Thursday, Aug 04, 2016
by Kevin Alun Parrish
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WonderStreet Interview with Kevin Alun Parrish

Tell us a little bit about yourself: What got you interested in art? Have you taken any art classes?

Painting and drawing came naturally to me at a young age as I have always enjoyed creativity, whether making things in 3D or drawing on a sketch pad. I particularly enjoyed drawing things that I was interested in and found it fulfilling to do. I was and still am interested in painting Steam Locomotives/Railways ("Reflections of a Princess" see photo) and when I saw what the famous Railway Artist Terence Cuneo could do with the subject, I wanted to create something similar, but in my own inimitable style. I took art at school and attended evening classes for a while at a local College, where I garnered some painting techniques. I particularly enjoyed drawing still life's and painting portrait busts and still do. A good likeness of the person (s) is always the aim. "Follow a Star" Norman Wisdom (see photo) was one of my comedy heroes and was a challenge to paint.

It looks like you have a passion for Doctor Who! Could you tell us a bit more about the works you created around that?

I was an impressionable child and watched Doctor Who avidly from the very first episode on the BBC shown in 1963. I found some of the stories stimulated my imagination and were quite frightening. I was "behind the sofa" watching the Daleks and Cybermen confront the Doctor during the 1960s. But good triumphed over evil and there was always a moralistic message to be found in the Doctor's adventures. I think what is sad about what has now become an institution, is that many of the episodes from this classic 1960s era are still missing from the archives after the junking of some episodes in the 1970s. In my view some of these lost episodes were the best in the shows entire history, capturing the essence of the main elements of the programme very well. However I was fortunate enough to have watched them when they were first transmitted and so still have lingering memories of them today. Some of my artwork relates to the first two Doctors. I have followed the Doctors adventures over the years and have watched the programme evolve, attending the odd convention along the way, promoting my artwork, and the artworks I have created are a tribute to the great Scifi and fantasy show. Many of my images were commissioned by a Calendar publisher. A jigsaw puzzle publisher in 2007 used my collection of images and created a montage jigsaw puzzle which is available for purchase. See photos below for "The Doctors Dilemma" Tom Baker, The Doctors Emotions" David Tennant and "Who's Who" Jigsaw Puzzle (1000 piece) and my website for more details.

You have exhbited at the Warwick collection for many years. We would love to hear a bit more about your experience at this exhibition.

The Warwick Collection is a series of original oil paintings created in black and white portraying historic buildings in the town of Warwick during the day and night. They were commissioned by the Mitchell Gallery in Church Street, Warwick. I have expressed these subjects in an atmospheric way and hopefully creating something unique. Some of them evoke a period scene after recent rainfall with the moon appearing through rain clouds. The Collections inception began in 2009 and my portfolio has continued to grow with interest from art lovers locally, nationwide and overseas. There have been many sublime moments and many who I've had the privilege to meet through Exhibitions and Victorian Evening Exhibitions annually at the Gallery. My latest black and white original painting was a night scene of the restored Court House in Warwick (see photo below) commissioned by the Mayor of Warwick in 2014. Original oil paintings, framed prints and greeting cards are available to purchase at the Gallery. The photos below depict "Warwick Boys School", Myton Road Warwick, "Lord Leycester Hospital" (a Dickensian look) and "Warwick Court House" Warwick. Telephone 01926 408787.

What is your dream project?

Expressing on the canvas how we all need each other in this world to survive. This includes the trees, mountains, flowers, birds, animals insects, humans and more in this life. How we need to raise our consciousness and rise above greed, starvation and wars and find our utopia eternally (love, peace and harmony). Moreover how important it is for us continue to reach out to the stars to find answers to all our questions and understanding about life on Earth. All this I wish to encapsulate in a dream painting yet to be visualised in a sketch.

What, in your opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?

I think it depends how you would define a masterpiece. However as a traditional Artist myself, composition is a major consideration and to employ nature's Golden Mean is in my thoughts where it is possible to use. The main focus of the painting should be somewhere near the centre of the image where the art lovers eye will rest and find peace and harmony within the picture/image.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

The paintbrush, although I often use my fingers to create effects on the canvas as well. Apart from this I find my straight edge very useful for creating radiating lines etc. I am very used to using straight edges and precision instruments from my days as a Civil Engineering Draughtsman in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. It helps me with achieving perspective. The image "Tornado" (see photo) incorporates many straight lines. After all it is a piece of precision Engineering in reality with many straight lines. This image was published in a hardback book entitled "Emotions of Railway Art" in 2011. I can't live without music playing in my studio. Calming, gentle, orchestral music inspires me most and helps me with the creative process.

What’s your favourite art work?

"Why Beauty Matters". (see photo) This piece is my expression of how we need to work with nature and understand it more, if we are to have a long term future for everyone on this planet. This painting was inspired by two great Philosophers in my opinion, namely Prince Charles and his books entitled ‘Harmony’ (published in 2010) and ‘A Vision Of Britain’ (published in 1987) along with his TV program of the same name. The second Philosopher is Roger Scruton and his TV program, "Why Beauty Matters" first shown in 2009, which was narrated by Roger. We have the beautiful Planet Suite by Gustav Holst being played in the Royal Albert Hall by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Sound waves of the music emanate from the Hall and reach out to the stars and planets above along with the sounds of nature that surrounds us. Everywhere love is all around. Roger wrote and replied to an email I sent to him at the end of February 2013 with the words below: ‘Thank you very much for the tribute which I enjoyed very much. It is great to have such encouragement from a real artist.’ Roger Scruton (writer and philosopher) 2 March 2013.

Are you involved in any upcoming shows or events? Where and when?

I have an ongoing Exhibition of my Warwick Collection at the Mitchell Gallery in Church Street Warwick Warwickshire UK. Tel 01926 408787. Original oil paintings, framed prints and greeting cards are for sale there. From 2013 I was commissioned to create scenes on the preserved and beautiful Gloucester Warwickshire Railway in the Cotswolds (the photos portray "Arriving at Winchcombe" and "On Show") The Railway is in the process of extending its line through to Broadway Station in Broadway with the kind help of volunteers. Jigsaw Puzzles portraying my images are for sale in the Toddington shop on the platform of Toddington Station. I visit there quite regularly. Occasionally I have exhibitions at my studio, where I exhibit my portfolio.

Do you have an online portfolio or a blog where we can view your work?

My Artists portfolio can be located under Parrish Paintings (The Fine Art of Kevin Alun Parrish) See Logo below Please visit my website at http://www.kevinparrish.co.uk. I have an Artists Blog at http://www.kevinparrish.co.uk/category/blog/

Do you have a favourite artist?

I am a fan of the Great Masters, but my favourite is Leonardo De Vinci. His ability with use of colour and composition using the Golden Ratio in nature is exemplary and unsurpassed in my view, and of course he was so much more than just a visual Artist.

And finally, could you please share a few images and tell us a little about each?

"Monuments on the Moon" is a tribute to the fantastic achievement of Mankind landing a man on the moon in 1969 and walking about on the lunar surface. "Wimbledon Champions at the LLTSC" is a tribute to the tennis player Andy Murray who became a British Wimbledon champion in 2013 after a period of 77 years since Britain's Fred Perry won it last in 1936. "Venetian Splendour" recaptures what I saw on my visit to Venice in 1977. The city is very beautiful and unique. "Waiting for the Train" is a memory I have of waiting at New Street Station in Birmingham in the freezing cold wind for a train that was late on Platform 10. This image was published in a hardback book entitled "Emotions of Railway Art" in 2011 "When You're a Super Band" is a play on words from a Moody Blues song called "When You're a Free Man" from the Moody Blues album Seventh Sojourn released in 1972, when the band was enjoying mega super stardom round the globe. "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" (We are of the Sun) is a tribute to the Super band called Yes, who were a Progressive rock phenomenon in the 1970s with their cosmic lyrics and long musical suites. They had sell out concerts round the globe and are still very popular to this day. "Gas Street Basin", Birmingham. One of many canal scenes I created around the Midland Canal Network during the turn of the century and beyond. "Edge of Coincidence" is a commissioned painting by keyboard musician Mr Paul Bliss in 1997. He wanted a CD cover image for his latest solo album for the above aforementioned title. Paul Bliss toured with the Moody Blues from 1991-2010.

Thank you Kevin for sharing your inspiring views and ideas with the WonderStreet community.

More examples of Kevin's work can also be found on his WonderSreet profile: http://wonderstreet.com/parrish-paintings

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