Archive for January 26th, 2009

Maxfield Parrish

Parrish  Christmas Morning 1949Today I want to just show the influence of Maxfield Parrish on my work.  He is certainly well known for his fairy tale-like scenes of scantily-clad young women or children  in fantastical settings but I have always loved his other, lesser known work, particularly his landscapes and homescapes.

There’s an intensity and warmth of color that I find completely compelling, drawing you in immediately and immersing you in a luxurious blanket of warm tones.  For instance, in the piece above, Christmas Morning 1949, even though it is a wintry, snowy scene there are warm tones in the snow fields.  It changes how you look at and feel about the scene, differentiating it from the normal, obvious winter landscape.Parrish Hunt Farm

I am also visually excited by the way Parrish used gradience in the colors of his skies, taking a deep rich color at top and drawing it down in lighter fragments of the colors that make up the original color.  It creates a brilliant effect.

The trees often took a central part in his compositions as well, something to which I was obviously attracted.  Many were boldly colored and powerful.

The houses were mainly long range and very idyllic, warm interpretations.  More home than house.  There was never a specific story conveyed in these homes, just an overall feeling that was formed by their part in the overall picture.Parrish Hill Top Farm Winter

I have also been influenced by the way Parrish put his compositions together, how all the elements were placed to create mood.  The way the trees fill the picture plane.  The way the houses are shown, never in full view.  More about feeling and inference rather than representation.

I could go on and on about his work and all the little things comprising his magic that I’ve tried to incorporate into my own work but the images tell the story much better.  Enjoy…


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