|Comparing D.R. Parker (b. 1940) to other realistic painters is a mistake – he is very much his own man. True, the “better than being there” look to his paintings is reminiscent of other well-known artists, the landscapes that he loves are favorite subjects of countless painters, and the colors in his palette are available to all; but the finished product is strictly a Parker painting.
He seems to literally capture the atmosphere in his skies, whether at midday or dusk. Texas wildflowers adorn more canvases in the state than all other subjects combined, but Parker paints them through different eyes, especially as he sees them at twilight. He undoubtedly has a love of trains, as they run through many of his pieces. Each painting is a study in color, in light and shadow, and in mood; but each brush stroke is blended so subtly that the surface is glass-smooth.
Parker says that he is not satisfied with painting pretty pictures; he needs to paint pictures with “grit”. “I have no problem with inspiration, themes, subjects, and so on. Sometimes just sitting and counting clouds as they fly by is inspiration enough. I have always been fascinated with the sky, cloud formations, color . . . and sometimes the anxiety and tragedy that accompany a storm. I sometimes paint in a dim light and often even in the shadows in order to capture the final ‘crisp’ highlights.”
“I paint because a gift was given to me. I feel very fortunate for that; and if I can come close to what is really out there . . . then I am secure in my works.”