Art is so central to my life that my studio is in the center of my house. I'm in that studio every day, searching for beauty. 
 
...And I've never found a better portal to beauty than a flower. 
 
There is good reason that flowers are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives. Countless generations have used them to decorate, celebrate, and commemorate important human moments, human events. I am drawn to them like a honey bee. The sizes and shapes that flowers take to sing their siren songs are infinite...and once I'm hooked on one of them, I will relentlessly pursue its capture.
 
But the flower is the jumping-off place. Once I've laid out the turn of a petal and the structure of the greenery, the challenge then is to arrange the dabs of color so that they work together in harmony, like notes in a symphony. (I once got up close to one of Monet's paintings of water lilies, and for the first time was able to witness his mastery of color...like Mozart arranging notes. Monet can set a thin red line meandering through golds and greens and make them all sizzle.)
 
For many years I produced "Today's Green Minute," a video series that presents new ideas in sustainability. While it still hurts me to watch carbon emissions poison the atmosphere, when I'm painting I'm detached from the man-made, petrol-driven world and I'm lost in the infinite expressions of beauty: the glisten from the sun, the mystery lurking a shadow. I'm striving to bring myself...and my observers...back to Nature, back to beauty.
 
...A regular Thoreau.
 
Within my canvases, the astute observer will find swirls of color. They are, first, an homage to Vincent Van Gogh, famous worldwide for spinning heavenly objects in his "Starry Night." Second, each swirl is my personal shorthand for nothing less than The eye of the Creator: creating, and then observing the lives of all of its creations. In this way, my pieces are connected. Segments of a larger, holistic vision. 
 
- Jim Parks
 
 

 
Growing up, I was one of those kids that always had a paintbrush in his hand. I was six when the kids on the block started calling me “The Artist."
 
But when it came time to make a living, the theater called, and I performed in many of them. I also acted on TV and radio commercials, and worked into a long career as one of Chicago's busier voice-over talents...eventually becoming the on-air host of "New Spaces" on HGTV, a remodeling show that played on that network for 10 years.
 
At the end of that stint, itching to paint seriously at the age of 65, I converted the dining room of my home into a studio and began to produce the art that had been sitting there, unexpressed, all my adult years. Painting had been kept at bay for so long that when the stars finally aligned for me to paint seriously, it all came gushing out. One after another. Bang, bang, bang. Nobody was more surprised than me.
 
As these works took shape, I discovered I was following in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh. And why not? He felt the texture of the world like no other. Examine even a few of my works and you'll find a swirl here and a twisted branch there as my "homage" to Vincent’s remarkable vision.
 
I've got a strong environmentalist streak, and while I can't stop the emission of carbon into the air, I found that I can capture the contours of a lily or the colors of an orchid. No matter how hard humanity tries to poison and pervert the Natural World, I’ll be there painting to connect back to it.
 
"Botanical abstract" is the term that best describes the content you see here. Flowers, after all, were designed by Nature to attract with beauty. Why not bring that essence into our homes and surround ourselves with it?
 
A flower will always take the leading role in my paintings…but take a moment to let your eyes sink deeply into the surrounding vegetation. It’s there in the shadows where I can bring in supporting players…unexpected shapes and hues...and let them dance together like pixies.
 
During the working life that has been spent acting on stages and in front of cameras, I’ve been busy watching and observing the beauty that Nature lays at our feet with every living thing. Now, at my…ahem…”advanced age”…I embrace my good fortune in FINALLY being able to express it!

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