‘Some Bodies’ Opens At Mesa Library Tuesday

‘The Ladies’ painting by Kathi Geoffrion Parker garnered a 2nd place ribbon at the New Mexico State Fair Fine Arts exhibit. Courtesy photo

ART News:

The opening reception for a new show in the upstairs gallery at Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos is 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

‘Eva’ painting by by Kathi Geoffrion Parker. Courtesy photo 

The “Some Bodies” show features life drawings and watercolor portraits by Los Alamos native, Kathi Geoffrion Parker. It showcases several years of Parker’s participation in the local Life Drawing group sessions sponsored by the Fuller Lodge Art Center.  

Many of the faces and figures will be familiar to local viewers because most of the models are from Los Alamos.

Why life drawing? According to Parker, drawing, and specifically drawing from the human form, is a fundamental practice for artists whether they are portrait painters, still-life or landscape painters. The practice helps the artist develop her eye for form, value, design, rhythm and shape relationships.

“When I was a little girl, my dad was trying to draw a face. When I looked over his shoulder, he turned and told me ‘don’t try drawing people because it’s too hard!’ I took that as a personal challenge,” Parker said. “I had several encouraging teachers in Los Alamos, but the most influential life-drawing teacher was Joan McConnell. She invited me to the Fuller Lodge Art Center classes when I was in high school. I needed to have parental permission to draw nudes, but from the beginning I was hooked!”

Parker has been a member of that group ever since. She had some absences during college, marriage, children and other life-altering events, but always comes back to this essential part of her life, which is her art, and life drawing is where she keeps that alive, she said.

“I’m continually learning from this process and recently took part in a summer-long course called ‘Anatomy for the Artist’ taught by Geoffrey Lawrence. The human body is a timeless learning tool,” Parker said.  

Parker’s exhibit showcases some of her life drawings—some on newsprint and some on higher quality papers—all examples of the practice and her love for drawing. A few years ago she began using color with the challenge of watercolor.

These paintings are from the Sunday portrait sessions at the Art Center. Adding color to form has been a new dimension to the challenge of “seeing” people. She also has a few new pieces in the show created from black and white family “postcards” that she discovered in her mom’s photo collection.

“The Ladies” painting, with vintage hats, recently garnered a second place ribbon at the New Mexico State Fair Fine Arts exhibit. It’s a painting of her grandmother and her sisters.

“Taking this small black and white photo and painting it as a larger, color image was a fun process,” Parker said.

Parker worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 35 years as a technical illustrator, graphic designer and web designer. While working at the Laboratory, her personal art was featured in many local, state and national art shows. She has been a Signature Member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society since 2004. Her work also is part of the Los Alamos County Art in Public Places collection, which can be seen in the White Rock Visitor Center conference room. 

The “Some Bodies” show will be on display through the month of November. For information on the life drawing group at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, click here or contact Ken Nebel at kennebel@gmail.com

For information on Parker and her work, visit her website at www.kathigeoffrionparker.com and attend Tuesday’s artists reception to visit with her in person.