Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Light of Life" Linda Volrath, Oil on Linen, 12" x 9"

Linda and I wish you a Merry Christmas.

To all our friends, family, and patrons, we appreciate you being in our lives, and enjoy the time we have spent together.

We're looking forward to next year and hope you will continue to share the beauty of life with us.

Linda and Steven

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Best Friends" Oil on Linen, by Steven J Parrish

The Holidays are taking up a lot of our time and painting days have been few and far between. Paint is being put on canvas but nothing is finished. Since progress is slow I would like to just talk about art for a moment.

Linda and I meet a fair number of people in our travels and as soon as they find out we are artists we get some predictable reactions. Some people are fascinated, some are curious, and to some, it even seems like a normal thing to do. The most interesting part of the discussion that follows depends on whether the person owns original art or not. If they own original art they are glad to talk to us about it. They are always the most passionate about art when they found a piece and purchased it themselves. Art collectors, even if only one piece, know how original art in their home enriches their lives, and brings them joy. We have found this to be universally true. We have never met anyone who said "I have a painting in my house and I hate it." Every collector we have spoken to agrees on one thing, "There is always room in the house for more art.". The conversations with non-collectors tend to focus on everything other than buying or owning art. I can see why this is the case, buying art can be overwhelming and expensive, but I believe the biggest issue is that non-collectors don't see art adding any value to their lives. Let's face it, people will not spend money if they do not perceive value. Most people will never find value in art, but those that learn to appreciate how art can make them feel, and the beauty that it can add to their home will be forever changed. I think it is the responsibility of everyone involved in the art world to help those with even the smallest interest in art feel welcome and comfortable with the process. After all it benefits and adds value to us all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I worked on my still life painting and did get it into evaluation mode. I signed it so it must be getting close. I think I have a little work to do on the background shadows. Linda worked on a painting she's been working on for a couple of weeks, it is looking really good. I will post images once we get done.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, be safe and be happy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

With our New York trip behind us we are looking forward to getting back into our respective studios and painting. I hope to have the still life I have been working on at a point where I can be in evaluation and final adjustment mode this week. Linda has several paintings in progress and might start something new. I never know until I walk into her studio what she might have going on. Unless we decide to attempt some "snow scenes" we should be in our studios for the rest of the winter. I hope to have my newest still life done in time to submit to the Oil Painters of America 2008 National show, I'll let you know if I make it.

On a technical note I have been playing with light control in my studio for almost five years now and think I am finally getting it under control. I have some more improvements to make when I take down my current setup. I didn't want to change in the middle of a painting, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Steven J Parrish

Monday, November 12, 2007

Linda, Sandy and I just got back from our "All art all the time" trip to New York City. Our main objectives were to see the Daniel Sprick solo show at Arcadia Fine Arts and the Dutch Masters exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art .

Both show were amazing, but the Daniel Sprick show was one of the top three solo exhibits I have ever seen. My top three in no particular order; John Singer Sargent at the National gallery in Washington, DC, Richard Schmid retrospective at The Butler Institute of American Art Youngstown, Ohio, and Daniel Sprick at Arcadia Fine Art NYC, NY. If you have never seen a Daniel Sprick ( Or Richard Schmid for that matter) painting in person I urge you to do so. The elegant beauty that Sprick depicts what could be viewed as unappealing subjects (skulls, bones, dead bugs, egg shells, etc) has to be seen to be believed. I have admired Mr. Sprick's work for years but I was amazed at how much more spectacular the paintings were in person as compared to photographs and web images.

The Dutch Masters exhibition was overwhelming in its own right. Being a huge fan of Rembrandt and Vermeer this was a must see show. It was the MET's permanent collection grouped by how it was acquired, but to see it all on display together was worth the trip. We spent the most time analyzing the Rembrandt's and Vermeer's. I would have loved to have seen them when they were just completed and not after 400 years of age, cleaning, and restoration.

We also had time to visit galleries carrying paintings by Daniel Greene, Jacob Collins, and too many more to mention. Endless thanks to Sandy for guiding us around the city like a pro. Thanks also to Pat for providing us a room with a view from Central Park South so we could wake to a view of Central Park in Fall Color. We also visited the Salmagundi Club of New York to look around this historic artists club and view the American Artists’ Professional League Exhibition the same show that Linda won an award in last year.

Time will tell if our painting will be influenced by the great art we viewed on this trip, I hope it is.

I believe that art can change your life, so live with art in your life.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Here are the three finished plein air paintings form our recent painting trip. They were painted on site in one or two sessions. The painting of the train bridge was interesting because I was just a few feet from what I found out was a very busy freight train track. Several of the trains had to stop and wait for other tracks to clear, so the train engine was just a few feet away rumbling me and my easel and surrounding me with diesel fumes. A couple of railroad workers walking the tracks to do inspections thought I was crazy painting rusty old railroad equipment. I told them they see it so much that they had gotten used to its beauty, they laughed and kept walking. The other two are my first attempts at painting water, I think they turned out OK, I still need to work on the transparency of the non reflecting water areas. I will definitely paint more streams when I get the chance.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Our good friend Sandra Corpora spent the weekend painting with us and as usual it was a great time. It rained the first two days so indoor still life painting was the focus. The sun did come out and some frigid and windy landscape painting was attempted. Sandy finished a few paintings, Linda started some good paintings to be finished at a later date, and I started a big still life and almost finished my landscape. I keep trying to get paintings posted to this blog, and I promise I will, but you can always see what we have been up to on our websites.

Friday, September 07, 2007

We're back from our landscape painting trip to Bethlehem, PA. Thanks to Pat and Sandy for hosting us again. Great food, great friends, great weather, and plein air painting, what more can you ask for. We painted every morning and every afternoon for four days. We all did really well and have several paintings that just need a little touch up to be complete. I hope to post some of them in a few days. Here is a picture of me painting near the Trout hatchery. We painted with Sandy's Bethlehem Palette club on one morning, it was fun to be out painting with a dozen other artists.

Friday, July 20, 2007

We are focusing on paintings for the Eastern Regional OPA show in Naples, FL. The entry deadline is in August.

I have finally finished my website and it is now up and running. I will be added more paintings to the site as I get PICS on the computer. The address is:

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Oatlands Plantation Art Show opening reception was last night, a great event as always. Several of our paintings have found new homes. Thanks, to all our patrons for your continuous support. We had a chance to see and talk to many fellow artists and meet several patrons and supporters of the Oatlands historical property. The show will be up through August 9th for anyone who couldn't make it to the opening reception. We really enjoy getting out and talking to patrons and other artists. It gives us an opportunity to share ideas and get feedback, art can be a very solitary endeavor.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

We are delivering our paintings to the Oatlands Plantation show this week. The show opens on July 9th. Linda finished her paintings late last week and the final images of the last two are included here. It has been the usual sprint to the finish with varnishing and framing, but we are done and ready to go. Hope we will see some of our good friends and patrons at the "invitation only" opening reception, it is always a good time. If you didn't get an invitation try to see the show while it is up.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Linda and I will both have paintings in the upcoming "Four Seasons of Oatlands Art Show and Sale" July 9th through August 19th If you have a chance stop by and see the show. The paintings for the show are shown above. Linda has one more painting she will include in the show, but it is not finished yet so I can't include it here. The unfinished painting is shaping up to be very impressive, so you should go to the show to see it.

We are both preparing to start work on landscape paintings from our trip to Napa and Sonoma counties in California. We have some really good reference photos. We both prefer to work en plein air, but we decided not to pack all our painting gear for this trip. I'm not sure how my efforts will play out, it will be a new experience for me. I will post on our progress when we are farther along.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Linda and I are back home after a couple of trips, first we spent a week in Sonoma and Napa Counties in CA, and then we went to Bethlehem and Philadelphia for the weekend.

Our trip to California was for our tenth wedding anniversary, we had a great time traveling around exploring the towns and vineyards. We have tons of photo reference for future landscape paintings.

We went to Bethlehem to see our friends Pat and Sandy and to go to Sandy's solo show opening at the Gross-McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia. The show was a huge success! Congratulations Sandy!

Between both trips we went to the artists reception for the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America centennial traveling show put on by the Cross Gate Gallery. If this show comes to your area make an effort to see it, the artwork is amazing.

Now that we're getting back to work, Linda is busy painting for the show at Oatlands Plantation, and I am trying to get my website finished and uploaded.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

It's been a while since I have posted, but with the holidays now well over I can give an update.

Linda decided to reproduce several of her paintings on note cards and had them for sale in several locations in our area during the Christmas shopping season. They sold well and she still has some available for anyone that is interested. Email her at

Linda was asked to paint a large painting for the cover of the Blue Ridge Hunt's point to point race guide. The race is March 31st and the painting is to be auctioned off at some later date after the race. This is a big opportunity for Linda to show her equine paintings to the horse community. The painting was quite a challenge since it had to work as a stand alone painting and as a layout for the guide cover. The painting looks great and will hopefully raise a lot of money for the Blue Ridge Hunt Club.

Linda also had a fox hunt painting in the Cross Gate Gallery's traveling centennial exhibition for the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America. I say had because the painting sold in the first couple of weeks, so she is preparing to send another painting.

I have not been painting much, not sure why, lacking inspiration I think. The spring weather should get us out landscape painting and that should get me moving.