I pretty much came from the womb drawing and painting. My school years in southwest Minneapolis, Minnesota were punctuated with art projects, contests, and yearbook illustration. Unflattering caricatures of friends and family were one of my favorite things to draw. At the age of 12, I taught myself landscape painting when I got a set of acrylics for my birthday. For some reason, I thought it would be cheating to learn from a how-to book.
After high-school, I attended Coe college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, graduating in 1983 (magna cum laude) with a BA in Art (focus on painting and printmaking). My honors thesis was a study of Expressionism, in theory and practice. I still favor Expressionist and Abstract Expressionist painting.
Back in Minneapolis after college, I ran a printing press for 4 years, painting on the side. I developed a Portraiture technique, using pastels on paper, by forcing friends and family to sit for me. I also began working from old photos, turning small black and white memories into large colorful works of art. I still take commissions for this kind of work.
In 1987, I relocated to Northern California... and discovered chainsaw carving. I carved in the Lake Tahoe area for about a decade, creating everything you can imagine out of dead trees, and existing stumps.
Returning to Minnesota in 1998, I met my husband Dave Parsons, who had also begun carving. We worked together until injury and an aging tool (me) made it necessary to put down the saws. Dave still carves, however, and I design special order pieces for our customers, occasionally paint them, and always offer my ever-ready criticism...critique. (I also serve as a Judge at chainsaw carving competitions.)
Over the years, my visual language has continued to change and grow. It is a never-ending exploration, with Psychological, Spiritual and Intellectual components. Ambiguity is a big part of my work, encouraging each person to have their own unique reaction and interpretation. Ambiguous space allows the viewer to reverse positive and negative space (background/foreground) by shifting perception.
My intention is to create a painting that will to continue to reveal itself in new ways over time, maintaining it's freshness and interest. Many of my pieces can be hung in different directions as well, making them versatile design elements.
I am on to a new group of paintings now, and will be posting them soon... I tend to work in batches, rather than one at a time. Also, LARGER canvases are coming! Thanks for looking, and please check back! Carol Lee Parsons
Original Canvases for Sale
Mandalas: original canvases for sale
Retro Prints: some old favorites