Sunday, September 29, 2013


It is Natuonal Coffee Day, do a google search to find places to get free coffee. For me I think I will focus on what coffee does for my art. 

Coffee stained paper! Yes, I have written about this before but since it is National Coffee Day it seemed worth repeating. 

It is a good way to recycled your coffee grounds or left over coffee. Tea works too but need to see if or when there is a special day for tea. 

I have several pieces of paper stained and just waiting for a drawing to appear but until then here are a few that you can see at Artomatic, The Mill Show or the upcoming Fine Arts in The Valley Show. You can check my web site for dates and addresses.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


As I sit here with my Starbucks coffee I start thinking about logos. Those little designs that make us remember a brand. Which gets me thinking of all the talk about branding. 

Branding, use to be what was done to cattle out west. But, branding your name, your style or having a logo that people know is all part of business. Including the business of art. I use to sign a lot of my small works as lindahp or just lhp. Many who knew my work knew it was me. Yet for galleries they like to have a full name and not signed on the back. They sell the name as well as the art. So, now all my works are signed harrison-parsons and that is my brand, not so sure I will ever have a logo but if I do might have to have a bird in it!

Friday, September 27, 2013

New & Re-newed

Lots of good things going on this week. Wednesday I delivered work to The Little Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake. I have been in this gallery a few times and thought my work would be a good fit. I dropped off my portfolio, followed up with the owners and brought some work in for them to see in person. They picked the works they thought would most likely sell and we signed a contract. Good to have another gallery carrying my work.

To top my week off my camera body came back from Nikon! Still under warranty, they repaired the auto-focus, cleaned and update the soft-hard-firm ware. Just in time for taking photos of fall leaves!

New books are being organized, first fold covers, pick out the papers to go inside, decorate cover/inside, pick out thread/ribbon and sew them all together - coming soon new books.

New pastels, paintings, drawings are in the works. Along with some new art supplies that are shipped and should be here by next week!

New galleries, re-newed camera, new shows that are just around the corner, it is fall and it is time for some new art. Don't forget Artomatic is still going on, last day is October 5th and I will be there doing the Artist Market from noon - 4:00 - who knows I may have some of those new works with me!

"Wise Man" pastel on black paper embedded in hand made paper and on view at The Little Gallery @ SML

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Telling A Story

Yesterday as I was working with my friend, Jennifer on some watercolor techniques we talked about how art tells a story. For me personally I hope that my work touches people when they see it and that they know there is a story in every piece.

Many artists I know love to share the story. Travel inspires many of my works, being in places like Africa or the Redwood Forests, just takes my breath away. I am awed by nature. Nature is everything, all things connect in one way or another. I can sit on a beach or stand in the woods and just listen. Try it sometimes, you will be amazed at what you hear.

I wonder how things came to be, the shapes of seashells, certain animals, why butterflies & birds know where to fly when they have never been there. I record what I see in hopes of capturing that moment in time. I document what is here today not knowing if it will be here tomorrow. I create short stories with my work. Next time you see one of my works, ask me about the story behind it, I will be happy to tell you my tale.

"Joyful Day" pastel on Rives BFK paper this piece is sold but this place has been the inspiration for many of my works.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Done with paper making for this week. If you missed all the action you can see me doing a demonstration of making paper from recycled materials in October. The 12th - 13th and 14th, Columbus Day weekend Marilu & I will be at the Appalachia Harvest Festival from 10 - 4. She will be spinning wool to yarn and have her fiber items there for sale, along with some other small works. I will being doing paper making, of course, and will have hand made books from the paper, prints embedded in hand made paper and a few other small originals. There is a gallery/gift shop that carries my work and some larger pieces can be seen there.

So, this week will be spent putting books together, as soon as the paper dries and in general just making new works. Need to re-visit my drawing table as I left the leopard piece just sitting there.

This event is being held at Mountain Lake Lodge (home of Dirty Dancing) 115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, VA

This is a free event, bring the family and check out the web site for details and directions. Hope to see you there!

paper, paper everywhere!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I am not much of a gambler, so what does double down have to do with today's blog, art, nature or travel. I am hedging my bets, showing my hand, by making all this paper I now need to do something with this product. It has grown from my dining room area, into the kitchen, flowing through to my office space.

I believe that if I do the things that I love to do that others will love them too. A professor once told me, "do what you love and your audience will find you". So, I have been following his advise.

Artist take a risk every time they create a new piece of art. If they change their style a little or explore a different medium it is always a gamble. Will others love it as I do, will it get accepted into a show, will anyone buy it? These are our daily questions.

Double-down, in the game of 21, you split the cards in your hand and play both cards for 21 each. Lately, that is how I feel, I am split, trying to double the advantages of my art, so to speak. To make things that I enjoy making but to have them accepted by galleries, and the public for sales. To create a show that will make everyone happy, to make the things galleries want to sell, to be happy with the end result and hopefully not walk away from the table busted.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." Scott Adams

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hide & Seek

The Art of Science: Green leaves are green because of chlorophyll and the light that creates it along with some temperature assistance. As it cools and there is less light, those colors that are hidden within the leaves begin to come out.

Anthocyanin pigments will appear as red and carotenoids can be seen as orange, yellow or red. Together they make more orange. Less of one or the other more yellow. The absence of these pigments show up as brown in some oak tree leaves.

I love leaves, I love trees, walking in the woods or anywhere there are trees reminds me how small I am in this natural world. As a kid we played hide'n'seek using trees as our home base. I climbed trees, started to study their bark, form, leaf patterns and of course picked up fallen leaves. To this date I still collect leaves and still think of trees as my home base.

Not to stray to far from the paper making going on this week. I embed leaves into the hand made paper, I let them create an embossing in wet paper as the paper dries or the small leaves float in the pulp water and find their way into the paper. To do this you must let the leaf dry or those pigments will bleed into the wet pulp.

There are many ways to preserve or dry leaves. I use the very old method of putting them in a phone book. Those big old yellow colored ones and just leave them for a while. You can iron them in-between wax paper but then I don't think I would like that in the hand made paper. You can microwave them, which I have not tried or soak them in glycerin & water. I think I will still with the phone books for now.

In the Northern Hemisphere the first day of fall is September 22, 2013 this Sunday. Take some time, take a walk, see what changes in the leaves are happening in your area. Take pictures, collect a couple leaves, listen to nature talking to you and breath, the air always smells different in the fall.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sometimes - It's Just A Little Thing

Making paper this week, get a phone call from Rick to ask if I need shredded paper as there are several bags at his office. He brings them home to me around lunch time. I can't help but smile. Not many husbands would know that shredded paper would make their wife happy!

Paper making is going well. We started out with kind of plain white paper with some onion skin to add a touch of color. Then moved into lavender and a few flower pedals. From small 5x7 size paper, up to 8x10 size paper, into round paper and ended with embedded leaves and flowers. Not bad for a couple days of work.

Today more paper! Starting a whole new color as we have gone through the light colored pulp. Plus, found a new way to dry my newspapers that I use to absorb excess water...I have been hanging them, which keeps the cat from running around on them. We found a fair amount of kitty hairs popping up in the paper yesterday.

While this week progresses with paper making, which will turn to book making, don't forget the Artomatic is still happening. Each weekend check to see what music is playing or what artist might be working the Artist Market or so many other things. http://www.artomaticfr

It is the season for ART and it is almost Autumn! Why do leaves change colors???

How do you dry your newspapers?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Work Week

Back to work...Saturday & Sunday we took some time off. We went up to Smith Mountain Lake to visit with some friends. I still got some drawing time on both days. But, got to do it by a lake in the State Park. It was a beautiful weekend, a nice way to walk into the fall.

Today we have art lessons, more framing, got the paper soaking to turn into pulp to make new paper tomorrow! Need to remember to take a breath now and again this week. Working on new pieces for a couple juried pastel shows and for the shows coming up in October and November. I am one of those people that needs a goal, a deadline, as many of you know. I got lots of deadlines now!

I will be making paper all week, if you have ever wanted to try it, just let me know and come join me!

Friday, September 13, 2013


Friday the 13th or a fear thereof - a superstition. Apparently 21 million Americans have this fear. Why? I am never sure why we fear the things we do but generally do a good job at it and usually for no known reason.

I tend to lean towards the Chinese belief, that thirteen is a lucky number. Again not sure why but good things happen for me on Friday the 13th. Think of it as a Baker's Dozen, a little something extra! 

Today I plan to tempted the powers out there. Need to pick up some things for next weeks paper making. Then frame some and finish the great horned owl. Which comes with it's own mysteries & superstitions. 

Great Hotned Owl - work in progress.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting Ready

This weekend I will be getting things ready for the paper making open studio that will start September 17th and go through September 22, 12:00 - 4:00 each day. Since this is the first time I have offered paper making in Blacksburg, VA, I am offering the first day as a Free Day. I will demonstrate how to take old paper and make it new again, recycling some of the damaged or small pieces of the acid free papers that I use for my art work.

After the demonstrate if you are so inclined, you can pull a piece of paper or two for yourself. Since space is limited I am asking that you make a reservation ahead of time. You can e-mail me at to book your space, get details and directions. From Wednesday, September 18th - 22nd there is a fee to attend the open studio: $30.00 for one day, $55.00 for any two days, $80.00 for any three days or $100.00 for any or all. Each day I will introduce new techniques and review the basics. You are only limited by what you create. Come try your hand at pulling paper, come any day or all 6!

If you don't want to make the paper yourself, you can come to Mountain Lake Lodge Harvest Festival October 12-13-14 from 10 - 4. Marilu & I will be doing demonstration and have small works for sale. I will demonstrate paper making and Marilu will show you how to use a spinning wheel. There will be lots of other artist, visual and musical at this event. More to come on this...

Pulling a new sheet of paper from recycled blue jeans

Hand made books made from recycled papers

more hand made books from recycled paper

pastel/charcoal painting on coffee stain paper embedded in handmade paper

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Take A Moment

It is September 11th

In August I was going through pictures putting together a slide show for our 30th anniversary party. Pulling out pictures of places we had gone for each anniversary. Among those places was New York. One of the pictures in my album was a view with the twin towers. It made me stop and remember. So, today I will again take a moment to remember what we have, how lucky I am to be able to do what I do and to keep close in my heart those we have lost.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


One Art Show - Artomatic
Two Buildings - 115 & 117 E. Church Street, Frederick, MD
Three States - Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland
Four Days - Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

What a weekend, the four can also stand for 4 plus hours it takes to drive. I drove up from Blacksburg, VA to Frederick, MD. To get from here to there you go through 3 states. It was crazy busy this weekend, lots of art talk, seeing friends and family. I even got some time to work on my latest owl, which should be ready sometime this week.

Great time walking through the two buildings of Artomatic. Guiding people to not only look down or at eye level but look up as there was work hanging on the ceilings too.

Even though this is one show, it hosts over 300 artist. The show stays up through October 5th. this weekend kicked it off with music from several bands. The upper floor in 115 hosts the bands in what use to be the gym when many years ago the building stood as a school. Wood floors and all, ready for dancing to go with the music.

This is a great event, established artists, artist showing for the first time, installations, fine art, sketches on the walls, it has it all. Don't miss this one and on Friday - Saturday and Sunday many of the artists will be at the Artist Market/Gift Shop selling small works. Every weekend will have music plus other special activities.

I will be back up the weekend of October 4-5th, hope to see you there!

Next working towards - Fine Arts in the Valley - October 25-26-27 & November 1-2-3 Mark Your Calendars!!!

Tee Shirts at Artist Market

Artist Market in 117

Sarah Simpson's photography

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Art Is Education

This week is Art in Education. This is one of my passions. Art is everywhere and in everything we do. It helps our minds think in alternative ways. It brings a peace to the soul, a tear to our eye, and makes us aware of other cultures, other ways of life. 

One way to see Art in Education at work is to visit Artomatic. In building 117 E.Church  St., Fred., MD the lower section has several displays up on how art is helping teens in danger, adults in recover and anyone in need improve their lives, mind, body & soul through art. 

Art is often the program cut first within the educational system. Keep Art Alive! Check out the Art In Education web site:

Do something creative this week. Support your local artist, visual, musical, dance or performance. 


Saturday, September 7, 2013

I'm Walking

Yesterday, I spent the day walking. My job at Artomatic was to walk up and down four floors filled with art. Talk to the people who came to see the show. Explain what Artomatic was about and what was to come. 

It was a long day ending with the artist reception. This afternoon I start afresh walking in the other building filled with more art and the Grand Opening! 

The sound system was installed yesterday and the kick off band will play swing music tonight! It is also First Saturday and all the local galleries will be open late. Frederick will be hopping tonight. 

So come on down, see the artwork, and listen to some music. Here are a few images from Artomatic. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clutter - or - how to think like an artist

Where to start??? My office maybe...has become the staging area getting ready for Artomatic this weekend. As I think of something I might need it goes in the pile to pack in the car - "Staging Area"! Or some might say clutter but staging area sounds so nice.

Small prints & originals for Artist Market, Sunday 12-5 117 E. Church St., Frederick, MD

Artists are usually good at multi-tasking too or we get distracted easily, maybe both. But, my point is that I have been keeping up with the challenge to myself. I have been getting a little drawing in each day. At the Artist Market I will have something there - a little demo piece, maybe the owl I am currently working on...
Work in Progress - Day 3
Many artist who do the art challenge, work on a new piece each day. I will have to work up to that, for now just taking an hour or two and working is good. The feather part of this image was done as a ghost print during a monotype workshop I was teaching. I kept it thinking it would be something one day. I sketched in the owl on the branch, did watercolor underpainting and pastel on handmade paper with a slightly rough texture. 

Oh and new frames arrived to get the art that is hanging out in the guest room/linda's alternate working space ready for several other shows on the horizon. 

Even though this week has been pretty non-stop I am not feeling too stressed yet. Will remove the staging area, get my car packed, figure out what artsy things I need to bring for a long weekend up in Frederick and with a little good timing should be able to get a couple hours of drawing in this afternoon. See it is not so hard to think like an artist, you just need to be able to think past the clutter.

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Challenge To Myself

I have never been good at doing the painting a day type challenge but I am going to give it a go with a gentle note. I am traveling a lot, driving type traveling, this adds some difficulty to drawing. So, I will try to draw for 30 minutes to an hour each day. I will give myself some bonus points if I have a good drawing/painting day and not stress if I don't get a drawing done each day.

Last week I did get several small pieces done. As many of you know I work in series, sometimes I just love the thing I am drawing so much that I have to draw it a couple times to get it out of  my system, my head. I generally will have more then one reference picture, which helps with drawing things in a serious. It is fun to put them all together on one sheet of paper, making a study of the subject.

I printed out several photos to work from, have been using my computer more as a drawing reference tool but when I use several photos at one time it is easier to have the prints in front of me. Today is Labor Day, and my day will be spent doing a labor of love. I love to draw, I love dry mediums, graphite, charcoal, pastel and sometimes even play around with watercolor pencils. Hope everyone is doing at least one thing today that they love to do, off to the drawing board - literally!

Lilac-breasted Roller, pastel & ink

Pied Kingfisher - pastel & watercolor

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ending Summer

It is almost Labor Day, the first Monday in September according to Wikipedia. Proposed in 1882, Oregon was the first state to celebrate it in 1887 and it became a Federal Holiday in 1894. Thought of as the end of summer, back to school. beginning of football season and 2nd only to Black Friday for retail sales.

The first day of fall - autumnal equinox (Latin for equal night) is September 22 at 4:44 PM. Yet the actually event of the day and night being almost exactly 12 hours happens a couple days after, according to the Almanac. This timing is for the Northern Hemisphere.

So, it's almost fall and a good time for the arts. Lots of fun events happen, Oktoberfest are just around the corner along with gift giving for special holidays. From this month through most of December I will be in the Labor Day state of mind, creating my little heart out, making new works, for, I hope all to enjoy.

Marilu & I will be at Artomatic this coming weekend. Artist Night is September 6th from 6-9. Come on by to see us and some new works. We will be surrounded by friends and family. My friend, Sarah will have her photography on display, Marilu's daughter, Tracy also has her photography up and Tracy's 2 sons will have their work hanging too!

Hope everyone can come by and see this amazing show. It is up from Sept. 5th - Oct. 5th, closed Mon. & Tues. with lots of music and performances on weekends. Check their web site often for updates.

Until then enjoy your day off or your day of labor. Enjoy the fall, soon the leaves will be changing colors and the cool air will bring the winter coat of white, or so I have heard!

What's That Sound???

You know you are in Wyoming when you wake to the sound of horses. With limited wi-fi service it has been a lot harder to get blogs written a...