my full-time graphic business. 

To end the year on a positive note, I'd like for you to meet Angela's cat, Punkin sitting in partial sunlight. Isn't he a cutie! Wonder what he's looking at so intently? A green lizard climbing up the trunk of a crepe myrtle, or maybe a thirsty finch splashing about in the bird bath? You never know what lurks in the eyes of a cat.

You say you're a dog lover and don't like cats? Beware, Faith Resnick said, "People who hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life." Meow!

Happy New Year!

nancy

© 2012 nancy parsons
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Monday, December 10, 2012

SOLD -Sanctuary of Light



"Sanctuary of Light" 10x8" Oil on canvas

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"True inspiration comes when the seeking mind of man joins with the revealing spirit of God." —Unknown

My inspiration for this painting was from a photo of a friend's backyard. It evoked in me feelings of awe and majesty—not so unlike those—felt while touring an inspiring lofty cathedral. 

Warm light shining through leaves casting irregular shadows onto the lawn, reminds me of stain glass windows reflecting jewel-colored patterns onto the church floor; like bright shards of sea glass found glowing on the sand at the beach.

The arched canopy overhead, amassed with warm shimmering fall leaves, dances at the winds command in ripples and waves of adoration and joy. Irregular dots, dabs and slashes of soft sky blue provide cooling breaths that pop in and out, between and around leaves and clumps of leaves, squeezing tight, as if trying to still and tame the perpetual motion of uncontrollable school-age children into respectful silence. 
   
I came across the quote (above) in one of my old sketchbooks, jotted down in 1985. I don't remember where I came across it, but thank you for sharing in my exaltation for the revealing spirit

nancy

© 2012 nancy parsons
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Circle Lake

"Circle Lake", 10x8" oil on canvas panel



"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us." — Henry David Thoreau

This painting was taken from a photo I shot while on a retreat at Circle Lake in Magnolia, TX a number of years ago. The fall color, especially in the cypress trees at the water's edge, were stunning. The girl out on the lake canoeing was oblivious to my presence and the fact that she was posing for me. She is caught up in a moment of quiet stillness, and like the quote above, unaware of her tiny past or future; only the angle of the oar breaking the water held her serene awareness.

The oar of my brush glides along the textured canvas surface, pulling and dragging the many hues of color from shore to shore. There is nothing else in the world that exists except the small white raft, stained with crimson blood, that lies before me on calm open waters. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, dark violent storms arise threatening to sink my fragile craft. I dig in deeper to battle rough waves of value and color that pound in my head. The fear of capsizing at any moment laps at the sides of my vessel like Great Whites waiting to devour all.

I am always a little surprised when the day's journey comes to an end and I return...back to the dark room where I've been sitting for hours...to weigh in the day's catch. 

It's a rough job, but someone has to do it. : )

Thanks for floating by. 

nancy

© 2012 nancy parsons
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SOLD -Out on a Limb

"Out On A Limb" 4x4" oil on canvas board


I have been focusing so much on fall landscapes lately, I thought I'd take a little break and paint a bird or two.
This one was painted on a solid black canvas. I had been seeing these in the art supply store for a while and was tempted to experiment
. This wee one is only 4x4", but just the right size nest for a baby bird to call home. Now ain't he a tweetie!!!

Thanks for fluttering by

nancy

© 2012 nancy parsons
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Longmire Longing

"Longmire Longing" 6x6" oil on canvas panel

"Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable 
longing to see the truth." —Marcus Tullius Cicero


Most evenings I walk my dog down this hilly stretch of road. Once the sun begins its evening ritual of backlighting the towering pines standing guard to the west, deep violet shadows are summoned forth like banshees to stretch across our path as we traverse the stripes of light and darkness.

Similar to the stirrings we feel when an old song pops up on the radio and tugs at our hearts, landscapes are capable of arousing feelings of deep longing. Not to be mistaken with loneliness, the longing I am referring to is a yearning, a yearning for a deeper connection of belonging, which all humans share. Shakespeare referred to it as our "immortal longings." I believe all human creativity is but a response to this ever present longing of our souls. This longing, that never seems to find completion is described so perfectly by
St. Augustine of Hippo, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." 

Thanks for traveling down Longmire Road with me today. 
nancy
©
2012 nancy parsons
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Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree Ornament



I was honored to have been selected by Texas State Representative, Brandon Creighton, as this year's artist to paint our district's Christmas ornament which will hang on the Christmas tree inside the State Capital. 

To the left are the front and back of my ornament that features Lake Conroe as its theme. Our beautiful lake—still recovering from recent droughts—is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife. A blue heron is featured on the front.
 
Lake Conroe is host to a hotbed of recreational activities including water skiing, boating and fishing. From sun up to sun down, the pine covered shores invite family picnics, golfing and camping. The lake's stunning sunsets are reflected on the reverse side with a little boy and girl fishing along the bank under the setting sun. 

I had a terrible time trying to photograph this and the results are not optimal, but gives you an idea of the finished piece. 

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

SOLD -All That Glitters

"All That Glitters" Oil on gessobord" Painting from photo by Angela Fletcher













Somewhere out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn. 

 The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to color." 
                            
 —John O'Donohue, Matins


All that glitters can be gold. Sometimes it's the sun shooting beams over a mountain peak like a laser, firing in rapid succession.
Spouting and spewing its milk and honey glow over all that lies in its path. Like an eruption of shimmery lava, transforming light races down sides of mesas and hills, oozing its way freely to fill entire valleys, and gobbling up the dark like an enormous shark on a feeding frenzy. This ghostly lion trainer cracks its whip, forcing the wild and untamed back into molded cages of form, shape and color...reclaiming what was stolen by the night.
 

  
Thanks for peeking in on my pot of gold today. 
nancy


© 2012 nancyparsons
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

SOLD -Fog Along the Bend

"Fog Along the Bend" 6x6" Oil on canvas panel

"Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us."

                                        —Henri Matisse

It seems most of my life has been spent in the presence of fog. The unknown, muted and dim stands waiting behind a semitransparent veil just slightly out of reach, dangling like a carrot on the end of a stick, propelling me on like a light leading to the end of a long tunnel. 

This painting was another of my friend Angela's photos from along a bend of Longmire Road. She arrived early in the morning as the sun began rubbing sleep from its eye and shaking off the light cover of early fog stretched out ahead. 

I love the way everything in the photo including the fence, road, hay bales, stand of trees along the road all lead your eye directly to the lone solitary sentry of a tree standing guard at his post protecting the bounty of bales.

Landscapes seem to live a contemplative life trapped in the embrace of quiet, silent stillness of belonging and oneness.... echoing the eternal. 
  
Thanks for focusing in on my painting today. 
nancy
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOLD -Samantha's Straw Hat

"The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions."   

                              —Marcus Tullius Cicero

I thought I'd share a commissioned piece I've been working on from a photograph. Meet Samantha, she's the granddaughter of my friend Carol Ann. I haven't worked on a lot of portraits, but really enjoyed this one. I am finding there really is not a lot of difference between painting a still life, landscape or portrait as long as you forget about trying to create a likeness and instead focus in to try and duplicate all the values, shapes and colors changes where you see them. Somewhere in the process, as if by magic, the spirit of the subject emerges through all the dabs of paint. Isn't she a cutie!

Thanks for viewing my painting of Samantha. 
nancy

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Morning Melody

"Morning Melody" 8x10" oil on gessobord panel

"The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star."

— Henry David Thoreau
This scene is the same field as yesterday's painting, only earlier in the day. It's that melodious time at dawn when mystery still shrouds the earth in a layer of ghostly atmosphere. The time of day when soft glow of morning rays begin sweeping away lingering bits of mist and haze. Light streaks across clouds and expanse of sky with watery-tints of pastel, shaking awake dew-covered loam lingering under silvery blankets of web. The promise of another day; the birds see..no wonder they can't help but sing.

Thanks for dropping by this morning and viewing my painting. 
nancy
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

SOLD -Hidden Treasure

"Hidden Treasure" 6x6" oil on canvas panel

                                            Click to Purchase

 "I have seen light break through to illuminate a small field for a while and gone my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great prize, the one field that had the treasure in it..." 
— R.S. Thomas, "The Bright Field"
There is a field bordering a section of Longmire road a few miles from my house. Over the years, I have driven by hundreds of times, always feeling there was something special at work there. Recently I was driving by the field—early one morning—returning from an appointment just as the sun was breaking across the field and illuminating baled rounds of golden treasure, setting the field and surrounding tree tops in a fiery glow. I was so excited I almost ran off the road! It was one of those magical moments. I wanted to stop dead in my tracks and pull out my paints, but all I could manage was to pull out my cell phone and blindly snap. Luckily, my friend Angela went back a few days later and shot the photo above. 

I love hay bales. To me they are a profound symbol of our own bounty. All we have ever known and have been over a life time, gathered up into the harvest. The past not gone, it's all there carefully rolled up inside and held tight in layers of hugs gathered and readied, waiting to be snapped away.  

Thanks for viewing my painting. 
nancy
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Breath of Spirit

         "Best of all is to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song. — Konrad von Gesner

I haven't been able to paint as much as I would like lately. My world has been moving at a furious pace with design work demanding most all of my time. However yesterday, my spirit finally caught up with me... and I painted! 
 
I never seem to know what I am going to paint until I show up. It's interesting how the breath of inspiration always comes as a surprise visitor, spontaneous and unpredictable. Digging through photos of last summer, I came across this one from the Taos Ski Valley. I could again feel myself standing beside this bubbling mountain stream, soaking in the warm sunlight, as spirit summoned breath out of the dark sleepy shadows of late afternoon forest.  
Making time to wander in silence, my heart opens wide to inhale breath of spirit in all its mystery and splendor.

Thanks for pausing today to listen to my song and for viewing my painting.  
nancy
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

SOLD -Birch Grove

"Birch Grove" 6x6" oil on canvas board
Click to Bid

         "Landscape is not all external, some has crept       inside the soul."John O'Donohue

You might say I am a kicked in the head fan of John O'Donohue's writings. Every other word he writes hits me like a jab in the heart. Perhaps it's my own part Irish ancestry, but I have been devouring every morsel of his book, Anam Cara-A Book of Celtic Wisdom, stretching it out and savoring each word like a deluxe box of fine Belgium chocolates, never wanting to reach the bottom.

I have been fascinated and mystified by trees since I was eight years old. I would regularly climb to the top of the 100-year-old tree in our yard and sit on wide outstretched arms of the highest branches, swaying in the wind for hours on end. Trees seemed so wise, safe and secure to me.

I didn't have the words to understand what I was experiencing back then, but I have come to realize, those were my first contemplative experiences into solitude and silence. It was in solitude where I have found my deepest sense of belonging, and the distinct sense of oneness and peace with all that surrounds. Somehow those early feelings have stayed with me through out my life. Trees were my teachers and I am ever so grateful for their mentoring.

Thanks for wandering in and for viewing my painting.  
nancy
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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

"Another Day in Paradise 6x6" oil on canvas panel
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"Such golden earth-light is the natural sister of shadow and cradle of illumination." 
John O'Donohue

In his book, Anam Cara A Book of Celtic Wisdom,  John O'Donohue says, "the world has become so familiar to us we no longer see it anymore." Sadly we've grown accustom to racing through the world wearing numbness blinders to what surrounds us. I guess we unconsciously think we know what's there, so we don't think of looking again?

It's interesting to note that the human eye selects what it wants to see. This photo at first glance may appear as an ordinary street scene in Taos, NM. Nothing special here, just a couple of people walking down a street with parked cars. In fact, it's so ordinary this same scene could be found in any city in the world. Luckily the speed limit was only 20 miles per hour or I might have missed it also. Now look again, look at the sky filled with bright clouds in a backdrop of majestic mountains. Colors appear on dappled pavement from cool shadows of looming telephone poles and signs, lofty graceful trees shade the baked adobe shops lining the street with their branches.

Simple awareness shines a spotlight on ordinary objects waiting in light and shadow to bring joy to your day. Perhaps we should ask ourselves at the end of each day, what did I really see today? What was special? 

Thanks for strolling by and seeing my painting.  
nancy
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Something's Burning

"Somethings Burning" 6x6" oil on canvas panel
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"Colours are wounds of light."—William Blake


This painting was taken from the photo on the right. I snapped it along the banks of the Conejos River in southern Colorado, just as the sun began bowing down behind the mountains. I love this "magic-time" of day as cool haunting shadows stretch their way across the earth like enormous color erasers. In resistance, the sun seems to intensify its strength, shooting out hot flashes of the brightest hues, engulfing everything visible in a wash of illuminating light. To me, there is nothing more beautiful then to witness those last long-slender fingers of light as they scratch the earth in dire desperation to hold on to the day.

I hope you enjoy the light show. Thanks for viewing my painting.  
nancy
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shedding Light

In case you are wondering what I've been up to lately, I've taken a break from painting to advertise and frame the paintings for my upcoming September show, and to publish my new book "Shedding Light". If you haven't already done so, check it out to the right. You can thumb through the entire book and even purchase a copy.



If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by to see all the paintings from our recent trip to New Mexico and Colorado, along with other recent works. I'll be there on Saturday, Sept. 22nd for the Artist Reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and would I'd love to meet you. Hope to see you there.

Thank you for following my blog and my work.
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

"For The Love of Color"


I'm back home after a month on the road, trying to catch up with work and prepare for my upcoming art show. The show will be on display the entire month of September at The Linda Watson Gallery here in Conroe. See details above.

If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by to see all the paintings from our recent trip to New Mexico and Colorado, along with other recent works. I'll be there on Saturday, Sept. 22nd for the Artist Reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and would I'd love to meet you. Hope to see you there.

Thank you for following my blog and my work.
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mountains, and Streams and Gorges, Oh My

"Taos Rapture" 10x8" oil on gessobord
"It's like trying to describe what you feel when you're standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or remembering your first love or the birth of your child. You have to be there to really know what it's like."       —Jack Schmitt

Stream in Taos Ski Valley
View of Rio Grande Gorge from Bridge
We spent the day today with towering pines and aspens in the Taos Ski Valley area. This was the little scene where we fished, painted and had a picnic with Wheeler Peak in the background. It was cooler up in this higher elevation and very windy. I have learned to put rocks in my plastic trash bag that hangs from my easel. This keeps it steady and prevents it from blowing over. 

This next photo was taken at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge which is located just 7 miles outside Taos. The photo doesn't begin to convey the magnitude of this expanse of land. I've never seen the Grand Canyon, but this was stunning. Standing in the middle of the bridge and looking over the railing at the ribbon of a river hundreds of feet below makes you feel as tiny and insignificant as a flee on an elephant's back.

Thanks for touring with me today and for viewing my painting.  
nancy
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Parking It

"Parking It" 9x12" oil on canvas panel
"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."—Pablo Picasso

Dear Diary, 
I painted all day today at this beautiful park in Pagosa that stretches its way along the San Juan River with the alluring San Juan mountains for a backdrop. The park was dedicated to the Yamaguchi family honoring their service to our country during World War II. I painted in the full glory of it all as Dave fished the waters below. Wow! What a an inspiring place to paint...and it didn't even rain. Can you believe I had a covered pavilion to stand under, picnic table and a restroom nearby!!! Now it doesn't get much better than that in plein aire. I was really happy with my catch at the end of the day.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post yesterday. You guys inflated my balloon. I am now cruising at about 7,105 ft. ...or, maybe that's cause we are at an elevation 7,105 ft.? Either way I really appreciated hearing from all of you. : ) 

We left the "healing waters" of Pagosa today after a trip to the local bakery for hot cinnamon rolls and then huffed and puffed our way over the mountains into Taos. Thought we'd spend the last four days here, before we head on down the highway back to Texas, in the land of the art gods. Can't wait to hit all the galleries I read about in "Southwest Art magazine" and sample some more green chili tamales or enchiladas. I'll bet I've gained 5 lbs. from all the green chili I've eaten on this trip. Oh well, feast today...diet and swim twice as far next week.

Thanks for playing in my park today. 
nancy
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pagosa Drama

"Pagosa Drama" 16x20" oil on canvas


“And if I let a gust of wind or a sprinkling of rain turn me aside from these easy tasks, what preparation would such sloth be for the future I propose to myself?” 
―  Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre 
I've been working on this large 16x20" painting of the San Juan River from here in Pagosa Springs, CO. I spent an entire day working on this piece on location in plein air, that is until a huge gust of wind came up from out of nowhere and blew my entire setup including the painting face down in the dirt. The wet paint was covered with lumps of dirt. This happened right before the storm hit. Oh well, such are the hazards of this trade. Plein air ain't for sissies. You have to take everything in stride. Once the paint dried, I was able to flick off all the dirt and make the touch up repairs. I decided to finish this piece from the security of our tiny little camper, which works fine as long as Dave stays away fishing. 

It's rained most every afternoon we've been here, the sound of the rain on the roof of our camper is enchanting, sounds like the sound made by an Indian rain stick. There's always a silver lining to every storm.

Thanks for viewing my restored painting. 
nancy
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Windswept

"Windswept" 9x12" oil on canvas panel
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Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
 — Rabindranath Tagore

I snapped this photo at the Edward Sargent Wildlife Area lookout point in Chama, NM. The reserve is located at the base of the San Juan Mountains and covers 20,000 acres of wild high country extending to the Colorado border
A short hike up a rocky mountain path lined with wildflowers leads to this viewing spot...the best place to watch elk graze. The herds follow the river into this area yearly during the summer migration. I was told if you get here right as the sun is setting, you can sometimes can hear the male elk bugling his mating call. It wasn't quite sunset while I was there, so I never saw or heard the elk, but loved the view. My spirit was filled with awe and wonder at the billowy mounds of fluffy white clouds picnicking across that enormous cobalt blue blanket of a sky. It was a visual feast.

Hope you enjoyed the scenery. Thanks for viewing my painting. 
nancy
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