03 April 2009

Michael S. Parkes

Only my second review and already a hiccup. I was all set to review this artist when he suffered what looked to be catastrophic technical problems with the blog he’s had since 2006. I thought I was sunk. But to his credit, he quickly bounced back, reviving his blog (www.mparkes.com). Whew! We’ve all had technical problems (my computer committed suicide last week) and his work deserves recognition. Who is he? He is Michael S. Parkes and his are powerful paintings. Mr. Parkes is a prolific writer/painter and in contrast to most daily painters, he writes extensive (code word for long) commentary. I cannot tell you that I understand the place from whence he paints and writes, but his rich palette and impressionistic style draw you into his world and if you are like me, while visiting his blog you will keep scanning his work, loosing track of time; going and going as if hypnotized by it. His work is deep and driven by a unique life force. He paints still life and figurative pieces, but the overwhelming majority of his pieces are landscapes with heavy doses of abstraction and strong compositions. Mr. Parkes has the ability to make the landscape mystical. What’s on the other side of those trees? Is it wonder or menace or just some cool guy painting? All of this force is brought to bear with acrylic paint. The immediacy of that medium seems to suit his spirit; he appears quite able of making it do his bidding. For you people who like to read, here is a link to one of his diatribes that hit home with me. On the surface it may sound like the rantings of a poor soul stuck in rush hour traffic, but upon reflection you just might find some truth in it. Here is a quote from Mr. Parkes to use as a springboard to his work: “... I hope my efforts provide a glimpse into the mystery of this life that surrounds us... the daily unfolding mystery that is our existence.” Please go review Mr. Parkes’ work for yourself at his blog: Michael S. Parkes, Paintings and Words.