Always learning and growing, the semi-abstract artist recently completed her MFA from the Academy of Art University and is “percolating” ideas for her next project. The mother of three, whose first career was as a photographer, paints in her Sullivan’s Island studio with her granddaughter, Olivia, in tow. Parker also enjoys watching the two-year-old explore the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, which she founded in 2003. You can find her work locally at Meyer Vogl Gallery and Charleston Artists Collective. Here, the artist shares how she layers her spring wardrobe.
Q Do you have a signature accessory?
A I cherish my ring (we refer to it as the octopus ring) designed by John Paul Miller. My husband gave it to me on my 40th birthday. It was gifted to him by his aunt and uncle, Bill and Leza McVey, both world-renowned artists from Cleveland, Ohio. For me, jewelry brings the finishing touches to an outfit.
Q What skin care products can’t you live without?
A I love any product by Dr. Hauschka (above). Other than that, usually whatever my daughter buys! She’s the product expert, and I’m lucky to have her living so close.
Q Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home?
A I have a treasured painting by my first teacher at Harvard, Albert Alcalay. My husband gave me a piece by him about 10 years ago. He was my first teacher to introduce abstract expressionism and the first person to say, “You’re an artist.”
Q How does your art translate to your style?
A My approach begins like a painting with a neutral, solid-colored piece, for example this Vincent James Designs linen dress. I add to my “canvas” with a layering piece that adds color, movement, depth, or a design element that feels right, such as this Ibu vest—it’s intuitive. Lastly, like a painting that needs good editing, I try on jewelry until I achieve just the right texture and design.
Q How will you celebrate Mother’s Day, and what will you wear?
A We usually don’t have a big celebration on Mother’s Day, but we have a tradition of gathering in our garden for lunch on Easter Sunday. I asked [my daughter] Amelia, a marketing and brand manager, to bring me something special to wear from Madison Matthews (above).