I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at 36, I'm 49 now. It was good for me to know, as I wondered since I was a child, "Why am I different, and why do I seem to look at things differently than a lot of people?" Well, sometimes, finding out reasons is a good thing. Did it make life easier? In some ways, it actually did. I have learned that to be self-aware can be a very fruitful thing. If you know your short-comings, know what makes you angry or upset, what you'll put up with and what you won't, is wise. It can serve you in your life. As they say, "Know thyself."
Now, on to why this book exists. I have painted a lot of paintings. I've sold a lot of these paintings, over 500 at last count. That's a rare thing for a painter. Am I grateful? Heck, yeah! I also love painting. I love that people around the world can enjoy my unique art. They appreciate my way of translating something of this world we share. This is an awesome thing. Many of these people know I have Asperger's and I'm glad they do. I sleep better at night keeping myself as real as possible. That honesty also makes its way into my work. Real emotion and honesty are two keys to good art. There is also skill, which must start with learning to draw and then years of painting. There is no short cut. It's hard work, time, and experiencing life.
This book is about what one man on the autism spectrum can do when he is tenacious and BELIEVES...
...I hope you enjoy this very personal book...it was a life-in-the-making...cheers.
That's my love, Misty. It was her idea that I put the book put. She also helped a lot with the book. She has a huge IQ, is such a strong person, and has a heart full of love. She's my soulmate. A big thank you to her. I love this goofy pic!
Sometimes, I like to paint freedom, beauty and shining hope. This piece, Fantastic Freedom, is all about that. Some days, for us humans, are hard. Some days are just plain crappy. Some days are hell! This painting is for all you people. Namaste...
This painting, Train Station, was fun to paint. It was also rather weird to paint. It's one of those pieces where to a point, I let it come out on its own. What I mean is, I have a loose idea in my mind and then keep myself and mind quite open and loose. To me, this is the highest form of art. I like how the painting turned out. It's unique, draws in the eye, has mystery, and contains honest flow.
Will it sell? I haven't the foggiest idea. That's part of the beauty of being a painter.
See you on the other side of imagination. Peace...
There is nothing sweeter for me as an artist than painting a powerful personal commission for somebody. When what the person has gone through comes out in the piece, when I harness that, when things come together, and when the complexity meets the beauty. In this painting, we have trials mixed with hope, strength and triumph. I won't go into specifics due to the fact that this piece involves deeply personal life things for the person in the painting. I believe art should contain pain, joy and everything in between. If not, what's the point? In this painting, we see dangers, trials, sadness gone through, hope, and strength. Those who can hold on will see the beauty on the other side.
I was fortunate to be able to portray some of this individual's life flow within the flowing scope of my art. What an honor. The heart and brush smiles at such a worthwhile experience.
It's been a while since I wrote a blog post. To be honest, there wasn't a lot to say. Often, as the weather gets warmer, I don't paint as much. First, it gets warm in the studio, and secondly, there are so many other things to do, enjoy the sunshine, work in my garden, eat ice cream, etc.
That doesn't mean I haven't been busy. On the contrary, I've been flat out. I've been doing quite a bit of work on my new YouTube Channel, Carl Parker: The Zen of Painting, which is a collection of videos of either me creating or talking about my work, with a few fun and silly videos sprinkled in. Don't be afraid of the silly ones, it's just another outlet for my creativity. I'm going to be 49 later this month and I've promised myself, since I'm not getting any younger, and, since I spent probably the first 40 odd years of my time on Earth letting people squash my creative voice in one way or another and to varying degrees, that I'm just going to enjoy myself, stop taking things so seriously and stop worrying about what people think. Let's face it, there's no point worrying about what others think of you, because really, they rarely are. So, if you're open minded, love art, aren't easily offended and love a good laugh, check it out.
The other thing I've been working on has been a project that had been in the works for quite some time. I kept it under wraps until now, but today I can finally talk about it. I've just published my new book, this one being my second, called Fake News, Real Paintings: An Artist's View of What's Wrong With the World. I'm very pleased with it. It was a fun book to write. It's a collection of some of my more "controversial" paintings, my protest pieces, if you will, along with commentary about what inspired each one.
The best way I can explain it is to give you a sneak peek at the introduction, or a part of it:
As a young man, I never watched the news; I never followed politics. I was generally, blissfully unaware of anything that was going on in the world, and more than that, I really didn’t care. If it didn’t have a direct and immediate impact on me personally, well, frankly, it just didn’t exist. I was happy in my state of blissful ignorance.
Fast forward a few years, and that blissfully ignorant young man began to grow up, as we all do, and began to take notice of the world outside of his own bubble. Not in any real deep or meaningful way, but enough to watch a bit of news and follow politics, at least on a superficial level, just enough to parrot what I was hearing around me as my own thoughts and opinions. And really, I thought they were. I was the best little sheep you could ever meet, following the herd whichever way the wind took it. I mean, what else was I to do? I wasn’t an educated man on these matters; best to leave the thinking to those more qualified, right?
However, as the years passed and forty came and went, I began to expand my horizons, to read, to study, to talk to people, a wide variety of people. I was encouraged to look at the headlines and listen to the soundbites with a critical eye and ear. I was both shocked and horrified at what I learned. All those things I had believed, all those opinions, you know the ones other people had that I just adopted as my own without much thought, were, for the most part, complete and utter garbage. Some of them were even more than that, they were out and out lies that anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of how politics or the Constitution works would spot in a heartbeat!
And as time went on and I became more and more aware, I noticed things didn’t seem to get any better. In fact, they seemed to get worse, until what I discovered was that we had devolved into a society of political correctness, where free expression has been replaced with sanctions, both real and imagined for wrong think and civil, lively debate has been replaced by mean – spirited school yard taunts. The news isn’t the news anymore. Remember journalism? The 5 W’s, who, what, when, where and why, the facts and just the facts. Well, they seem to have been replaced by “info-tainment” programs where facts are lightly sprinkled over opinion and political leanings. I could go on and on here, but you get the idea.
Of course, to process this, and to perhaps purge my frustrations in a constructive fashion, I turned to the only thing I knew, painting. I found, to my surprise, that the boy who once abhorred anything political; the boy who refused to watch the news, not only noticed world events and social commentary seeping into his work, but he was compelled somehow to speak his mind through his paint.
I guess maybe I've turned into an old curmudgeon. Oh well had to happen sometime. You can find Fake News, Real Paintings: An Artist's View of What's Wrong With the World on Amazon at www.amazon.com/dp/1073715698/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=fake+news+real+paintings+carl+parker&qid=1560796457&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or on my books page, here: Books
It's been a busy time over here, but I thought I'd better take time to post an update. First off, this is my latest painting, I call it Mother Nature's Whisper. I'm very pleased with it, and the inspiration is likely obvious; it's that time of year now when everything is coming to life, Mother Nature is showing her chops hardcore. The blossoms are out, everything is green again, the sun is shining and the sky is that gorgeous shade of blue. It makes a person feel grateful to be alive.
Speaking of grateful, I do want to mention my new YouTube channel, which is both a new endeavour and an expression of my gratitude. It's called The Zen of Painting and I hope it gives at least someone the same thing art gave me, a sense of zen, of peace and purpose in this crazy world. It really doesn't matter what you paint, or even how good you are, what matters is having fun, being able to do something tht makes you feel good, that allows you to leave the chaos behind. I'll post the link to the channel here and I hope you'll all like, subscribe and share: www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCyG3qVOUPBlBw6N5fRUGQ
This piece, Summer Murder, contains my version of crows and my version of graffiti. I enjoy an artistic path where I have my own style. This style that formed from me in a natural and spontaneous way was embraced and successful from the start. I am very grateful for this. Gratitude is paramount in life.
Several years ago, I was looking out my studio window. This window was in the top apartment of a rancid, too old building. I was told the building was a former Cat House, as in, an establishment where men would visit to acquire female company. This apartment was so bad that I developed a cough while I was living there. As it turns out, it was the insanely old carpets. Eventually, someone removed them.
However awful the apartment seemed and was, part of my art beginnings happened here. One could say I earned my chops. I couldn't afford to eat properly, live in a healthy place, have a normal amount of peace of mind, and so on. These struggles can shape someone and an artist. Everything goes into the art if you allow it to.
Wanna be an artist, a real one, a good one? Then, go out and live life on your own and on your own terms. That's where life flow and art flow will come into existence. Life should be everything, and art should be too.
The interesting fact is that as I looked out that nightmarish old window, I noticed crows outside on the wires close to the building. I immediately painted my first crow piece. It sold right away and the rest is history.
You see, In line with the yin and yang of life, you take the good with the bad.
If you're a member of a close-knit and loving family, you may understand this painting. If not, you still may understand it. If you're used to just looking at or buying purely decorative art, this piece may confuse you. I don't mean to be harsh here, it's just that this painting has a complexity to it. Complex work takes years to learn how to produce. If this sort of art eludes you, perhaps move on now. ;)
In families that are tenaciously close, the bond is amazingly strong. The love knows no bounds. In this piece, we have three generations of females, mother, sister and younger sister. What challenges will they face? Will their lives be like rocky seas or smooth waters? That's the beauty of this life, the mystery. This is also the beauty of good art. XO.
Some things, we want to forget. Some things, we want to hold onto forever. When I was little, my deep mind held on so very tightly to every moment, every exciting thing, and each new discovery. One beautiful memory I shall always treasure is when my mother, sister, and myself would be at the beach. Every summer, I had a really cool mom who took us to a beach setting, whether it was Grand Manan, P.E.I. or Newfoundland. It was the '70's and things were good. Things were still innocent and sweet. It was before the world had it's way with me! Ha! Ha! You know what I mean. When we grow up, things have a funny way of chipping away at our peace of mind and freedom of spirit. At the end of the day, though, that crap matters not, it's what you do as a so called, adult, that will make the new brilliant memories. XO.
I called this painting, When Time Stands Still. Sometimes we happen along a natural scene so awesome that we want time to stop. It's like Mother Nature is smiling at us. She's giving us a glimpse of the amazing thing called the natural world. This is often the best world we can be in.
Go out and walk in the woods, or stroll along a green field full of flowers. You'll be so glad you did.