By Shawn Ryan
The Anniston Star
Paulette Parks’ home is filled with sketches and doodles.
She can’t help it. The Anniston artist just finds herself drawing at all
times of the day, whatever she’s doing.
“If I’m on the phone, I may be doodling at the same time,” she says. “I’ve
got sketches on top of sketches and doodles on top of doodles.”
But all that semi-conscious work pays off when Parks enters her home studio.
In there, using watercolors, clay, charcoal and oils, she turns doodles into
living, breathing works of art. From the studio emerge sculptures of wizened
Buddhist monks and classy society women, watercolors of American Indians and old
men, of Italian courtyards and chatting women.
More than 50 pieces of Parks’ work will be on display starting Friday in the
Buckner Arts & Exhibit Center at McClellan. It’s her first major show in two
Femininity and spirituality are two intertwining themes in her works, often
expressed through female nudes, both paintings and sculptures. The themes show
up in the sculpture of a mother holding her baby or a nude woman staring
reflectively into space. Some of her works feature figures that are
Madonna-esque (the virgin, not the singer), part of a mother-and-child theme.
“Mother-and-child was a theme that I got on for quite a while,” Parks says.
“Sometimes I get on a kick or a theme which I’ll explore.
“All people and places interest me,” Parks says, noting that the Iraq War
stimulated her to make art about the effects of war on the country’s people,
while news out of Africa such as the Darfur situation led her to paint and
sculpt various African-themed works.
Family also plays a large role in her art. In the exhibition are paintings of
her mother, father, great aunt, even her daughter’s dog.
While there are 33 paintings and 23 sculptures in the exhibition, Parks says
she has no preference when it comes to making art. Often, she’ll come up with an
idea for a sculpture while painting or vice versa, she says.
“When I’m making a sculpture, I’ll think, ‘To investigate this idea even
more, I’ll need to do a painting,’ ” she says.
With so many thoughts swirling in her head, she’s never at a loss for ideas.
“Oh, I just wish I had enough time,” she says with a laugh tinted by longing.
Art after hoursWhat: Paintings and sculpture by Paulette
When: 5-8:30 p.m. Friday.
Where: Exhibition Hall,
Buckner Arts & Exhibit Center, McClellan.