Monday, January 28, 2013

SOLD -Fit For A Queen

"Fit For a Queen" 8x10" Oil on Gessobord

"To love beauty is to see light.
 — Victor Hugo 

I thought I’d share a 8x10” still life I was recently commissioned to paint for a friend who has a gift for collecting beautiful gems and finding perfect settings to complement each jewel.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure I could do justice to the splendor of the subject matter. This is the first time I've ever painted jewelry not to mention the intricate beautiful detail. However, once I let go of my initial fear and picked up the brush, I found myself totally engrossed with each and every spot of sparkle and glitter.

I began with a couple of photo shoots and then sketched the images onto my board. For me, the hardest part is not knowing where to start. Fear can have a paralyzing effect on all of us. Fear for me  manifests itself as a fear of failure. This is when I have to take a deep breath, say a little prayer and force myself to put down that first stroke of color. Next I begin applying paint in either the darkest areas or a mid-value areas. From then on out, it’s a matter of intense observation to see all the tiny little spots of value changes, comparing them to the surrounding values, and mixing the matching colors. The process reminds me of working a jigsaw puzzle, searching for the matching shapes and colors. I get lost in this process like a meditation...time and awareness of self and surroundings vanishes. 

It’s so important to build up a wide range of values from darkest dark to lightest light. If I get too light too quickly, it's almost impossible to ever regain the dark. When all the ground work has been laid correctly, the highlights make the painting pop, and it all comes together. Saving those gleaming bits of the lightest highlights are the icing on the cake. I love that last fun part. 
I was delighted with the way this painting came together. Whew!
A ROYAL thank you for dropping by today!!! : )  
© 2013 nancy parsons
To see more of my art or to contact me: 
Gallery  •  Blog  • NEW WebsiteE-mail Graphic Design Studio

Sunday, January 20, 2013

SOLD -Here Comes the Bride

"Flower Girl and Ring Bearer" x6" Oil on canvas panel

"I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty." 
                                  — Georgia O'Keeffe

I have always been an enormous fan of Georgia O'Keeffe and her  large flower paintings. Regardless of size, I was just hoping to paint one that could be recognized as a rose...a very challenging subject.

For me, white is the most difficult color to paint. White contains all color as demonstrated by light refracting through a crystal. As the white beam of light passes through the crystal, it breaks into a full spectrum of colors found in the rainbow. Funny, I had always assumed black contained all color, when in fact it is the complete absence of all color. 

Sir Francis Bacon said, "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." In this painting, I used a black background to set off and contrast the mostly all white foreground. Black and everything in between, can you see all the different colors I used to create this white rose? Creamy white, golden yellows, pale violet, soft blues, peach, and greens all used to create the illusion of white. Without the use of all the other graduating hues of color, all you would see is a flat, non-dimensional blob of white paint. Michele Cooper was quoted saying, "Given the right lighting, all the colors in the world can be seen in a white object."

Have you ever noticed all the color in clouds or snow?

Thank you for stopping to smell my technicolor rose today.
© 2012 nancy parsons
To see more of my art or to contact me: 
Gallery  •  Blog  • NEW WebsiteE-mail Graphic Design Studio

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Morning Mindfulness

"Morning Mindfulness" 10x8" oil on canvas board

"Awake, harp and lyre!
     I will awaken the dawn."

— Psalm 57: 8

For some reason, I have been waking up at 3:00 a.m. most every morning lately, unable to go back to sleep...UGH! When this happens, I've started trying to apply an idea gathered from a beautiful little book I am reading titled sevensacredpauses.

The night watch vigil (midnight until dawn) is one of the noted times for sacred pauses; a time to rise from sleep to wait in silence with purpose, patience, hope and love. I don't think I'd ever wake up like this on purpose, but when I can't sleep this different take on the situation has turned an annoying negative into one of humbled surrender and acceptance.

When my friend Angela showed me her photo of this harvested hayfield, taken on a recent foggy morn, I couldn't wait to get my fingers on a brush. The field seems to instinctively understand the mystery of deep listening, watching, and waiting patiently in faithful vigilance for the fog to lift and sun to reveal the new day.

Although I am by nature a morning person, this quote from Thomas Merton speaks volumes. "It is necessary for me to see the first point of light which begins to dawn. It is necessary to be present alone at the resurrection of Day, in the blank silence when the sun appears."
Thank you for celebrating a gift of ordinary life with me today.

© 2012 nancy parsons
To see more of my art or to contact me: 
Gallery  •  Blog  • NEW WebsiteE-mail Graphic Design Studio