As if to mirror the latest exhibit at the Santa Clarita Artists Association gallery entitled “Time to Reflect,” Scott Parker talks about his own journey as an artist, looking back to the beginning and forward to his current projects. The Canyon Country resident has a wide range of talent from the back-to-basics simplicity of pencil sketching to modern forms such as computer graphic design. The artist continues to work in multiple mediums.
“It opens up more opportunities for me,” Parker said. “My favorite is a toss-up between photography and colored or black and white pencil. At least with those mediums I have more control over color and detail.”
To describe his interest in fine art alongside his work in website design, Parker builds on the familiar theory that humans have two sides of the brain with somewhat opposite strengths. “I’ve been able to utilize both, so to speak,” he said. “It’s been a blessing and a curse.”
He began his artistic work in elementary school. “It started with just doing pencil drawings and stuff like that,” he said. “I was in the fourth or fifth grade when I first started noticing the interest.”
Naturally mechanically-inclined, Parker’s understanding of computer systems began when he received his older brother’s hand-me-down machines. “Figuring them out on my own, I gained an interest in them,” he said. “Then I went to school to study graphic design and web design.”
He’s expanded on both ends of the spectrum – using computers to make prints of his drawings and accessing photo editing programs. He grew in his artistry by dabbling in watercolor, oil and acrylic paints. “I was kind of comfortable, but I didn’t have that control,” he said, reiterating his preference for sketching. “I also like the fact that with pencils it can be portable, unlike paint.”
Some of Parker’s favorite content for his artwork includes science fiction and fantasy. “My parents took me to ‘Star Wars’ and that opened the floodgates of my subject matter,” he said.
When you visit his website – Artworks & Abstracts – there’s a gallery with some of his images of comic book characters. One day Parker had the good fortune of meeting an icon who was one of his professional inspirations. For six years Parker was a contracted artist through a restaurant named Café Tu Tu Tango located at Universal City Walk, where he would sell his art. He saw Marvel Comics co-creator/writer/producer Stan Lee who was filming for the Sci-Fi Channel at Universal Studios. Parker approached the animation industry legend and asked him to sign one of his Spider-Man paintings and Lee agreed.
Where photography is concerned, Parker likes to capture shots of wildlife, scenery, landscapes and antiques. Some of his favorites are shoots in deserted towns where he can get images of abandoned cars and buildings. “I love the antiques – the wagons for the wood grain and the detail you can pull out of it,” he said.
Despite his success, Parker doesn’t have a lot of sophisticated equipment. “I manage to get by with what little I have,” he explained. “I used to use a little point-and-shoot digital camera. Then one of my brothers went to a benefit fundraiser and put money in a raffle for a camera and I realized what I could do with it. It went from there.”
Born and raised in the Santa Clarita area since 1977 when his family moved here, Parker went to College of the Canyons where he began studying art and computer science. When his father contracted cancer, the artist paused to focus his attention on family.
He later returned to school in web design, but most of his skills are self-taught through books, YouTube and other internet sites.
Parker has been an active member of the Santa Clarita Artists Association since 2012. He served on the board and has worked in the gallery in addition to doing graphic design on the organization’s website.
The SCAA Gallery’s new exhibit features the work of many local artists including Parker’s photo, “Walking in My Shoes.” The picture was a gift for his brother-in-law.
“Scott Parker is an excellent realistic artist,” said SCAA publicity Chair Olga Kaczmar regarding his use of colored pencil. “He does a very good job photographing and illustrating wildlife … very creative. As a member of Santa Clarita Artists Association, he put in many, many volunteer hours to get the gallery running smoothly. We are really grateful to him.”
The Artists Association is one of the reasons Parker likes living in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I like it for the community,” he said. “I know every city has their issues but I like it better than other areas where I’ve lived. It’s close to family and I have a lot of friends here from the group.”
For more about Scott Parker visit ArtworksandAbstracts.net.