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Parsons artist attracted to bold colors, patterns

With the publication of the 2022 Art is Ageless® calendar, work by Parsons artist Jane Parish will be featured for the second year in a row.

Juicy Fruit,” a collection of nine individual paintings in a gridded frame, will be included in the special artist postcards that are included in the calendar. It won Best of Show in the amateur category in the 2021 Art is Ageless competition held earlier this year at Parsons Presbyterian Manor.

At age 68, Jane has only been eligible to enter for three years. She has already won multiple blue ribbons for the cheerful and detailed drawings and paintings she has only been making for the past few years.

“When I retired, I needed something to do,” Jane said.

She hadn’t made a painting since she was in seventh grade, but her mother was a gifted artist who gave away her paintings to friends and family, as Jane has done with much of her own work.

Jane was in her 20s during the 1970s, and her affection for dramatic colors and prints recalls that era. She works largely in acrylics and colored pencil, media that allow her to make super-saturated works.

These include past Art is Ageless winners “Love Waits,” which depicts a stylish woman sitting in a ’50s-style diner against a dramatic black-and-white backdrop (2019) and “French Corner Café” (2020), a charming Parisian scene. “Journey to Bethlehem” (2020) was featured in the 2021 Art is Ageless calendar and it’s one of Jane’s favorites. She turned the Biblical scene into greeting cards which she has done with a few of her paintings and drawings.

Her more muted works often have animals as their subjects, such as 2021’s bovine, “Sir Loin,” and 2019’s “Louie,” a painting of a gorilla.

Jane often looks to the online platform Pinterest for inspiration. She’s admits to a bit of an “addiction” to the image-sharing site, which offers users an easy way to share and save images and links.

“I pick things that stand out to me, that are very bold,” she said.

The artist displays her work in dramatic fashion, too. Her favorite works are largely clustered on the four walls of a spare bedroom. A total of 18 drawings and paintings are currently on view in the room. That includes a “collage” of paintings of characters from “The Andy Griffith Show” — 20 in all.

“Nowadays, the style is ‘less is more,’” Jane said. “Well, that’s not me.”

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