For a decade from a studio in the backyard of his South Capitol home, Scott Parker has been on the see-carve-print-repeat cycle. He celebrates ten years in New Mexico with an exhibition at the Remarque/New Grounds Print Workshop and Gallery in Albuquerque (3812 Central Ave. SE, Ste. 100 B, 268-8952) that opens with a reception from 5-9 pm Friday Feb. 1. The show runs through Feb. 24. Before he moved here, Parker traveled to 59 of the more than 300 national parks to make other art. In April, he’s off to St. Louis to capture the Gateway Arch.
You specialize in linoleum block printing. What is it that you like about the process?
I also paint and draw. The linoleum block I started doing ‘cause I really like the look—like when you see a historic relief print. I was drawn to it immediately, so I decided to try to do it myself. The entire image-making process in relief print is a puzzle that I find fascinating, where you make a drawing and you have to reverse it into mirror image and you transfer it to a block and you carve it and print it, or you take that image and put it on 10 blocks, and carve those, each with different colors and you hope you don’t screw it up. I think that’s fun.
How do you choose the subjects you depict?
I wish that there was some great, like, philosophy behind it—but usually it is something that I like, something that I think looks cool; if I am probably supposed to be doing something else and I start sketching something in front of me. … The one at the airport was waiting for a plane. I thought that was just a cool image. Who knows where you are going and where you are coming from, but it’s universal and fun. So that’s how I got there. … There are a few pieces with people in them, but that’s really not my interest. I like to make things that when I look at them, I imagine myself walking through them. Or someone else just walking through it. I don’t want to charge it with a figure’s perspective.
Almost all of the 26 images in the exhibition show New Mexico, your home of choice. What brought you here?
Quality of life. I had been in New York City and I was preparing to purchase a place, and it seemed my dollar went further here. And the quality of life, the blue sky, I could move to a walkable community. The climate is pretty damn fantastic, and it’s a multicultural city, it’s almost too aligned with the arts. It was just a natural fit.