Work by Conroe Artist Nancy Parsons Selected for 2017 Rising Stars & Legends of Texas Poster
Organizers for the upcoming Rising Stars & Legends of Texas, a celebration of arts and culture in the Lone Star state, did not have to look far for a piece of art that captures the spirit of the festivities.
They already knew about a painting that would be the perfect fit for the event's poster - a canvas, created by Nancy Parsons, that was previously on display at the Conroe Art League.
When she received a request to use the image, Parsons gladly accepted.
"It's so nice when you create a piece and other people respond to it," she said. "It's very rewarding. I thought it was quite an honor."
The painting is actually the center of a triptych - each panel measuring 12 inches by 12 inches - depicting a street scene.
"I just thought it was a cool image, especially the fact that all the musicians were women," she said. "It was unique - and it inspired me."
While Parsons paints realistic scenes, her style is more impressionistic.
"My goal is not so much to get all the realistic details, but more to capture the spirit of what's happening, the soul of it," she said. "It's more of a spiritual approach to painting."
Parsons started painting at a young age and continued throughout high school. She studied commercial art in junior college in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, before switching to a major in fine arts at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
She later married poet Dave Parsons, moved to Houston and started a family. She briefly worked in international banking and then returned to school to study advertising design at the Art Institute of Houston.
Parsons formed Graphic Design Group, a business she opened in Conroe in 1984. Although her focus remained on graphic design, a road trip a few years ago inspired her to pick up a paintbrush. Each day of the trip she completed a small, plein air painting and started a blog in which she explained her work.
When Parsons returned home, she had a one-woman show.
"That's what started me painting again - and then I just couldn't stop," she said. "I did graphic design all week and painted all weekend."
Parsons enjoys expressing herself in both her paintings and her blog. "It's been a growth process for me," she said. "It's contemplative. I have to be still and in the moment."
Rising Stars & Legends of Texas kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 21, at Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park with the raising of the 13 flags that have flown over Texas, musical entertainment and special guests. The festivities move to downtown Conroe until 10 p.m. and continue on Saturday, April 22, from noon-10 p.m., when the streets will be filled with fun, food, entertainment for the whole family and lots of fabulous art. There is no entrance fee to Rising Stars & Legends of Texas.
Rising Stars & Legends of Texas is presented by the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, comprising 13 arts and culture organizations and encompassing the visual, performing, literary and cultural arts.
Sponsors include First Financial Bank, Impact Printing, James Avery, Mack Barnhill State Farm, Woodforest National Bank, Keating Honda-Nissan, Soules Insurance, Hailey-Sadler Properties, Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lone Star Community Radio, Hello Beautiful Boutique, Alice and John Eckstrum, Lone Star College-Montgomery, The Courier, Mike and Patsy McLemore, Kevin Kniesley and the City of Conroe. Visit artsinconroe.org for more information about Rising Stars & Legends of Texas.
Pictured: Conroe artist Nancy Parsons, whose work was selected to adorn the Rising Stars & Legends of Texas publicity poster, with one of her award-winning paintings. Photo by Jerry Lane.