ORANGEBURG, N.Y. -- The term “multi-tasker” fails to adequately describe the skills of West Nyack's Nancy Parker. Her range of skills is unique, esoteric and even a little bit cosmic.
Parker is perhaps best described as an artist, and displays much of her work at Bell-ans, the pharmaceutical plant turned artists’ colony. But she is also a Feng Shui practitioner, environmental and personal energy specialist and healer, medium and a former jewelry and lace designer. She knows that many people would charitably describe her as a few carrots shorts of a bunch.
“My kids don’t want their friends to know all the details,’’ Parker said. “They’re afraid they’ll be thinking we’re the totally weird family. But I have a lot of corporate accounts, and am very professional. I don’t get into the ‘woo-woo’ sense that some people might think.”
Drawing Parker’s career path really is not a path at all. It seems more appropriate to describe her professional career as a series of concentric circles that merged over the past three decades. Art, vision, creativity and determination eventually linked all of her skills together to form a well-rounded professional career.
“It’s kind of interesting,’’ Parker said. “I had no plan. I just went with my energy. I didn’t plan anything specific. I just went with what was showing up for me at that point in my life, what excited me and what brought me passion. I always wanted to help others, that is the ultimate joy for me.”
Parker’s work at Bell-ans centers around her roots as an artist. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Illustration. With very little in the way of job prospects, Parker found her first job as a lace designer and later designed and manufactured her own jewelry line. She put down her sketch pad and pencil.
“I went back to painting about four years ago,’’ Parker said. “I really needed to do something for myself. My initial intention was to reconnect with my creativity through my art.”
She quickly discovered, however, visitors to her studio found energy in her work. “People would come in and ask if they could sit down and take the energy from the paintings,’’ Parker said. “I really wasn’t thinking along those lines. One woman came in and just started crying. She didn’t know if it was me or the artwork, but she had been working on life issues for many years and it came full circle after she she left the studio. I started thinking about painting as a healer and energy worker. Energy was emanating from the paintings.”
Parker describes her pieces as “Visionary Art.” Her drawings had a calming and transformative effect on her since she was a young woman. In the past few years, she finds they do the same for clients and visitors.
“My greatest wish is to wake people up to parts of themselves that they have forgotten about,’’ Parker said. “We’re so focused on doing better and doing more. We’re focused on what we want to improve upon or what we don't like, but we’re not remembering these beautiful parts of ourselves. My wish is to enlighten and empower others through my art.”
Parker said she starts her sketches without an identifiable goal. It’s the same way she started her projects as a young girl. “Since I was a little kid, I always liked drawing,’’ she said. “They started out as doodles. I just felt like I needed to draw something. Those early doodles always had a lot of eyes and I thought they were strange. I never showed people. I was afraid of being judged.”
Not any more, that’s for sure. She has found herself as a healer, artist, medium and Feng Shui practitioner. Before returning to art, Parker spent nearly a decade earning certifications and practicing Feng Shui, which she describes as a mission to “facilitate the healing of your inner and outer world to empower you to achieve greater purpose, passion and fulfillment.” She graduated from the Feng Shui Alliance and studied with world scholars and experts.
Parker told the story of a corporate client who builds bridges and tunnels. The business could not land any projects after moving their office a year before. “They asked me to do some energy work,’’ Parker said. “I went to their office and found so many energetic imbalances in the space, I did a space clearing and gave them a few new Feng shui remedies. Almost immediately, they got three bids.”
The business faced the same conundrum just over a year later. “The President asked his secretary to ‘get that girl to do her thing’ again,’’ Parker laughed. “When I met him, I sensed his full energy wasn’t into the business. He said he had been trying to sell the business for about six months and it was at a standstill. After I met with him and made some new energetic adjustments the business sold immediately.”
Parker doesn’t know how her healing powers evolved for a woman who, at her base, is an artist. But as she’s done her entire career, Parker rolls with it. She is a stable person -- with a wonderful family, professional in her demeanor -- and her work transforms lives for the better. Perhaps it is unorthodox. It also works.
“I feel very grateful, very thankful and totally blessed,’’ Parker said. “I’m really very fortunate to have the gifts that I have. They feed my inner soul and help others. Really, I feel blessed to have so much.”