Monday, February 1, 2021

Interview With JolieElle Parfort

By Kayly Iali

JolieElle Parfort is a mixed media artist who combines photos that she has taken in Second Life with graphic digital tools to create dreamlike images. She has been featured in many exhibits throughout Second Life.I had the pleasure to interview Jolie about her art training and her art experiences in this virtual world.

How did you get started as an artist?

JolieElle:I have been an artist all my life. Since my earliest memories I drew and got lost in the things I was drawing.Like my fantasies. When art lessons were available,I took them -I grew as an Air Force brat so with moving it was nothing consistent. But I loved any kind of art we did in school.

Is your family known for being artistic? Did you get a lot of encouragement from your parents?

JolieElle Parfort: They were very encouraging. My mother had a great aesthetic sense and did some beautiful window design for a while.  My father loved art but he did not feel proficient in doing art so he learned about it as much as he could.We had a beautiful art series from Time Life books with pull-out full-size prints of major paintings with explanations.

So,did you go to art school?

JolieElle Parfort: When I was 12, my dad retired to a small Florida town,that had a small art school on the main street.  It was a private studio but the artist, Elliott McMurrough,opened it up for art lessons which became very popular. I became involved when Elliot tasked me to model for his portrait classes. I was often at the studio not only for modeling but because Elliott had a daughter my age. Later I took art classes in high school but nothing ever clicked for me, there was no actual teaching - only challenges.

At 18, I went to Florida State and majored in art there and it was the same thing - I was given assignments that made no sense and it was only confusing. So during summer break I went back to Elliot's school to model and saw that his teaching methods made perfect sense-the knowledge and philosophies he passed on as he taught. I stayed and studied at Elliott’s studio known as the School of Art.

Jolie found that Elliott’s School of Art laid the foundation for her art. Following she explains the philosophy and the lineage that the classes were based on.

JolieElle Parfort: It began with "The Ten American Painters”(also known as The Ten) .... Theywere an artists' group formed in 1898 to exhibit their work as a unified group. Artists John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, and Childe Hassam were the driving forces behind the organization. Dissatisfied with the conservatism of the American art establishment, the three artists recruited seven others from Boston, New York City, and elsewhere on the East Coast, with the intention of creating an exhibition society that valued their view of originality, imagination, and exhibition..." (source Google). These artists were heavily influenced by French Impressionist and many went overseas to study.

A couple of these artists started art schools in the States. Child Hassam started the School of Art in Province town Massachusetts. Charles Hawthorne in 1899 founded The Cape Cod School of Art in also in Provincetown. Hawthorne trained his eyes to see and paint color as Monet had, and devised methods of teaching these principles to his students.

So,one of Charles Hawthorne’s students was Henry Henscheand Henry Hensche in turn taught Elliott Murrough. And then Elliott taught me. My education is a direct line through the decades from the first impressionists.

So, what are some of their principles?

We were taught to paint by learning to see shape and color for what it is, not what we think it is. High color starts to startle your eye when you see this way.We worked from life whether it is still life we set up and still life set up outside in full sun to fully see colors.  Then we would move to portrait and later landscapes. It was actually grueling work but the best part is that there none of the 1960's and 1970's pretensions just real learning and practicing and improving.To us an abstract was a much deeper continuation of a painting until there is only form and color. Therefore,we never set out to "do" an abstract.

So how would you describe yourself as an artist? What is your medium?

JolieElle described herself as originally a plein air painter just trying to do a decent painting. But she does used digital methods to create impressionistic images. She is open to break out of her traditional training to explore other areas of art.

What is your process? Do you work from photos? Do you work from life? How do you approach your art?

I worked from life and then from photos when necessary. Photos as an accessory to art developed back in the days of Degas.  But the emphasis is never to simply copy a thing, but to find the art in it. To make it "more" than real.

What is your reason to exhibit in Second Life? And what has your experience been?

In my middle years I found myself with no studio space and no supplies. But I also developed a very keen interest in computers, CAD and such things. As soon as I was able to get my own computer, I started teaching myself but everything I do is still based on the same principles I was taught from when I was plein air painting. So, my art may start as an SL photo but then I upload the photo into my programs. I was never taught any computer graphic skills. I just winged it and "painted" over my photos until they became art. So,this is my concentration now. And yes I have had people ask me to teach them how to do what I do but I have no idea how to approach that.

How did you get started into exhibiting in Second Life?

I found a sim with cheap real estate and a downtown. I rented the space and then teaching myself everything as I went along, I remodeled it. I hung my paintings and called it "House of Art". From there I noticed that there were shows and competitions to enter and things just developed from there. When I moved to Avalon, I rebranded as ART DREAMS.

So how did exhibiting in Second Life affected your real-life?

Well, I discovered Fine Art America. I joined and posted my Second Life, hoping to sell but that didn’t do much.  Fine Art America tends to price things too high. But I have sent my textures to print on canvas to different print companies such as Canvas Prints Discount ( and had great results. Lower prices than Fine Art America. All printing is done on canvas. I have not done printing on fabrics; I don’t know how to market that; it just a different skill set. I am just a painter.

So for now, I do my exhibiting in Second Life, as going out carting paintings to real life galleries is just out of the question.

What art related projects do you usually do in Second Life?

This is it.

Do you participate in fundraisers?

There is one I am working on for Focus Magazine -a contest. Another project I will be working on is more of a teaching exhibition on the work of Dali which will take place here in Thirlmere (

What is a teaching exhibition?

The large display and teaching gallery they have herein Thirlmere has nice big rooms for moving displays and they like to suggest different themes for the artists to explore. So, there are exhibits with lecture with Q&A. The next one is on Dali and Surrealism.

It is run by Star Finesmith and Sethos Lionheart.

What advice would you give to artists who are interested in exhibiting in Second Life?

Go to SEARCH ----> GROUPS and join all the art groups possible. Then start collecting information on what kind of exhibits are current -what competitions and coming up -and definitely enter the Raglan Art Fair it is such good experience and so many artists are there -go around and meet some.Also, get a Flickr page and send your work to various groups.

Websites for Jolie Parfort

Personal website: Jolie.Lisa

Little Dreams ......for Painterly Work, curated by Jolie Lisa:

Kayly Iali

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