Friday, March 30, 2012

Sneak Peek at Underpainting

“I searched through rebellion, drugs, diet, mysticism, religion, intellectualism, and much more, only to find that truth is basically simple and feels good, clear and right.”
– Armando “Chick” Corea

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Another Sneak Peek at Underpainting

Sorry this is so blurry.  It does give a little glimpse into how I add color. I have to remember where color moves from one canvas to the next.  Each canvas has it’s own composition, but all three together are really FUN!

I was kinda hoping it would rain all weekend, so I could paint, but I imagine the boat will get it’s 2012 maiden cruise.  The last two summers were so hot that we barely used it.  Since we have 80′s in March, it may be that way again this summer.  But, while we are hanging out on the lake, soaking up rays, I’ll be writing my artist bio.  I have to do it for the gallery and I’m not very good at talking about myself.  Wish me luck!  :)

About Armando “Chick” Corea

Armando “Chick” Corea, the American jazz pianist best known for his composition “Spain,” epitomizes experimentation in jazz, incorporating sounds from classical, rock, and flamenco traditions. He was born in 1941 in Massachusetts. Son of a jazz trumpeter, he began playing piano at age four. He dropped out of Julliard to learn by doing. He played on the seminal Miles Davis Bitches Brew recording, and formed his own jazz fusion group in the early 1970′s. He founded his own record label in 1992.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Underpainting the Colors

“I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow.”
– Julia Cameron

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Little Bit of Underpainting

I have been getting up before 5:00 am to go paint in the studio before work.  I’m slowly adding color.  These colors you see are still part of the underpainting, because there will be many layers of color and glazing.  Maybe it’ll give you an idea how these paintings develop.   It’s slow, but fun!   :)

About Julia Cameron

American author Julia Cameron has become an icon in the creative community for her best-selling self-help book, The Artist’s Way, which guides people through a series of simple but profound exercises to awaken their creativity. She grew up in Chicago and has been writing seriously since age 18. In addition to her 28 books, she has written plays, screenplays, and songs. She was married to film director Martin Scorsese and has one daughter. She currently lives in New York.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Underpainting to the Chalk Lines

“Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think,”
–Martin Seligman

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Underpainting my new Tryptic – Three 12″ x 24″ Gallery Wrapped Canvases

After I draw the chalk lines, I lay down an underpainting, using Golden Fluid Acrylics.  I paint right up to, but not over, all the chalk lines.  After the entire underpainting is dry, I wipe all the chalk lines off with a damp cloth.  That gives me the black outlines.  This stage is a little tedious, but it’s really fun to watch it develop.  :)

Yesterday, I took 12 paintings over to Our Favorite Place, Eufaula’s new gallery.  It is so exciting!  They are planning a soft opening on April 9th.  No party or anything, just yet.  I think she wants to work all the bugs out first.  The owner of the gallery, Karen Weldin, doesn’t know anything about owning a gallery and she is not an artist.  She has pulled together an awesome committee of artists and people experienced with running a gallery, to help her put her dream in motion.  She bought the building last year and knew it was meant for something special.  (She’s right!)  The 100 year old building has been undergoing a complete restoration, bringing it back to it’s former glory.  There are some photos on their website and I’ll take more when all the art is hung.

Authentic Happiness is the homepage of Dr. Martin Seligman, Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology, a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.
This website has more than 2 million users from around the world, and you are welcome to use all of the resources available here for free.  The best place to start is by learning more about the latest theory and initiatives in positive psychology, by taking one of our well-being questionnaires, or by checking out recent presentations and selected media.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chalk Lines on Black Gesso

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
– Peter Marshall

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Chalk Line Beginnings – Three 12″ x 24″ Gallery Wrapped Canvas

When my computer was down all last week, I took time to start a group of acrylic paintings I should have started a long time ago.  I wanted to have them ready for the new gallery opening, but I doubt I’m going to make it.  I’ll show you some progress shots this week.  This is the stage where I draw the beginnings onto my black gessoed canvases.

I actually went in to the studio and painted a little on them at 5:00 this morning, before getting ready for work.  I need to be twins for about 3-4 weeks.  :)

About Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall, the witty, magnetic Scottish-American preacher who became chaplain of the US Senate just two years before his death, was the subject of the 1955 movie A Man Called Peter, based on his wife’s best-selling biography. He was born in Scotland in 1902 and, as a boy, wanted to go to sea; he served in the navy before becoming a minister. His compelling orations and his belief that religion should be fun drew large congregations to his church. He died in 1949.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Seattle Skyline in Technicolor

“You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012
Seattle Skyline – 6″ x 8″ Watercolor & Sharpie
Valri Ary posted a photo of Seattle’s skyline on WetCanvas.  Of course, I eliminated all the ships and barges docked up there.  And, okay…. I may have made the buildings a little more fun, but what’s the harm in that?  :)
I drew the buildings, then laid down all the windows with itty bitty dabs of white acrylic, tinted with yellow or aqua.  When it was dry, I went in with watercolor.  This is why everything looks so pastel.  There’s a lot of little windows repelling the watercolor.  My own resist.  I almost didn’t add the sharpie, but gave in at the end.  I think I like it.
Still no work computer, so I spent part of the day adding wires to the backs of paintings I am taking to the new gallery this morning.  I’m a little nervous.  I have been in our little arts council gallery for quite a while and my work is selling there, but this one will be quite a different beast.  I understand that each artist will have their own bar code.   Hmmmm…. should be a fun learning experience, to say the least.   

About Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Gandhi, known by the honorific title Mahatma (“great souled”), embodied the power of nonviolent protest to achieve great change. He was born in India in 1896 and awoke to discrimination while practicing law in South Africa. He brought the struggle for equality back to India, rousing the population to demand self-rule from the British. He was profoundly religious, spending one day a week in complete silence; he was also a devout vegetarian. He was assassinated in 1948.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birds on a Wire - A Little ATC

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
– Robert Frost
Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012
Birds on a Wire – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor and Sharpie ATC
I painted this little ATC from another WetCanvas photo.  I love those big old electric thingies!  So fun!
Work computer is still down, so this is another watercolor done while passing time at the sign shop.  It’s amazing that one computer can stop everything.  When Publishers Clearing House brings my millions…. I’m going to buy a clone to the current computer and have it there on stand-by.  :)
About Robert Frost
Robert Frost, the influential American poet known for his rural settings, uncluttered language, and meditative themes, wrote the poems, “A Road Not Taken” and “Mending Walls,” among many others. He was born in San Francisco in 1874 and moved to Massachusetts at age 11. He ran a farm for ten years, selling it to move to England and become a full-time poet. After achieving his goal, he moved back to New Hampshire. His ambition was to write “a few poems it will be hard to get rid of.” He died in 1963.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wonderful Old Fire Truck – 4″ x4″ Watercolor & Sharpie

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
– William James
Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012
Wonderful Old Fire Truck – 4″ x4″ Watercolor & Sharpie
Monday, my work computer crawled off into a corner and died.  My computer guru thinks it needs a new motherboard and processor.  Since he built it custom for me, he knows it well…  like his own baby.  So he took custody of it and hopes to have it back under my roof on Monday.
This basically puts my sign shop on stand-by mode.  So, rather than cry or throw something… I painted this little dude.  Art calms me and gives me time to think and sort stuff out.  At 5:00, I usually lock the door and get down to some serious, uninterrupted work until about 6:30.  Yesterday at 5:00, I went next door to the nail salon and got a pedicure.  This is only the second one I’ve ever had and the massage chair is incredible!
I am practicing what I preach, so I can still be happy and have good days until my computer comes home to start making signs again.  I choose to be happy and that’s exactly what I’m going to do today.  :)
I painted this from a photo from WetCanvas.   I just can’t remember who’s it was.  (that’s on my work computer)
About William James
American psychologist and philosopher William James, brother to author Henry James, wrote voluminously during his life, exploring a range of issues from a theory of emotion to a philosophy of history. He was born in New York in 1842 and wanted to be an artist, but his father disapproved. He obtained a medical degree but felt unsatisfied and depressed, leading to a crisis that he called his soul sickness. After this turning point, he began his fulfilling second career. He died in 1910.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Green African Gray – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor & sharpie Postcard

“The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.”
–Rosalyn S. Yalow

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Green African Gray – 4″ x 6″ Watercolor & sharpie Postcard

I painted this little gal (Babbs) on St. Patrick’s Day.  My intention was to do some kind of Celtic design on the background, but she looks like she fell into the green beer and had hallucinations.  :D

The photo reference was provided by Valri Ary at WetCanvas.

Rosalyn S. Yalow

“A Jewish woman whose father-in-law is a rabbi, who keeps a kosher home, who invites her lab assistants to Passover seders, and worries about them catching colds is not the typical image of a Nobel Prize winner,” Emily Taitz writes in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. “But it is the image of Rosalyn Yalow, the first woman born and educated in the United States to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field.” Rosalyn S. Yalow passed away Monday, May 30, 2011, at the age of 89.

Born July 19, 1921, in a working-class South Bronx neighborhood, Rosalyn Yalow excelled in math and chemistry. Her parents, immigrants from Eastern Europe, wanted her to have the education that had been denied them. Yalow credited her success partly to her father’s belief that girls could do anything boys could. She graduated from Walton Girls High School at 15 and went directly to Hunter College, a free city university for women where she studied chemistry and physics. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, in 1941.  More… Jewesses with Attitude

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fancy Flamingo Shoes

“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
– Katherine Mansfield

I LOVE that quote and really believe it to be true!

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

This is a crop from a larger painting.  I think these flamingo shoes are adorable!  Did I miss my calling?  Maybe I should have been a footwear designer.  :D

About Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield was the pen name of short story writer Katherine Beauchamp, who is best known for her collection The Garden Party. Born in New Zealand in 1888, she moved to England as a young woman and became friends with writers such as Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence. Her writing style was influenced by Anton Chekhov; like him, she focused on intimate moments that revealed character. She in turn influenced a generation of short story writers. She died in 1923 of tuberculosis.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fantasy Flamingo Boots – Watercolor and Ink

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
– Mark Twain

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Fantasy Flamingo Boots – Watercolor and Ink

This is one I have not shown you before.  It’s really only a crop of a larger painting, since I’m doing the shoe thing this week.  That is actually a pink flamingo wearing these boots.   See the knobby knees?  I would wear these boots… okay, maybe not.  I am afraid of heights.    :D

Do you know someone who is wanting to start their own blog, but are afraid to try it?  Check out the new link in my blogroll.  How to create a WordPress blog – by Kana Tyler.  Kana is a great writer and she has posted a wonderful tutorial.

About Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens, the iconic American humorist and writer, is better known by his pen name Mark Twain. He was born in 1835 in Missouri. He worked at several jobs, including steamboat pilot and miner. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and other successful novels. His writing captured a very American vernacular and flavor, and helped create a distinctive American literature. He died in 1910.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pink & Blue Tennies

“The Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up to it yourself.”
–Author Unknown

Both little pair of shoes were painted from the same photo of a pair of black tennis shoes.  Both shoe paintings are 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC size watercolors.

Without an author’s bio, this post just seems so short.  :)

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Candy Striped High Heel – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

“Excellence is not an act but a habit. The things you do the most are the things you will do the best.”
– Marva Collins

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Candy Striped High Heel – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor ATC

I only got to do one small painting last weekend, because I had to work on Saturday and do my taxes on Sunday.  This means that I’ll be revisiting some paintings from the archives this week.  Anybody remember this one?  It was from an ATC exchange where I painted 24 little paintings of shoes.  It was fun!  Our subject was 24 of anything…. and I picked shoes.  I am not a shoes gal, since I live in flip flops most of the time, but I have always wanted to explore this subject.  There are so many cool shoes out there.  :)

About Marva Collins

American educator Marva Collins pioneered progressive education for disadvantaged children. She was born in Alabama in 1936 and in her 20′s moved to Chicago, where she founded a school for children who were at risk. After one year, every child tested at least five grades higher. Many public schools have successfully implemented her methods. She has appeared on 60 Minutes and Good Morning America and she recieved the National Humanities Medal from President Bush in 2004. She believes every child is a winner until someone convinces him or her too thoroughly otherwise.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Illustration Friday – Yield – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor & Sharpie ATC

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
– Helen Keller

 ”An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
– Fortune Cookie

Illustration Friday – Yield – 2.5″ x 3.5″ Watercolor & Sharpie ATC

I have had my eye on a weekly blog project called Illustration Friday.  This is my first entry.   A blogger friend, Cindy at The Slumbering Herd, enters her beautiful artwork into it every week, I think.    Here is a link to her yield.   They put up a word on Friday and many people do their illustrations based on the word.  I am doing Yield and this is my tomato crop.  :D

Yield -verb (used with object)
1.  to give forth or produce by a natural process or in return for cultivation: This farm yields enough fruit to meet all our needs.

I painted it from a reference photo by KreativeKay at WetCanvas.

About Helen Keller

American author and activist Helen Keller was born in Alabama in 1880; she became blind and deaf after a childhood fever. When she was 7, Ann Sullivan famously coaxed her out of her sullen, angry shell and taught her to communicate. From then on, Keller took on the world. She graduated from Radcliffe, traveled the world visiting sweatshops and speaking out for the powerless, helped found the ACLU, and wrote eleven books. She died in 1968.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beth Parker Art Window Display

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo Buonarroti

Eufaula Main Street Studio - March 2012

Beth Parker Art Window Display – March 2012

Glenna McBride, the Executive Director of the Eufaula Area Arts Council, surprised me with this window.  I think I have around 40 pieces in that gallery… mostly small of course.  The large painting, Little Pink House, is 24″ x 48″.  I get a little giggle when I drive by in the mornings.  Thanks, Glenna and the board of directors!

Check out the reflection of the buildings in the window.  We have such a cute downtown.  :)

About Michelangelo Buonarroti
Michelangelo Buonarotti, the Renaissance sculptor and painter, is considered one of the world’s greatest artists. He was born in Tuscany in 1475. He apprenticed to a painter at age 13, infuriating his father, who considered art menial work. By age 25, he had sculpted one of his finest works, the Pietà, in St. Peter’s. Working alone, he took four years to paint more than 400 figures on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He also designed St. Peter’s dome and is perhaps best known for his iconic statue of David. He died in 1564.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Posey or Two

“Today is life — the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today. Get interested in something.
Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby.
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto.”
–Dale Carnegie

Yeah!!!!  I really love that quote!  Don’t these little quotes help get a good day going even better?  They do it for me.  :)

A Posey or Two – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

This is a simple little ditty I painted from a photo reference by JustJean at WetCanvas.   Just a little fun play.  Did you see the answers to my New York City questions from Carol yesterday?  They are here if you’re curious.  I love Carol’s blog.  She is a great story teller with an interesting look at life, along with being a great artist.   Thanks, Carol!

Dale Carnegie

Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (originally Carnagey until 1922 and possibly somewhat later) (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer, lecturer, and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born in poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a massive bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948), Lincoln the Unknown (1932), and several other books.

One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s reaction to them.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New York City Street Scene – 8″ x 8″ Watercolor

Every new moment that arises in your life can now be a point of choice. . .in which you can choose to treat yourself and others with Compassion rather than Judgment.
–David Harp

New York City Street Scene – 8″ x 8″ Watercolor

Look Ma… No Sharpie!  **giggle**  (says the Sharpie addict)

Okay, I have questions and my friend Carol King, who lives in New York City, said she’d help.  In order for my questions to make sense, I need to show you the whole scene, before I cut out the stuff I was afraid to paint.

I already asked Carol what the tourist percentage was.  She told me… “Depends what part of the City you’re in. If you’re at the Empire State Building say, then it’s more like 80%! Times Square at Broadway show curtain time? 99%! You can’t walk at all!

I asked about how hard it was to walk around all those people gawking up and taking photos.  Carol has things she tells her visiting friends NOT to do and I believe that is on the list.  he he  I’m sure this list is just for their safety.  Carol says she likes tourists and tries to be helpful and friendly, since she is also a tourist when she travels.

I have more questions.

Do they really put tables and chairs out in the middle of the street?   Or maybe this is like a food court in a mall…. give the people a convenient place to eat and gawk without getting hurt.

Do they really surf there?  Is this not reserved for the west coast?
I see it is really clean.  I like that.  Is all of New York City this clean?

There are many ladies alone in this photo.  Is it really that safe?  Most of us have a scarier vision of New York City, I think.

KFC… really?  I thought New York City was too cosmopolitan for KFC.

Everybody seems so relaxed and laid back.  Are there any locals in this photo, besides the guy in the tie?

Is Tim Horton’s coffee really, really good?  I can smell the aroma from here.  :)

Carol said she’d come by and try to answer my questions.  I'll  post them here tomorrow.  Carol is really funny and a life long New Yorker, so it'll be good.

David Harp’s area of interest and expertise lies in teaching individuals and groups how to consciously control the neurological process known as “The Fight or Flight Response,” which produces the emotions of Fear and Anger.

His 20+ books now include a recent book aimed at therapists: Neural Path Therapy: How to Change Your Brain’s Response to Anger, Fear, Pain, and Desire! and the new, completely revised Fifth Edition of The Three Minute Meditator. Source:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wales Building in Color – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

“Between Stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
–Victor Frankl

Wales Building in Color – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor & Sharpie

I love today’s quote!  Yesterday I had a huge stimulus called computer problems.  My chosen response was to get in my jeep and head to Staples in McAlester.  I knew the jeep would make me happy, Staples would make me happy and I wouldn’t feel so powerless if I bought some computer related “offering” to the Computer Gods.  I bought a new wireless keyboard and mouse that were on sale.  I also turned in 15 used ink cartridges for a $3 credit each.  Since McAlester is a 30 minute drive, I was calm and collected when I returned.  The computer was still messed up, but by 4:30 that afternoon, I had it working again.  My new favorite phrase: Restore Point:)

This was painted from a photo reference by JustJean at WetCanvas.  The building was all gray, but the resolution was really good.  I could swear I saw a computer printer in that bay window.

Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna on March 26, 1905. His father, Gabriel Frankl, was a strong, disciplined man from Moravia who worked his way from government stenographer to become the director of the Ministry of Social Service. His mother, Elsa Frankl (née Lion), was more tenderhearted, a pious woman from Prague.

The middle of three children, young Viktor was precocious and intensely curious. Even at the tender age of four, he already knew that he wanted to be a physician.

In high school, Viktor was actively involved in the local Young Socialist Workers organization. His interest in people turned him towards the study of psychology. He finished his high school years with a psychoanalytic essay on the philosopher Schopenhauer, a publication in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, and the beginning of a rather intense correspondence with the great Sigmund Freud.  Source:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shadow – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.”
–Richard L. Evans

Shadow - 5" x 7" Watercolor

Shadow – 5″ x 7″ Watercolor

This was painted from a photo by JustJean at WetCanvas.  Jean’s Shadow has gone on to doggie heaven and it just felt right to do this painting for Jean.

If my computer survives the next hour without me putting a bullet through it, my day will have improved a lot.  I think it may be time to walk away for a moment and do something fun.   :D

Richard L. Evans is best known for his inspirational messages given in the long-running weekly radio program “Music and the Spoken Word” with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As a General Authority of the Mormon Church, he was one of their most senior leaders.

Evans was the last child born to John A. Evans and Florence Neslen, for when he was only 10 weeks old his father died leaving a widow with nine children to rear. However, with determination and a scholarship, he sought higher education first at L.D.S. University and then at the University of Utah. Taking time away from university study, he served as a Mormon missionary in Great Britain from 1926 to 1929, where he acted as associate editor of the Mormon newspaper the “Millennial Star” under James E. Talmadge and Dr. John A. Widtsoe. In addition to gaining journalistic skills, he also polished his speaking talents through the experience of speaking in street meetings and even at the speaker’s corner in Hyde Park, London. Returning to the University of Utah after his mission, he received his BA degree in 1931 and MA degree in 1932.  Source:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gallery Wrapped Canvas Edges

Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone: it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.
–Ursula K. Le Guin

 Everyone could use a new batch of love every day. Way too often, we forget to make a new batch. Then we end up eating hard, old, crumbly stuff that doesn’t even taste good. We forget to talk with the people we love. We tell ourselves that they should “know” we love them, even if we haven’t called to connect with them for a long time. So we expect them to live off hard, old, dry crumbs too!
 But baking a fresh batch of love is a lot easier than baking bread. All we have to do is make a phone call, write a letter or an email, or stop by our mom’s house. We need to deliver the message that the people we love are important. What could be easier or more rewarding?

I found these two quotes together and I loved them.   It just makes perfect sense to me!

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Uptown Stroll – Gallery Wrapped Canvas Edges – 6″ x 12″ Acrylic
Yesterday, I completely forgot to show you the edges of the canvas.   That (to me) is part of the fun and charm of these little paintings.  No frame needed… just follow the frolic around the corners.  :D

As of 2011, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming in 2012, Finding My Elegy, New and Selected Poems. She lives in Portland, Oregon. 

Her blog is here.  Her website is here.  Both are really interesting.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Uptown Stroll – 6″ x 12″ Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

“How many cares one loses when the decision is made not to be something, but someone.”
–Coco Chanel

Copyright Beth Parker Art 2012

Uptown Stroll – 6″ x 12″ Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas

This is the third painting in the Bethville Series.  I have to admit, they make me happy!  :D

I like that quote, too!  I get up every day and decide to be happy.  I try to be a good wife, a person of my word and a professional in my work.  My 20 year old sign shop will never be big and fancy or make me wealthy, but I get to go there every day and do what I love.   And I get to paint on the weekends!  Woohoo!

Fashion designer Coco Chanel, born August 19, 1883, in Saumur, France, is famous for her timeless designs, trademark suits, and little black dresses. Chanel was raised in an orphanages and taught to sew. She had a brief career as a singer before opening her first clothes shop in 1910. In the 1920s, she launched her first perfume and introduced the Chanel suit and the little black dress.

With her trademark suits and little black dresses, Coco Chanel created timeless designs that are still popular today. She herself became a much revered style icon known for her simple yet sophisticated outfits paired with great accessories, such as several strands of pearls. As Chanel once said,“luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

Her early years, however, were anything but glamorous. After her mother’s death, Chanel was put in an orphanage by her father who worked as a peddler. She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew—a skill that would lead to her life’s work. Her nickname came from another occupation entirely. During her brief career as a singer, Chanel performed in clubs in Vichy and Moulins where she was called “Coco.” Some say that the name comes from one of the songs she used to sing, and Chanel herself said that it was a “shortened version of cocotte, the French word for ‘kept woman,” according to an article in The Atlantic.  Source: