Interview with Ron Parker

Introduction and interview by Heather Wheeler. Paintings by Ron Parker.

Ron Parker’s exquisitely detailed paintings of wildlife are the first memory I have of his work. I managed an art gallery in downtown Victoria in the early 1980’s and this style of work was very highly collected. Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders and John Seerey-Lester were a few of his contemporaries whose works, along with Parker’s, were published as limited edition prints by a large printing and distribution company based in the USA. Parker’s original paintings of wildlife sold for thousands of dollars.

Years later, soon after opening my art gallery in Oak Bay in 2002, I had a phone call from Parker asking to bring in a portfolio of work. I must admit to being a little hesitant as the local market for wildlife work had dropped off in the late 1980s. To my amazement the new portfolio showed a completely new contemporary essentialist style with detail exchanged for emphasis on design form and rhythm. Since then, Parker has painted over 400 canvases in this style and this body of work has been met with considerable success within the gallery, hosting three one-man shows.

Then, in 2013 came another monumental shift of style and medium. Parker’s most recent reinvention came about as a result of him embracing oil paint which allows for subtle blending of shapes and colour. By painting wet into wet he returns to realistic, detailed renderings of landscape, creating subtle water reflections, smooth gradations in clouds and refined detail in foliage. – Heather Wheeler


Ron Parker’s newest collection, “Changing Light” focuses on Beacon Hill Park and the surrounding beaches below Dallas Road in Victoria. We enthusiastically anticipate the opening and artist’s reception on October 2nd 6 – 8 pm. The exhibition continues until October 10th.

Describe your inspiration for the Changing Light exhibition.
I feel that there is a lot of inspiration for painting subjects even in a small area of Victoria if the artist observes how changing light creates new scenes. Victoria offers the artist so many diverse and inspirational scenes to depict that the possibilities are endless.

What do you try to capture in your art?
I like to capture a mood as well as the essence of a location.

What do you think is the key element in creating a good composition?
I like to use the elements of the painting to allow the eye of the viewer to travel through the painting to the focal point.

What do you like most about the medium that you use?
I like painting in oils because of the flexibility in rendering, allowing me to paint every element in a landscape with just one coat of paint.

How do you balance work and pleasure?
My work is pleasure. Spending time with my family gives me the greatest pleasure though.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
It was not about painting, but, when I was a young man, my father once told me, if I was having difficulty with another person, “to walk around in their shoes for awhile”.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have never taken an art course. I have done art all my life. It’s in my genes.