Fantasy art by Michael Parkes?

I was randomly surfing the web and I came across his work. Has anyone heard of him? I like how simple and neat yet complex and strange his paintings are.  I mean his paintings are very realistic and clear cut (its not impressionism with the sloppy paint strokes – not that there’s anything wrong with that style – I like Monet :)), yet the meanings behind them are cryptic and full of stories. They convey a feeling of curiosity and wonderment.  When I see the paintings, it feels like I’ve just intruded into the middle of a story. Something’s going on, and I only get a glimpse of the tale. Here’s a sample:

Tuesday's Child by Michael Parkes

I’m not an art student, but I like this! It has a alone-at-the-top-of-the-world feel to it. And it’s strange. This one in particular also has a Greek myth feel to it. Anyone have any insights on this painting? Here’s a small one that’s more fantasy-like:

“Persepolis” by Michael Parkes

Here are some of my favorites:

Indian Summer by Michael Parkes
“Indian Summer” by Michael Parkes
Sky Meditation by Michael Parkes
“Sky Meditation” by Michael Parkes
“Eternity” by Michael Parkes

I like the textures and colors, and the blue sky backdrop. His paintings are abstract and disturbing but strangely peaceful and meditative.  Like in “Eternity”, you have to wonder about the story there. Is the angel-girl somersaulting away from the egg? Who are those strange, chubby dwarf-men? I also get a Salvador Dali vibe from some of his work.

Michael Parkes is known as a magic realist and fantasy artist and he also sculpts and does lithographs. Click here and here for more of his work.

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16 comments

  1. I love Parkes, ever since a few years back when I saw his painting of the girl with the open book and the gargoyle while perusing the art shop on the OC, MD boardwalk. This site is great btw.
    -teacupsandtabbies

  2. Wow, those paintings are beautiful! I love how the artwork is so realistic, but the subject matter is so abstract. Truly amazing.

  3. Allegra – They’re really realistic aren’t they? They’re stories in themselves, you can totally get inspired into writing a story by his paintings.

  4. Hi. I’m trying to locate the ORIGINAL “Tuesday’s child” painting. Can anybody tell me where it is located? “The last peony” (my girlfriends second favorite) was just purchased but I can’t seem to find the “Tuesday’s child”. Any info would be highly appreciated.

  5. William – Hmm, I really have no idea where you can get it! I just like the paintings so I post clips of them. Sorry I couldn’t help you! Good luck in finding the work and thanks for dropping by!

  6. I purchased two of his posters in Atlanta and have been in love with both of them since. have to be the most lively art work I have ever seen.

  7. Jacquim – I’ve been wanting to buy one! I’ll probably have to look online though…Which of his work do you have a copy of?

  8. Heard of him? Why do you imagine there are so many books of his work published?
    There are LITHOGRAPHS, not “paintings”. You can even pick up some of his work/books on eBay, Amazon.com, Alibris.com, etc.

  9. Lithography (from Greek λίθος – lithos, ‘stone’ + γράφω – graphο, ‘to write’) is a method for printing using a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface. Lithography uses oil or fat and gum arabic to divide the smooth surface into hydrophilic regions which accept the ink, and hydrophobic regions which reject it and thus become the background. By contrast, in intaglio printing a plate is engraved, etched or stippled to make cavities to contain the printing ink, and in woodblock printing and letterpress ink is applied to the raised surfaces of letters or images.

  10. In TRUE lithography, the image(s) are discovered in the texture of the natural limestone, much as you discover images in Rorschach Ink Blots; the images are best perceived as reflections of your own subconscious. Further: lithography works opposite from painting as the artist REMOVES the material in the stone, creating a cavity to hold the colors, rather than adding pigments to a canvas to create a tableau.

    Michael Parkes Art Gallery:

    http://www.jeanstephengalleries.com/michael_parkes.html

  11. The Parkes Graphics at this URL:

    http://www.jeanstephengalleries.com/michael_parkes.html

    can all be copied to your desktop. First you need to click on the image you want so you get its largest size, then you put your mouse on the image, press the right mouse button and drag the image to your desktop or a folder somewhere.

    If you have Photoshop, you then open the image and save it as a .png file (example: Oasis.png). The .png file can be resized as large or as small as you like, without loosing and resolution.

  12. I have an original painting of the Tuesdays Child. I came accross it at an estate sale, and I couldnt believe what it is valued at. I just thought it was really pretty, and I intended to give it to my daughter. But now I am interested in selling it. If anyone is interested please contact me, before I place it on ebay.

    timothysais@gmail.com

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