R. Nelson Parrish

Santa Barbara, CA

"Color is the vernacular we use when traditional words fail."
Originally from Alaska, I have studied color my whole life. Color is the vernacular we use when traditional words fail. It is the universal language, utilized for translating thoughts and experiences viscerally and immediate. I refine abstracted known forms such as totems, cairns, flags, and flitches, to contain ideas – then implement the action of painting and sculpting to make these ideas visible and tangible.
My sculptural pieces are handcrafted of wood, aerospace aluminum and layered bio-resin, infused with splashes of vibrant color and racing stripes. The narratives depicted in these works are conceptual and aesthetic tributes to seminal moments of expression or intense feeling, often triggered by nature. I aim to seize the essence of a moment and portray its emotional story by creating artifacts using my vocabulary of Light and Color.
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