Posts Tagged ‘oil on canvas’

I just stumbled upon an interesting article about William Cummings. He expressed ideas similar to mine: Bill Cumming. 1960s.

“There is only art. Every single human being is born containing an artist, and this being invents art for itself at around the age of three when, without any teaching or coaching or indoctrination, it invents shape.”

He believed firmly that training in “so-called commercial art” is superior to university art schools because students develop skills that allow them to survive in the world, to understand how the art world operates, and to handle the financial end of working as an artist. “Fine art is a war,” he said. “I hate fine art with all its fuss and crap. Fine art students are brought up in a spirit of contempt for people. Of course I paint for the market. So did Rembrandt. So did Titian. It’s high time we quit compartmentalizing art, and leave graduating students thinking they need a grant to make a living.”

William Cumming My Dog

William Cumming My Dog

He taught his students, “You have a right to make money out of art. To make money out of art, you have to create art which someone wants to buy. It’s okay if your drawing is crude. That’s how nature meant it to be. The question is how do you turn crude into a marketable commodity.”

This is something that I would say to my students too. I wanted to share this with you. See the entire article at: http://www.historylink.org


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I was going to publish more stories about my paintings and then a friend asked “Why the crow?” So I will start from this one.

In the Room With Memories

In the Room With Memories

The crow in the painting “In a Room With Memories”  is a memory from my childhood.  My mother had a pet crow.  The crow just came into the open window one day and stayed to live with us. We gave her name Viktoria (“Vichka”). She loved my mother and hated me, probably out of jealousy,  and sometimes tried to bite me.  I was only 4 years old, I was scared, but fascinated with the crow and was trying to gain her trust.  In doing so, I learned to speak like a crow, but that just seemed to annoy her.  In this painting I am finally becoming friends with the crow and making peace with my memories.

The image of the crow is appearing again in the “Self-Portrait in the Red Turban”. I thought about how the feeling of me being rejected by the crow in my childhood is similar to the feeling of being rejected by the art world. I felt rejected when I heard from someone at about the age 14: “There had never been great women artists.”  At first I tried to argue but I had no facts to prove the opposite.  During the 1970s in the Soviet Union no one knew about Artemisia Gentileschi,  Georgia O’Keefe, or Lee Miller.  It was obvious that all “great artists” of both present and the past were men, especially those who chose to join the Communist Party.  I heard negative remarks about “women’s art” which was often considered unimportant and limited to flowers and such.  At the same time in the United States Linda Nochlin’s 1971 article, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” was published.  It is ironic that the same words that empowered women artists in the United States made me give up my dream of becoming an artist in the USSR.

Self-Portrait in a Red Turban

Self-Portrait in a Red Turban

The image of the crows in this work represents great artists whom I envied and wanted to join but was rejected.  Just like being rejected by the crow in my childhood with whom I wanted to be friends.  There is a statement in this work that I do belong to the art world.  I state this by representing myself in Van Eyck’s famous red turban and by painting crow feathers on my coat.  This connects me to the art world as well as to the crows’ world.









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OK! While I really should be in my studio, painting, I will spend a little more time in a virtual world, boasting about myself. Actually, about having a great friend, a poet, Tom Kirby-Smith who wrote a great poem about my art for my book:

“ . . . magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn”

Alla Parsons’ paintings speak to me
As in the song, “Do you see what I see?”Window
Her gaze transfigures all that she beholds—
Clouds, faces, trees—the sunlight that enfolds
Those creeping wavelets, distant church’s spire—
Bare-breasted angels on bright wings aspire–
A croissant on a plate, a pot of tea,
Two smiling women—suffused with mystery—
As Jane Ann wrote me, “haunting, mystical”–
All Alla! But not one bit egotistical.
“Come to the window; sweet is the night air,”
Said Matthew Arnold to his lover there
Above the Dover cliffs. Let Alla call us
(What happier invitation could befall us!)
To share the windows of her soul, and see
Within those magic frames the mystery
Transforming common things until they seem
“The glory and the freshness of a dream”
As yet another poet wrote. Open this book,
There’s nothing else to say. Just, simply, “Look!”

Tom Kirby-Smith



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My work “Self-Portrait in a Red Turban” was published in:

The Lexikon of Fantastic Artists (2nd german extended edition) ISBN: 9-783848263073

The official presentation of the book is Saturday, February 23, 2013 11:00 a.m. at the PhantastenMuseum Wien
Palais Palffy 1010 Vienna Josefsplatz 6


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After a long period of travel abroad we moved to Virginia just in time to meet the New 2012 Year…

March  – “Between Reality and Imagination”” – solo show at the Gourmet Frog

June – “7 Visions”” – group show with 6 other local artists who invited me to participate in a group critique on a monthly basis

July – “Figuratively Speaking” solo show of figurative works at the Artery Gallery in Greensboro, NC

August – work was accepted into the prestigious “Virginia Artists” juried show in Hampton, VA

September – Tunisia Art Festival – an artist residency with artists from 18 different countries in Monastir, Tunisia

November – awarded an Honorable mention at Danville Art League juried show

December – work was accepted and sold at the prestigious “Winter Show” in Green Hill Center, Greensboro, NC

Work accepted for publication in Vienna, Austria – Catalog of Fantastic Realism

Two solo shows scheduled: one for 2013 in South Boston, VA and another for 2014 at the Museum of Fine Art and History in Danville, VA

I guess it was a good year!


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Dear Friends!

Let’s paint in Cesenatico, Italy en plein air, by the beach, in historical squares, and near beautiful canals surveyed by Leonardo da Vinci. It is situated near Ravenna – home of the world’s most splendid mosaics.

Cost of the workshop is €300 which includes 10 hours of instruction, five days of painting, handouts, and a supply list. Airfare and hotel are not included. Payment is due by the first workshop meeting. A non-refundable deposit of €20 is due before April 10 to hold your spot.

We will be staying at the Hotel Beau Soleil. Their prices are very reasonable and include room with food and wine. You can visit the hotel’s website or send them an email for more information to info@hotelbeausoleil.it

We recommend booking early. Mention that you are coming with Michael and Alla Parsons. If our group is large enough you may qualify for a discount.

You may fly into either Bologna or Forlì Airport, which is very close to Cesenatico. The Hotel can provide information on airport transportation.

Space is limited so please contact me to reserve your spot in what is going to be an incredible time in Cesenatico on the Adriatic coast.

Please, like my Facebook Page and visit my website at www.allaparsons.com

Beautiful Cesenatico city:

Cesenatico is located on the Adriatic coast in Emilia-Romagna – the gastronomic center of Italy. What could be better than great food, great art, and the beach! Contact me for more information.


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April 13 – April 28, 2012

 Alla Parsons Art Exhibition

Reception: April 21, 7-9PM

with the Artist Talk at 8 pm.

Between Reality and Imagination

at Gourmet Frog Art Gallery:  312 Main St., Danville, VA 24541


Kristina's World. Oil painting on canvas. 60x48. 2010.

      Alla Parsons is originally from Russia where she received her basic art training. In the United States she continued her art studies at the university level and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University. Her style can be described as Magic Realism – art in which some mystery or a secret seems to be hidden within the subject matter.  Juxtapositions of sharply rendered and detailed elements, both in the foreground and background, are used to develop an air of mystery or ambiguity.  Alla says: “My paintings are about the mystery of our everyday life”. She emphasizes the objects of everyday life in new and unfamiliar ways.  She explores her physical, psychological and spiritual self as well as memories, family history and Russian heritage through her work. One can see her being influenced by Symbolism, Surrealism and Russian Icons.  In her work you can also see reflections on growing up in Russia, studying the works of the Old Masters in the Hermitage, and in the largest museums in Europe.

 The Artists Reception is on April 21, from 7 to 9 pm
with the Artist Talk at 8 pm.

Visit artist’s website to see examples of her work:  http://www.allaparsons.com/


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