Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HEART stands for: Heritage, Entertainment, Arts, Restaurants and Theatre. It was the Honolulu Street ART Festival that took place on April 8. Nuʻuanu Avenue was blocked for traffic between King Street and Chaplain Lane. And the street was filled with artists and craftsmen.

I am so grateful to live right here, in the heart of this vibrant creative community that exists in Chinatown! I presented my art alongside by many talented local artists. There was live music, food, crafts, and lots of excitement. 

It was the second time I participated in this event. The first time in September was my first time ever dealing with the tent, and setting up my art on grids for an event like this. I have to admit, it was a bit stressful. But as we all learn from our mistakes, and the second time was better than my first. Remembering that sometimes there a lot of free time between people stopping by my tent, I thought of something to entertain myself between the visitors. And I decided to offer to draw people’s portraits.

20 minutes = $20 that was my Business Plan. And actually it worked! There were many interested people and especially couples. I made quick portraits in watercolor and pencil. It was a great practice for me and the way to get to know these wonderful people. I definitely will do it again next time!

And speaking about the portraits – we have a wonderful group of artists that gather together at the Downtown Art Center (DAC) on Nu’uanu Ave on Tuesdays to share a model and practice the art of Portraiture. It is not a class, there is no instruction but the group is supportive of each other, and artists give advice and help if needed. Members of our group come from different art backgrounds and experiences. Artists use a variety of media: charcoal, graphite, watercolor, acrylics, inks and oils, to name a few.

Currently our group has an exhibition on view at DAC, so please, stop by to see it!

With social media it is easy to keep in touch!

You can always find me on Instagram at @allaparsons and Facebook as Alla Parsons Art.

Although I usually only sell original art, you can buy my prints online at https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/alla-parsons/shop
Let me know if a specific painting you are looking for is not available in my shop yet, and I will add it there for you to buy.

Also, check the Art classes I teach at the Downtown Art Center. The summer break is here now but I will start teaching again in July. You can register at https://www.downtownarthi.org/classes


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Mark’s Garage Art Gallery, February 24, 5:30 – 8 PM. 1159 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI

My two friends and I are organizing this art exhibition to commemorate a one-year anniversary of the unjust war that Putin started against Ukraine on February 24, 2022. We are holding a public reception at

Mark’s Garage Art Gallery on February 24 at 5:30 till 8 PM.

Please, come and bring your friends. We will be donating some portions of proceeds of art sold to charities supporting Ukraine. Location of the show – Mark’s Garage Art Gallery, 1159 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI
Duration of the show: 02/24 – 03/02, 2023

Show Description

This exhibit’s goal is to raise community awareness of the unjust war that Russia started against Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

We are three artists from Russia and Ukraine. Born in Soviet Union, we came to the US as professionals, and recently met in Hawaii at the Mark Brown’s group Plein Air Painters of Oahu.

This exhibit of our original fine art represents our personal reflections on the war. With different styles of painting, we express our feelings about this horrific conflict. We hope to raise the awareness of the war in the community, and to show that Russians and Ukrainians can work together for peace.

We are also hoping to raise money that will be donated to the selected charities and our families and friends currently suffering from the war.

Marina Borovok
Marina holds a Ph.D. in Biology and an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. “I truly believe in the vital role of Arts in the Society. Imagination doesn’t have limits. Be free to express yourself in any kind of artistic form. Enjoy your creativity, and appreciate any creation by others.” Marina teachers Art Classes at the Downtown Art Center Honolulu, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and on-line via ZOOM.

Inessa Love
Inessa holds a MA and PhD in Economics and works as a Professor at UH. She has found art as therapy while going through a divorce. Since then she immersed herself in studying art at UH and with Mark Brown. She loves experimenting with a mix of impressionism, tonalism, and mystical realism. She is captivated by the beauty of Hawaii and loves to paint local landscapes. She is also a surfer and one of her passion projects is painting surfboards. For Inessa, both painting and surfing are meditative experiences during which time stands still and nothing else matters.

Alla Parsons
Alla holds BFA in Painting from Minnesota State University Moorhead and MFA in 2D studio Art form Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. “I draw and paint portraits, landscapes, figure and still life. All for the sake of eventually re-working these in my imagination and creating what I call my main work – Magic Realism. My work is about the mystery of everyday life. It is about my life, my personal history, and my family heritage.” Alla teaches art at Hawaii Pacific University and Downtown Art Center in Honolulu.

FUNDRAISING: Our Selected Charities and Funds Recipients:

United Help Ukraine

Your gift today will provide medical and humanitarian support, as well as the critically important non-lethal resources the Ukrainian defense needs to drive back the invading forces and protect innocent lives.

Peace Engineers in Ukraine

Certified trainers in Nonviolent Communication are working with police, military, government officials and many more, training them in NVC and educating Peace Engineers who intervene in conflicts and support peaceful solutions where ever possible.

Please, feel free to share this announcement and invite friends!


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Chinatown Art Fair

A little announcement:

I am going to participate in a street Art Fair for the first time! Wish me luck!

And if you are in Honolulu, please, stop by and see my booth filled with my ART!

October 8, 11 AM – 3:30 PM, Nuuanu / Hotel Street

Chicken Looking at Olomana
Three Tables
Green Wave
Ko’olina Beach
Pounders Beach

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Join us for an opening reception on First Friday, July 2, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

1041 Nuuanu Ave Suite B, Honolulu (Second Floor).

I am inviting everyone to see the collaborative show where I present 5 of my paintings along with 20 other artists. It is a collaboration of the Hawaiʻi Craftsmen’s Raku Hoʻolauleʻa and The Plein Air Painters of Oʻahu.

If you can’t make it on Friday, don’t worry, the show will go from June 30 to July 31. It is open – Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Also, there will be artists in the gallery EVERY DAY, showing their working processes, giving free demonstrations.

I will be there on Saturday, July 3, doing a demo, please, stop by!

And also a Community Kiln event will be held on Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The ARTS at Marks Garage (Art Gallery in the building next to DAC). It will be held by Raku ceramics artists, and people will be able to glaze raku tea bowls and have them fired by volunteer potters.

Info from the flyer:

Hawai’i Craftsmen’s Raku Ho’olaule’a, founded in 1977, is an annual outdoor community ceramics festival that promotes and teaches Raku pottery traditions that date back to16th century Japan.

The Plein Air Painters of Oʻahu is a casual group of painters who meet regularly to paint “in the open air” at various sites around the island — including at past Raku Ho’olaule’a festivals — to share inspiration, friendship and aloha.

ALOHA to you all! And I hope to see you at the show!

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A Man With a Poem

The man in this painting worked as a model for various painting groups. He travelled from a place far away to pose for my portrait painting group in Charlotte, North Carolina. His name was Richard and he had a very interesting beard. But it was not the only one interesting thing about him. I thought it was interesting that he showed us his Bible that he said was always with him. He travelled a lot and the Bible was very worn. It had some loose pages, some of the pages were poetry. This was the poem that he pointed out to me for some reason.

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

― George Eliot, Middlemarch

So, when I finished this painting, I decided to put the poem from his Bible, in the background.

Now, I think, the portrait is complete.

A Man With a Poem. oil on canvas. 24"x18"

A Man With a Poem. oil on canvas. 24″x18″

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Caged. Oil on canvas. 20×20. 2011.

Caged is about lack of freedom, particularly the freedom of a woman in a male-dominated society.  In this work I reflect on my own experiences as a female artist and also on experiences of other women whose stories I had either read or heard

I did not realize how much my life was affected by living in a patriarchal society in Russia until I moved to America. Studying art history opened my eyes to many stories of female artists. Linda Nochlin’s article, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” was especially insightful. Another book that created a strong impression on me was Peeling Potatoes, Painting Pictures by Renee Baigell and Matthew Baigel.  It was a very interesting compilation of interviews with contemporary women painters in post-Soviet Russia, Latvia and Estonia. You could see several different approaches to how these women saw themselves. Some of them admitted the limitations and discussed it freely. Some stated that it is true that women are inferior to men as artists, but felt they were are an exception. Some refused to talk about it at all.

Caged expresses my feelings towards the immobility and disruption that I felt, and possibly many women artists feel.


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I never heard of this woman, but now I want to read her books!

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With what is going on the political scene right now it is especially important to hear voices of such artists as Deborah Rockman. Her drawings “refer to a cultural linguistic practice that objectifies and dehumanizes women by selectively positioning them in the animal realm, over which man considers himself to have authority. Women are reduced to isolated fragments of the self and filtered through a misogynistic male gaze. Women are critiqued, labeled and deemed sexually desirable or not based on their body type, their genitalia, their facial proportions, their scent, their leg length, their passivity or assertiveness, all of which are crudely paralleled, through language, with animals.”

See Deborah Rockman’s website here.

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This article just appeared on Artsy.net and I would like to share. It is an interesting collection of facts, including a note by John Baldessari that “conceptual art wasn’t about art that had a concept, but about interrogating the concept of art”. Apparently that is what J.B. does himself – interrogates the concept of art. Here is the article link: If-you-don-t-understand-conceptual-art-it-s-not-your-fault.

Isaac Kaplan is the author of this article. I do not quite understand why he says: “Conceptual art—…—emerged in the 1960s as a reaction to Clement Greenberg’s militant commitment to formalism”. In my opinion, Conceptual art emerged with Marcel Duchamp’s concepts and ideas and his urinal “The Fountain” in 1917. Not necessarily my favorite type of art, but I just like more certainty with dates and facts, probably the result of my first career path in history.

I am personally bored when I see that type of art in museums… But, anyway, it is worth putting a bookmark on this article and reading it later, especially if you are trying to figure out what is wrong with our Art World.

Screenshot 2016-08-28 10.47.21.png

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When I was in grad school I had to study my own art and artistic process and write a thesis about it. It was then that I discovered the niche where my art belongs in the Art World – a style called Magic Realism.

The term “Magic Realism” was first used by Franz Roh in his book, Nach-expressionismus (Post-Expressionism) written in 1925.  He later used the same term in 1968 in his new book German Art in the 20th Century.  He also called this new development in art “The New Objectivity” (F. Roh, German Art in the 20th Century. Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1968, 112.) By using the term Magic Realism Roh is referring to Post-Expressionistic artwork in which some mystery or secret seems to be hidden within the subject matter.  As opposed to Expressionism, “Magic Realism emphasizes the object and the everyday life in new and unfamiliar ways.  Juxtapositions of sharply rendered and detailed elements, both in the foreground and back ground, are used to develop an air of mystery or ambiguity.  They remind us that there are still many mysteries in life.”  http://www.tendreams.org/magic-art.htm

Roh used the following dichotomies to highlight the differences between Expressionism and Magic Realism:

Expressionism: Magic Realism:
Ecstatic subjects
Close-up view
Thick color texture
Emphasis on the visibility of the
painting process
Expressive deformation
Sober objects
Puristically severe
Close and far view
Thin paint surface
Effacement of the
painting process
External purification of the object
(Roch. 113)

I found more similarities with my artwork among the attributes of Magic Realism than Expressionism.  I believe that my style developed more towards representational, quiet, static images in painting, turning daily life into eerie form, with a thin paint surface, although I experimented with the opposite qualities as well, never finding much satisfaction in them. Some of my works are more surrealistic (Caged and If I Could Have Opened My Heart), while others (In the Room With Memories or In the Room With the Magic Ball) can be referred to as Magic Realism.

In Art History, Magic Realism acted as a portal to Surrealism, and many artists shifted back and forth from one to another, especially Magritte (Roch, 138).  When I discovered the website ww.tendreams.org  I found a few artists there who I knew before and considered them as influences, but did not realize that they belonged to the Magic Realism group, among them Andrew Wyeth, George Tooker and Charles Scheeler. These artists sometimes crossed the boundaries between Surrealism, Symbolism and Magic Realism. My work also shifts back and forth across the boundaries of Surrealism and Magic Realism, while a large number of other works as you can see on my website www.allaparsons.com are just studies from life: Figure, Still Life and Landscape. I feel the need to work on these Life Studies and I am constantly working to improve my skills in observational drawing and painting. However I consider Magic Realism my major work which takes a longer time to go through the process in my mind, before ripening and appearing, first on sketchbook pages and then on canvas.

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