Liz Parrish is a Pennsylvania native who attended Lycoming College for art. While she was there she majored in sculpture and had the opportunity to dabble in welding and ceramics. Painting came later in her career and with that she started in water colors then moved to acrylic which is the current medium she uses now.
Her characters begin as sketchbook drawings and evolve from there. Her primary focus is on outlines and contours to make her work more cartoonish. “I illustrate the story in my head and make the rest up as I go along,” said Parrish.
Parrish has four pieces for the show and each piece is painted on old wooden trays. The first piece is called the ‘Bee Whipper.’ The character is getting swarmed by bees with an attempt to whip them away, but with no avail. The second piece is called ‘Tea Leaf Reader.’ Inspiration for this piece struck Parrish because some people claim they can tell the future by interpreting the shapes of the left over tea leaves in the bottom on the cup. The third piece is called ‘Earth Mover.’ In this piece the character has a shovel in hand pointing to the ground trying to figure out where to move the earth to. The fourth piece is ‘Banjo Player’. This piece may or may not have been inspired by her spouse and features a naked man playing the banjo while dancing around. The colors she used are primarily red, brown, and flesh tones. “I like to keep my colors muddy because it generates the feeling of being old,” said Parrish.
Each piece has hands on the bottom of the trays. “I was originally interested in palmistry or being able to read palms. I like the form of the hands and the individual lines that indicate palmistry,” said Parrish.
All the characters she creates have their own unique stories, whether they are inspired from real life events, her cat Sputters, or from her imagination just ask and she will tell you. “I like things that are old, plants, and creatures,” said Parrish.
“I paint monsters and I like working on wood,” said Parrish. She prefers antique wood because it’s reminiscent of her parents’ barn that always had stacks of wood. “The left over wood was a little treasure trove to go through and I would find cool wooden objects. I love to rummage,” said Parrish.
Her goal is to keep making as much stuff as possible and make it better and better. “I’d like to do some more complete series like the mandrakes and the current body of work in the ‘Underground’ show. I have no idea what to expect for the Brooklyn show. It will be good to get my work out there for more people to see. It will be interesting,” said Parrish.
Parrish has a solo show at Converge Gallery November 1-December 22, 2012. The theme of the show is ‘Prayers and Curses.’ “Originally when Matt [her husband] was going to be in it, he was writing all these prayers and I was sitting in the corner spewing curses out of frustration. Now I’m not longer cursing at myself.”
Liz Parrish will be showing in Brooklyn, New York on August 10th, 2012 for one night only. To view more of Parrish’s work check out Converge Gallery http://www.convergegallery.com/portfolio/liz-parrish/ and for more information regarding the ‘Underground’ show please go to http://www.convergegallery.com/popup/ and keep checking back for blogs with the other artists who will be showing their works in the ‘Underground’ show as well.