Perrin Sparks

I’m always curious to see where this path will take me.

Perrin’s life as an illustrator began with a degree in Art as Applied to Medicine from Johns Hopkins Medical School, where red was for arteries and blue was for veins.

She headed a forty-five member art department at the University of Texas Medical School at Dallas while serving on the faculty of the Graduate School Program in Biomedical Communications, until her retirement in 2005.

The transition to fine art was instigated by a 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, Perrin developed a love of the classical techniques for producing realistic images. Several workshops with pastel portraiture led to a fascination with the directness and vibrancy of soft pastels.

I think pastels are particularly colourful and have forced me to think in terms of bolder gestures due to the constraints of the medium. I was introduced to oil painting driven by portrait commission requests, but find this an easier medium when outside, for plein-air landscape painting.

The icing on the cake has been a return to her very first fine art love, intaglio etching. Working through the challenges of switching the studio over to non-toxic methods and materials, the prints are rolling off the press at a steadily increasing rate. 

Now that I have the time to focus on my fine art, after years of 'red for the arteries, and blue for the veins', I’m curious where the path will take me.