Talia Swartz Parsell has been making art her entire life. “I have four sisters, and growing up, we all attached to something. Art was my world.”
With roots in the midwest, Talia describes her art as abstract geometric landscapes with bold, vibrant colors and what she calls a simplified view. Don't let that uncluttered perspective deceive you into thinking her pieces are not complex in their structure, and they certainly are not simplistic in the emotions and reactions they conjure in people. “I think about how can I reduce it to the most important elements," she says. "Getting rid of the noise makes it ubiquitous to people, allowing a deeper connection.”
Her work has developed over time. Early on, a teacher noticed Talia's natural talents and encouraged her. As a teenager, one of her paintings was selected for the Ohio Governor's Award, and that piece lived in the governor's mansion for a while. She considers that her first introduction into the art world.
Talia did geometric landscapes in the past but then taught elementary school art classes and went on to get her master's degree in art and painting at Adams State University in Colorado. During her schooling, she got away from the simplified landscapes, but over time, she came to realize that specific perspective is part of who she is. “I love the clean design and lines. I'm meticulous, and now I'm embracing the fact that that's part of me. That's how I rearrange landscapes in my brain.”
The local artist has been represented by Westward Gallery in Denver for a few years. The gallery gave Talia her first solo show last summer. She's also done several murals in the area including ones at Denver Center for International Studies, Piffs Pizza Place in Lakewood, and two murals in Edwards on the river walk. Most of her mural work has been done in conjunction with fellow artists Katy Casper and Grow Love. Talia has done several murals on her own, including one in Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Colorado Springs, the downtown Arvada street mural, and a mural at Redline Contemporary Art Center in Denver.
The artist's lifestyle comes with a lot of ups and down and requires a willingness to hustle. “It's a constant matter of where my next project will be while wearing lots of other hats--teaching classes, being your own social media manager, and handling the day-to-day life responsibilities as a mother at the same time.” Talia says it takes an organized person who is driven to make it work while not losing the passion that got you into the artistic field in the first place. “Seeing something you created hanging on a wall or hearing that your work really resonates with someone...it's everything.” She loves doing mural work because of its broad reach. “Only a small percentage of the population is going to visit a gallery and see your work, but murals are for everyone and community-focused.”
Talia's parents are her biggest inspiration. “My parents both faced so much adversity in life, and they both still followed career paths that developed into passions. Any parents who are out there trying to do their passions while raising kids are amazing and inspiring to me. It also teaches kids you can be successful doing what you truly love, if you work really hard and accept that the path is not always linear."
In describing her art, Talia says, “My paintings are about moments in my life, dreams I've had, things I've imagined, feelings evoked through music or poetry, places I've been, and things I'm healing from. My paintings are very personal. My approach is very personal.” Talia's love of the environment and the beauty of nature is present in all her work. She hopes the layers of experienced moments, dreams, and ideas come through and that through seeing her work, others may create their own new, lasting memories.
“My paintings are about moments in my life, dreams I've had, things I've imagined, feelings evoked through music or poetry, places I've been, and things I'm healing from.” -Talia Swartz Parsell