Barb Parisien Art MTBMeet the Board: Barb Parisien

Currently Communications Chair and Publicity Committee for 2014-2015 National Show Newsletter Editor 2006 – 09 Newsletter Assistant 2009 – 12 Communications Chair 2012-present Historian 2012 – present

How did you get starting painting? I’ve always done art, even as a child. I didn’t start painting until I neared retirement and painted under the guidance of my good friend and artist Mary Ann Putzier. In about 2005 I got serious about my art, taking workshops and entering competitions.

Favorite medium? I started with watercolor and I feel this is where I belong. There is so much to learn about the medium whether transparent or opaque. Every year I learn more about design principles which can be applied to any medium. I have more watercolor brushes and paints than can be used in a lifetime, so I just stick with it!

Favorite subject matter to paint? Subject matter changes depending on what I am passionate about at the moment. I love gardening and vegetables so I am known for my market scenes. I have gone through a chicken phase. I recently traveled to northern Thailand with a volunteer group working with the hill tribes. I fell in love with the people and have been painting from my photos of them.

Favorite place to buy art supplies? I mainly order from Cheap Joe’s when the sale meets my needs.

Best advice for beginners? In the beginning, don’t try to go it alone. Take a class or workshop and paint with other artists.

Best workshop taken? Usually the last one, so right now that would be Alvaro Castagnet. I can never get enough of Andy Evansen, a local favorite. I’m going to take Keiko Tanabe in the fall, a second time for me.

How many colors do you need? What can’t you live without? I have 20 colors on my John Pike palette. I couldn’t live without scarlet lake, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cobalt blue, permanent magenta.

What is the best thing about being on the NSWS board? When I joined the board in 2006 as newsletter editor, I didn’t know anyone in NorthStar. Now I think I know at least 100 wonderful artists and friends, and there are many more to meet.

What is/was your occupation? I was a high school English teacher. Not surprising that I am a reader and writer.

What activities do you enjoy other than painting? I love gardening and am active in two garden groups. I love the outdoors, travel, food and family – and when I can combine those four elements I am in heaven. My husband and I have two sons who live in Portland, Oregon.