Artist of the Month: Alyssa Parsons

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Sometimes you run across an artist and just love their view of the world. Such is the case with artist Alyssa Parsons. Once discovered, I couldn't get enough of her art! It's playful, with a touch of humor that you don't often see, in art. She also has a serious side, with beautiful landscapes and detailed portraits. She's also been chosen to participate in Michigan's Art in the Legislature program - so if you're in Lansing, head to the Capitol building to view her work. I'm honored to present her as our December Artist of the Month.

hot cocoa, Alyssa Parsons

Please tell us about your art...

I work in a wide variety of mediums and subject matters, but recently I've begun concentrating on my favorite types of painting: watercolor and digital. I use these two mediums, sometimes in combination, to create landscapes, science fiction/fantasy art, and children's book illustrations. No matter what the subject matter, I try to bring a sense of playfulness into the art.

Artist Alyssa Parsons, Self-portrait

Alyssa Parsons - Dragons

How/when did you start becoming an artist?

I started drawing on a regular basis at about fourteen, after an art teacher at my middle school had my class draw portraits. In retrospect, the portrait didn't turn out very good, but at the time it was the most amazing thing I had ever drawn. There was something thrilling about seeing an image exist outside my head as its own entity, when before it has only been part of my imagination. It made my heart beat and my hands shake, and that's the moment I got addicted to creating. I went home later that day and bought some how-to-draw books, and I spent the next three or four years drawing and tracing out of them for hours every day. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I got serious about art as a career and signed up for the art class that would eventually steer me toward an illustration degree.

Surprise - Alyssa Parsons


Alyssa Parsons


What do you draw inspiration from?

Originally it was book covers that inspired me. I'd go to the bookstore and browse covers in the science fiction/fantasy section, and when I found one I liked I'd buy it. Eventually I ended up with a bookcase that was more art gallery than library, with most of the books being ones that I had no interest in actually reading.

Lately I've been getting my inspiration outdoors while painting landscapes. I've never felt more humbled than when I'm trying to paint the shifting colors in the clouds, or more annoyed than when I find that the flowers I'm painting have up and died since the last painting session. I think the landscape's complexity and beauty will keep me inspired and creative for the rest of my life.

Alyssa Parsons - Mammoth

Snail - Alyssa Parsons

Where are your favorite places to create art?

One of my favorite places to create art is in restaurants while I'm waiting for my food. I carry a pen and a little sketch book in my purse, and when ever I get the chance I take it out and try to draw the people around me without them noticing. It's a fun challenge to try to capture people in motion, and it's a nice break from drawing posed artists' models.

Alyssa Parsons - Hare

Alyssa Parsons - planets

What do you enjoy creating most?

My favorite thing to create is art that focuses on some aspect of outer space. I grew up in a house that was full of pictures of stars and nebulas, and a kid I was fascinated by how unreal and enormous they were. I'm still in awe of their scale, and there's nothing more fun for me than trying to paint one.

Benouk - Alyssa Parsons

Beanstalk - Alyssa Parsons

How can readers find and purchase your art?

All of my art can be seen on my website (, although I also have a facebook page ( and a tumblr ( that I post art to.

Alyssa Parsons - Pinch

For commissioning work, you can visit my commission page, and for prints I have most paintings available through fine arts america.

Saturn Boat - Alyssa Parsons



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All photos courtesy and copyright Alyssa Parsons