21 Under 31: Young Artists to Watch in 2016 | Nola Parker


Nola Parker, Alameda, gouache, 24 x 33.

Nola Parker, Alameda, gouache, 24 x 33.

Art Education: Self-taught.

Creative Spark: The infinite variety of the natural world moves me to paint. I’m often overwhelmed by the diversity of shape, pattern, and color that exists in ordinary places like backyards or street corners. I take walks and photograph my surroundings, then work to show the depth of energy and life I see thriving in these spaces. When I find myself truly apathetic and uninspired, I paint my dog, who never fails to move me.

Second-Choice Career: I studied English in school and always thought I would be a writer. This was before I really started painting. I still love to write, just not fiction, since my fiction was always terrible.

Best Advice Received: Nothing is precious. As Michelangelo says in the movie The Agony and The Ecstasy, “If the wine is sour, throw it out.”

Mantra or Motto: No matter what, just keep making work.

Favorite Studio Music: Leonard Cohen, soul, and political commentary.

Favorite Work by Another Artist: I love the honesty and directness of the work of Stephen Huneck and the compassionate nature of his art-making process. A few of my other recent favorites are Everett Spruce, David Bates, and Sarah McEneaney.

Future Goals: In the future, I hope to expand the geographical scope of my paintings. New landscapes will dictate new approaches, and I hope to discover compelling ways to translate the energy of those places.

Price Range: $300 to $7,500.

Representation: Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX.

Featured in the September 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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