Sarah Parks is a portrait artist who skillfully blends Impressionism with Classical Realism. Her talent is evident in her ability to capture the form and her excellent use of light and shadow.
Sarah grew up in an artistic family and has had a passion to draw all her life. She earned two degrees magna cum laude in Art History and Studio Art from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has studied the works of John Singer Sargent, Nicolai Fechin, and others on visits to the major museums of New York, Philadelphia, London, Paris, Rome, and Florence.
Sarah has developed a college-level, online drawing course, Drawing Secrets Revealed, that teaches a broad spectrum of drawing techniques and skills to give students a strong foundation in drawing or painting.
Sarah is currently partnering with Artist Network University, an online education program from the publishers of North Light Books, to teach her Drawing Secrets Revealed course for them. This course continually receives enthusiastically positive reviews from students.
Sarah continues to develop her passion for various genres of painting by attending workshops and classes from some of the foremost landscape, still life, and figurative painters today.
She is a member of the Oil Painters of America, Portrait Society of America and the American Society of Portrait Artists. Her charcoal drawing "The Shawl" was one of 30 out of 1,100 entries juried into the American Woman Artist Association Exhibit in Pasadena, CA.
Sarah is a Google contributor as well.
Drawing has been something I’ve done instinctively for as long as I can remember, and for many years pencils were my medium of choice. But when I discovered oil paint, a whole new world opened up to me. The glow and transparency that makes a face so lifelike, the juxtaposition of cool versus warm tones, the texture of thickly applied impasto for the highlights and thinly painted darks to imply atmospheric distance is what makes a painting a joy to look at over and over. This requires a process of learning that can’t be mastered overnight. In fact, the artist is in a constant state of learning. But when it is done right, it can bring a delight to the painter and the viewer. That is my goal for every painting.
When painting a portrait, I enjoy the challenge of capturing the personality and likeness of a subject because that portrait will be a family treasure to be handed down from generation to generation. But whether it is a portrait, figurative, still life, or landscape, my aspiration is to capture the perfect play of light, shadow, and color, enhancing the spirit and composition of my painting.
Oil painting has flourished throughout history because of the unarticulated need in humankind to see a better world, a truer truth that could be hiding just behind the veil of the world they see every day. Within all of us lies a wistfulness to see the way things ought to be, beyond the way they are. I hope to provide through my paintings not only a clearer, more compelling reality, but the lens through which to view it. It is a thrilling thing to create a painting that gives a mundane sight a new light, richer colors, and more compelling emotion.