About Audrey Bottrell-Parks

Best of Missouri Hands juried artist, c ommissioned artist for ESPN, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Promega Corporation, MSU West Plains, PGA golfers and a host of others, Audrey brings years of professional experience to the classroom. Earning her Art Education degree in her home state of Wisconsin in 1979, she has taught publicly and privately for more than 30 years.

Meet Student Lynne Hall

    Meet student Lynne Hal

Lynne Hall

“I have picked up Audrey’s brochure at Hobby Lobby several times over the years, wanting to learn to draw realistic portraits.  I graduated with a BFA in graphic design in 1987 from SMSU, was employed as an artist and got married to my sweetheart, Tim, all within a three month period.  I worked for five years until I had my first son, and then came home to be a full-time mom and had two more sons over the next few years.  I haven’t done a whole lot of creative work over the last few decades.   I never felt like I could justify taking the time while I was educating our kids at home and then later having to work full-time.  Since 2014, our home-based business has provided the freedom to be home full-time.  My boys have left home, two have gotten married, and my oldest son and his wife had our first grandbaby.  I decided it was a perfect time to take classes from Audrey to learn to draw my granddaughter.  Audrey is a wonderful teacher!  I was a timid beginning student and embarrassed that I had mentioned my art degree.  It certainly wasn’t apparent with my initial drawing ūüôā  Just getting out of my own way and relaxing, I began to learn.  I had forgotten how much I love to be creative.  I’m excited to learn to use other art media and I would love to improve enough to eventually do some commission work.  Drawing makes me feel giddy!!”   


I no longer teach classes at Hobby Lobby, but you can join me in class every Tuesday 10 – 12 at Splatter Art Studio 4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield,

Initial drawing prior to instruction

Student Focus Karla Daniel

Meet student Karla Daniel!  She is approaching her one year anniversary of taking classes with me.  One of the best perks of teaching is watching your students grow in their skills.  I thought you would like to see her progress.

This photo is her initial drawing prior to instruction.  She learned how to use her right side of the brain to approach drawing and some technical skills and it wasn’t long before she was well on her way.

 Here’s her experience:  “I’m having such a great time exploring my creative side!  I had never considered the possibility of drawing or art until my husband and I decided to take art classes as a mutual hobby a little less than a year ago.  My expectations regarding my ability were low, but I went into it with an open mind and a desire to learn something new.  Generally cautious by nature, I was afraid in the beginning to make mistakes.  Thankfully most mistakes are fixable.  After starting with graphite, I transitioned to using pastels and have really enjoyed them.  I look forward to many more artistic projects and endeavors including a color theory class next year.  I really appreciate Audrey’s instruction and supportive guidance that challenges her students to continuously expand their skills as well as their appreciate and enjoyment of art.”  Karla Daniel

Congratulations Karla for a job well done!

5 Finishing Touches to Enhance Your Art

Doing great art is only part of the equation!  How you present it within a mat or frame will either make or break it!  In the upcoming Mat & Frame Workshop, I will address these 5 finishing touches to enhance your art, creative matting options and more!

  1.  PFullSizeRender (95)lacement and size of your signature.  Where and how you place your signature can steal the focus off your art.  You want the viewer to know who the artist is without taking away from your work.
  2.  Mat selection.  A mat that is too small will crowd and one that is too large can overpower your art.  Color is also important.  The color and size should draw your eye into the art.
  3.  Frame selection.   Select a frame that looks best with your art, not one that goes with your home decor.  The width of the frame is also important.  A narrow width on a large piece will not feel substantial enough to support, while too wide a frame can overpower your art.
  4.  Glass.  There are so many choices!  Does it matter?  YES!!  Reflections on the glass can make it difficult to see your art!  Museum, non-glare and UV glass are options to consider depending on your art.
  5. Backing. ¬†Why should I be concerned with what is on the back of the frame? ¬†First, it’s ALL part of the package! ¬†Dust and small bugs can work their way into the frame and show up in view. ¬†Plus, you want to present your art by paying close attention to details with the whole package.

Come learn how to begin your art with the correct size so you can use a standard size mat and frame. ¬†Custom framing can add up so plan before you begin. ¬†Once you choose that size, you’ll have a chart to know what size mat and frame to use. ¬†You’ll learn how wide your mat should be for the size of your art.

Register and receive a free consult on finishing your piece of art!  Call Audrey Bottrell-Parks 417-848-0894 or email:  abportraits@yahoo.com

Monday, June 27th

9:00 – 12:00

Splatter Art Studio  4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield,

Class fee $30  Studio fee $5


Whooooooo Wants to Learn Pastel????

Whoooo Wants to Learn Pastel???

Whoooo Wants to Learn Pastel???


Whoooo Wants to Learn Pastels???  In this upcoming 1 day workshop you will learn how to paint this owl with a minimum set of supplies.  Of course, the more pastels you have to choose from the better and there are numerous brands and prices too.  As you can see, this painting doesn’t have a lot of color and our modest set of pastels will work just fine.  Then and WHEN, you fall in love with pastels, and you will, you can decide to make a bigger investment in a larger assortment of pastels.

What I like about pastels is the ability to put down beautiful, luscious color quickly.  After working with colored pencils for years, I LOVED this about pastels!  I will provide you with the sanded paper and the owl already drawn on, ready to go so you can use the whole time working with the pastels.  I will walk you through each step as I demonstrate each area, you will do the same.  Most students finish it during the workshop!

Register now to reserve your spot!  Here’s the details:

Monday, April 25, 2016   9:00 – 4:00

Splatter Art Studio 4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield, MO

Fee:  $75  includes paper and studio fee

To register contact Audrey directly 417-848-0894.


Studying the Planes of the Face

Plaster Cast Models

Plaster Cast Models

Learning to draw the human face can be a bit of a challenge whether you are just getting started drawing or have been drawing for some time.  Why is it so difficult?

The very first recognizable drawing you did as a young child was actually a face. ¬†It looked more like Mr. Potato head than anything else. ¬†A large circle with dots for eyes and a happy face smile. ¬†Often stick arms and legs protruded out of this monstrous sized head! ¬†As you matured, you reigned in the big head and the features got a little better. ¬†But chances are pretty good that the features were nothing more than your stored up left-brained symbols. ¬†Symbolic features, even more advanced ones, still don’t carry the feeling of life. ¬†I teach my students how to move beyond mere symbols to¬†drawing more realistically.

Once you have a better understanding of what the features really look like, then you have to begin to study the planes of the face and how the light and shadows affect those planes.  The slightest shadow in the wrong place will change the plane and change how the person looks.

The plaster cast shown on the right, shows a more distinct look at the planes of the face.  When the light hits it, you can actually see the different values.  The model on the left is more representational to the human face and after studying the model on the right, the student will be better able to recognize the change in the planes on the realistic model.

There is so much that can be done with these models just by changing the lighting and seeing how it changes how everything looks.  These handsome dudes will be our class models in my First Saturday of the Month Drawing Class at Splatter Art Studio 4160 S. Lone Pine, Springfield, MO starting March 5th 9:00 Р12:00.    Students will work on their individual lessons or work with the models.  All instruction is individual and open to students of all abilities.  Class fee is $35 and includes the studio fee.  Contact Audrey Bottrell for more information. 417-848-0894

The Joy of Drawing!

No matter how old you are, there is great joy in drawing! Learning at a young age makes it even better because you have all the more time to enjoy it. Drawing is a teachable skill, just like learning to write you name, yet so few learn to do it. Many think you have to be born with the talent to draw, but that’s not true. Learning to draw is just learning to first see the line and then learn to draw the line.

Lauren has just completed her first full portrait after studying the basics of drawing and studying the features of the face. What a beautiful first portrait! Parker is only age 7 and he loves to draw just about anything, but even at his very young age he was able to draw this cat realistically.

Student Lauren Cox

Student Lauren Cox

Parker, age 7 with his graphite drawing.

Parker, age 7 with his graphite drawing.

I remember a student I had years ago. A more mature woman. She had been taking classes for a few months and had just finished a drawing. I looked over at her and saw her crying. Afraid that she might be frustrated with her drawing, I inquired why she was crying. Then, came the most beautiful response. “Because, I can’t believe I drew that!”

Whenever I doubt that what I do matters, I remember her and the joy she and countless others have told me they have from learning to draw! Do you want joy?? Come learn to draw!

Falling in Love with Pastels

Pastels are a wonderful color medium that allow you to get rich , bold colors down rather quickly.  Lightly sanded paper allows the pastels to blend into this rich creamy color, perfect for skin tones.  After my students have gone through basic drawing skills and learned about value and color theory, they can move into color mediums like pastel.

Susan Loop is one student that has recently fallen in love with pastels.  She comes each week with no less than three new pastel portraits done for review.

Here’s what she has to Susan Loop Pastel Portrait 1say: FullSizeRender (49)“I’ve been under Audrey’s tutelage for 3 years now. ¬†During that time, I progressed from pencil drawings to acrylic paintings. ¬†Although I enjoy acrylic painting, I still felt I had not found my niche. ¬†Then, Audrey introduced me to pastels. ¬†I¬†love the freedom and creativity you get from pastels. ¬†There is something freeing about getting your hands dirty using pastels. ¬†The transition from paints to pastels has come naturally. ¬†I really appreciate Audrey and the skills she has helped me to develop, and for letting loose the pastel beast I never knew existed.” ¬†Susan Loop

Pastel can take on different looks with different painting surfaces. ¬†Students experiment with different kinds of paper and pastel boards. ¬†Adding water or alcohol to the paint can also give you different effects. ¬†Pastel is such a fun medium! ¬†Susan’s portraits were done on Uart sanded paper and pastel was applied directly to the paper.

If you are interested in learning more about pastels, contact me for lessons or to set up a workshop.  Audrey Bottrell

B2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit

B 2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit
B 2 Cafe Spring Student Exhibit

What a wonderful place to have our Art Reception and Exhibit!  The staff was very helpful and the food was fabulous, as always!   Live music was provided by Brian Hickman on cello and Kirsten Weiss on Violin.  It added so much to our reception!

IMG_5661You can view the art anytime at the B2 Cafe now until the end of June. ¬†Students range in age from 11 – adult using various mediums. ¬†Classes offer individual instruction in a group setting. ¬†Our student exhibits give students as well as visitors, an opportunity to meet the artists from all the classes. ¬†Classes are available each week at Hobby Lobby’s classroom.

DSC_0411 DSC_0389 DSC_0453 DSC_0392-1 DSC_0400 DSC_0416 DSC_0445 DSC_0387 IMG_5667 IMG_5668

Color! Bloom and Grow as an Artist!

images-1 681px-Claude_Monet_015

Art is simply more than just playing.  Creating any kind of art uses a different side of your brain and it challenges you to solve problems creatively.  There is no set recipe, but you can use some tools of the trade to help.

Let’s take using color for example.  Colors evoke emotions by themselves regardless of subject matter.  Learning to use the right color for the emotion you want the viewer to have is critical.  Colors change when they are placed beside other colors too.  It’s no wonder figuring out color is challenging. 

Look at these two paintings of the same subject.  The color scheme chosen gives the viewer a different feel.  How does the blue and orange painting make you feel compared to the yellow and purple?  Do you know what color scheme the artists used in each?

If you want to learn more about color theory, I am offering a 3 Day Color Theory Workshop.  Through a study of Color Theory, you will be able to use color with the biggest impact, and you will know which colors to use and how to mix them. 

You will also learn the different colors of light.  Different times of the day have a different light.  Geographic locations also differ in their light.  Not all light is created equally!   Here’s some examples of the color of light at two different times on a sunny Missouri day.

Color of light 2:09 MO sunny day

Color of light 2:09
MO sunny day

Color of Light 4:15 pm MO sunny day

Color of Light 4:15 pm
MO sunny day







The world of color is an exciting one!   Let your artistic garden start to bloom today by reserving your seat in this 3 Day Color Theory Workshop!

324 S. Campbell Street, Springfield, MO

Monday – Wednesday – February 9th – 11th

9:00 – 4:00

Registration fee:  $200.00 

OZ, the Journey from Black & White to Color!


Color Theory I  Р3 Day Workshop

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about color. Not sure this Workshop is for you??? ¬†Listen to what student Kelsey Zink said about her experience:

“Imagine Dorothy on her farm in Kansas. ¬† You could easily illustrate it with smooth graphite, rich charcoal, soft pastel. ¬†I enjoyed learning to work with all of these mediums, but it wasn’t long before I wanted more. ¬†What artist doesn’t long to go beyond the grayscale prairie and plunge into the exciting realm of the brilliant, colorful Oz?

I’m a Graphic Designer. ¬†I know how color works. ¬†I’d already taken color theory in college, so all I had to do was grab my bright tubes of acrylic paint and plunge in, right? ¬†Wrong! ¬†I soon discovered my textbook knowledge helped little in practical application when actually working with color. ¬†And soon, instead of the Emerald City, all I had really been successful in illustrating was the color pallet of a swamp.

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

Colored pencil drawing by Kelsey Zink

You know, familiar Kansas wasn’t so bad. ¬†At least I know how to shade the landscape there…maybe I should just do a character study on barns. ¬†Time to click my slippers and close my eyes – “There’s no place like home.’ ¬†

And then Audrey offered a course, “Color Theory I”. ¬†I cringed, and signed up, pretending it didn’t scare me.

Audrey teaches a concise, hands-on, nuts and bolts course. ¬†It wasn’t easy, but she was patient and soon the light-bulb of understanding was switching on for me.

Audrey was able to clear the mystery of color: value, temperature, intensity – all the keys to successful color mixing. ¬†And that was just the beginning! ¬†This course was an essential springboard to working with color. ¬†It has enabled me to pursue working in colored pencil, pastel, acrylic and mixed media pieces that have been so much fun to create. ¬†The reference book she provides has been a continual resource as I continue on the journey down the yellow brick road!”

Bring a little color to your world of art with:

Color Theory I

February 9th – 11th, 9:00 – 4:00

324 S. Campbell Street, Springfield, MO

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up to get the 10% early registration discount.  Full cost $200.