The Artist

Perrin Sparks
Perrin Sparks

 

Frank, Med Illustration
My fine art has fortunately been nurtured by a 25-year career producing and teaching surgical illustration. That provided me with an exposure to human anatomy, classical drawing techniques and the discipline necessary to sustain a commercial art profession. I have a Liberal Arts Bachelors degree from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Art as Applied to Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Serving as a medical illustrator at Stanford Medical School in California, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and finally as Director of Medical Illustration Services at UTSouthwestern Medical School in Dallas, led to a position as Assistant Professor in the Biomedical Graduate Program at UTSouthwestern.

Wicker-Repose
Wicker Repose
The transition to fine art was instigated by a local Friday night figure drawing group, an outcrop of the graduate medical illustration program. Painting from life, in both pastels and oil, with poses lasting for several weeks, I developed a love of the classical techniques for producing portraits. Over the following 14 years of painting, often two evenings each week with this group, my work began to attract awards and gallery interest while incurring a growing list of portrait clientele. Workshops with pastel portrait artists Daniel Green and Kay Polk led to a fascination with the directness and vibrancy of soft pastels.

Me, Larry, Watson
Me, Larry, Watson
In 2005, Larry, my husband and I, moved our menagerie of 2 cats and 3 dogs, from Texas in the US, to Village Bay Lake on Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada. Larry undertook the renovation of the resident indoor squash court turning it into an art studio that houses my two etching presses, two large easels, space for a model and plenty of wall space that serves as a gallery for visitors. He built an upstairs mezzanine in the back part of the studio with windows looking out over the lake. He also installed seven 5x5 foot windows in the north wall and even when the power goes out (frequently) I have plenty of light to paint by. A dream come true!

Studio Views
Studio Views

almost-asleep
Almost Asleep
I am currently a Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and a Fellow and former President with the Association of Medical Illustrators. My DVDs in pastel and oil portraiture were featured in the North Light Book Club and excerpts can be seen on YouTube: “Steps to a Likeness in Pastel” and “Steps to a likeness in Oil”. By 2016, my YouTube channel for the oil portrait video had received over 1,000,000 views. American Artist, International Artist, The Best of Portraiture, and The Pastel Journal have all showcased my work and I was commissioned by Prismacolor to undertake testing materials and producing a portrait for the marketing and packaging of a new line of soft pastels.

Following a career of preparing small, precise, surgical illustrations for limited color publication, I enjoy working in a broader range of charcoal, pastel, oil, watercolor and gouache, while constantly testing new materials, surfaces and techniques for environmentally safe intaglio etching and engraving. I have become enthralled with the British Columbia land-scape and wildlife, studying the colors and shapes particular to the Pacific Northwest.

Perri and Watson
Perri and Watson
For the past 12 years, I have been a part of the Quadra Island Studio tour, held the first weekend in June, with over 30 artists participating (www.quadraislandarts.com). It’s a great opportunity to watch my demo’s of an etchings or a portrait and purchase work on display. In 2014, I booked the Vancouver Island Mountain Center, a lovely new lodge located on Mt Washington, in Strathcona Park, directly across from the entrance to the alpine section, Paradise Meadows. I invited a group of fellow outdoor painters to join me for a four day paint-out. This has become an annual event and in December 2016 and again in 2017 led to the shows “Mt Washington Revisited”. The participating artists hung their sketches done on site for a reception and month long show at the Sybil Andrews Cottage in Willow Point, Campbell River.