Monday, January 5, 2009

Maxfield Parrish

I bought a wall calendar years and years ago that featured Maxfield Parrish's images, and I fell in love. There is something about his use of light, brilliant color and detail that gives his images magical luminosity. He had a unique process of creating the glowing, almost three-dimensional feel of his oil paintings, which need to be seen in person to really be appreciated.

Painting until about 1960 (six years before he died), Parrish left behind a prolific body of work. His distinctive and original style helped shape the Golden Age of Illustration. His work even resulted in new art terms. Fans of Parrish's work will recognize the phrase "Parrish blue,” as well as references to his famous mountainous
“Parrishscapes.”

Through the years, spending a few minutes with his images has served to refill my creative well, spark my imagination, and fire my inspiration. It's hard for me to describe exactly what Parrish's art does for and to me. His colors caress. His images tug at my senses and leave me with something that feels like yearning. When I look at them, I cannot put a name to what they make me wish for. With his fantastical settings—some even featuring literary characters—it's like looking through a window to another world. Maxfield Parrish has become my master of make-believe. And in his images, lullabies linger for me in that special place between asleep and awake where dreams are born.


6 comments:

Poetikat said...

You have put your finger on something I've been trying to articulate for years when it comes to music, poetry, art. It's that "something like yearning".

The image of the woman on the rocks puts me in mind of Fay Raye in "King Kong" for some reason.

Kat

willow said...

Yes, Maxfield Parrish brings to mine his use of brilliant colors and that soft, ethereal look. I think of story books from my childhood.

R2K said...

: )

sizzie said...

I came here yesterday and read and didn't comment. What I did instead was research Maxfield Parrish. I recognized his work but not his name. Thank you.

Reya Mellicker said...

I think he was well acquainted with the land of Fairy, not unlike many of his contemporaries. I've always loved his work.

Bdogs said...

Lovely to be reminded of his work. Thank you.