Deborah M. Parks
Mediums: Acrylics, oils, graphite, color pencil
Style: Abstract Realism
Pheasant © Deborah M. Parks (My professor threatened to flunk me because I was spending too much time in the mountains and skipping drawing studio so I completed this design on Christmas vacation...he never bothered me again!)
As a young child I was fortunate to spend my summers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I was fascinated by the intricate and varied designs of Nature; a bird's feathers, a flower, the striations in a rock or the veins of a leaf. I create designs found In Nature in an abstract yet realistic way. I believe there is an undefined energy in the natural world; one that is not normally seen. Abstracting a natural object and focusing on the elemental design and color of that object expresses this energy field. I often incorporate the use of circles in my drawings. While the circles focus attention to both positive and negative spaces, the circles also represent the mandala. "As for the center, that is the essence. As for the circumference, that is the grasping. Thus grasping the essence."
First experience creating:
My first experience creating was actually quite frustrating simply because I was too young! I was trying to draw a Christmas tree but my eye to and coordination was not developed enough to accomplish what I wanted. This actually turned out to be the impetus for my determination to succeed as an artist.
What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?
I have always found a subtle yet powerful energy in Nature! I see the myriad colors and designs in Nature and I convey those images through my graphite and color pencil drawings.
Cellular Energy © Deborah M. Parks (Adapted from an original design that I completed in college)
My creative process is quite straightforward. I begin "incubating" an idea in my mind which may take a couple of weeks at most. Then I select paper and pencil or canvas and paint and begin. I work steadily each day until my creation is complete. Rarely have I had to waver from my original idea.
Nature is my canvas! The beauty of the wading Great Blue Heron or the patterns in a caladium leaf - all inspire me to create.
I have recently exhibited in the City of Orlando's National City Arts exhibitions and in the past in Lynchburg, Virginia and VCU's First Biennial.
Determination © Deborah M. Parks (Created to celebrate the wading birds found in my pond in Florida)
My artwork is promoted through the websites listed above and also on the Etsy site.
The major influence in my art was my art professor, Robert Purvis. I can still see his beautiful oil painting "Zinnias" in my mind even though I have not seen it physically for over 30 years!
There are so many artists that I admire; too many to list here. One artist, in particular, who was recently featured in the New York Times is Ellen Altfest. I relate to her very detailed work.
Energy Flow © Deborah M. Parks (Completed while I was recovering from breast cancer surgery and was an aid to me creatively visualizing my way back to great health)
Recently I won third place in the local National City Arts Exhibition with Energy Flow. I took a friend to see the drawing prior to the exhibit opening and I saw, to my horror, that it was hanging upside down! My husband had wired it incorrectly and it was judged that way! Just think, I may have won First Place if we had only checked to see that it was wired for display properly. That is something I am fastidious about now!
Something annoying thing said to you about my art
Oh nice, but you know you can't make any money doing art! Get a job and then just do your art in your spare time. That's what my parents truly believed but now I know better!
My only regret is that I listened to my parents and instead of following my passion I got a full-time job; then another job, and another. I was never happy and never fit in the 9-5 daily grind. Only when I am creating am I happy!
Daylily © Deborah M. Parks (This was a study to realign my eye to hand coordination)
My immediate plans are to continue creating. My mind is full of ideas all clamoring to speak!
Advice for emerging artists
Follow your passion! If art is truly what you want to do, then do it! Do it for your soul and always be grateful for the opportunity.
Deborah M. Parks - Creating Art From Nature